Title

Defining High Conflict

Keywords

high conflict, conflict in relationships

Abstract

The term high conflict is used regularly across various literatures; such as divorce, family court, and psychotherapy; to describe relationships that are mired in conflict. Despite its widespread use, the term has not been precisely defined in a clinically meaningful way. This article offers a definition of high conflict based on a synthesis of previous literatures related to high conflict, observations of court personnel, and the authors’ own clinical experiences working with this population. A case study illustrates the pervasive negative exchanges and hostile insecure emotional environment that characterize these couples. The implications of this definition for clinical practice are also discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Anderson, S.R., Anderson, S.A., Palmer, K., Mutchler, M., & Baker, L. (2011). Defining high conflict. American Journal of Family Therapy,39:11-27. DOI: 10.1080/01926187.2010.530194.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2010-12-28

Publisher

The American Journal of Family Therapy

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor

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