Creative Conflict Resolution [CCR] is a set of assumptions, attitudes, perspectives and techniques which can inform and enhance the ways that we address the conflicts that come up in our daily life. These include:
- Conflict is a natural and normal part of everyday life and relationships. Our most intense conflicts are likely to be with those with whom we are the most intimate or who remind us of those with whom we have been close.
- When conflicts are named, addressed, and resolved; relationships are strengthened.
- Nevertheless, we are not anxious to address conflicts as we are not confident that we are going to be able to resolve them. Much of what we have been taught about addressing conflicts either doesn't work or makes the situation worse. Therefore, we are not confident about our competence at conflict resolution.
- There are some simple but not easy steps that we can learn to take that will move us toward getting what we need in ways that allow and support others to get what they need as well.
The Center was formed in 1997 as a vehicle for the ministry of Rev. Dr. Mark Lee Robinson. He is a pastoral counselor and a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Following his work with RAVEN, the Masters and Johnson Institute's Child Sexual Abuse Treatment Program, and Sexual Trauma and Recovery [STAR], he took the Abuse Prevention Program he had created under STAR to the fledgling Center. While he worked with many kinds of client issues, the heart of the Center's program for many years was intervention with criminal abuse offenders. The concepts of Creative Conflict Resolution developed out of that work. It has since developed broader application to the conflicts we all experience.
In the context of intervention groups with abusive men Dr. Robinson found that he was addressing the same issues again and again. To standardize and simplify the process and to make it more cost effective he created a curriculum to address these issues. This class brought together into a simple sequence a set of steps that anyone could take that would help them make better choices when conflicts arose. This was called the Abuse Prevention Class. It became the first segment of a two part program. The second segment was first called the Treatment Group and then renamed the Practice Group. The content of this second segment was practice of the methods and techniques learned in the class.
The class was taught in two forms. The Abuse Prevention Class was specifically for men who were ordered into intervention by a court order either because of a criminal assault or because of an action of the Family Court. The second format was the Building Healthy Relationships program which was available to both women and men who were motivated on their own to learn the skills of Creative Conflict Resolution. The Abuse Prevention Program was discontinued in 2008 as Dr. Robinson devoted more time to the writing of Just Conflict. The Building Healthy Relationships program is ongoing.
Work with abusive men and with high conflict relationships led Dr. Robinson to work more and more with couples who, though divorced, have children and thus continue to need to be able to work together and to make durable agreements. Even though the level of conflict in a relationship may result in the end of the marriage, when they are parents divorce does not mean the end of a relationship. They have to learn to work together if they are to create the best for their children.
In the spring of 2009 the Center announced the formation of Parenting Post-Divorce. This is not the same sort of structured program as Building Healthy Relationships since each family system requires individual attention. But the principles of Creative Conflict Resolution inform the interventions with the family or persons seeking help from the Parenting Post-Divorce program.
Because the principles of Creative Conflict Resolution apply to systems in conflict of all sizes there is application for the philosophy and techniques for organizations and corporations. That work is now offered through the Organizational Consulting program of the Center. Again, each system is unique and so what we offer is tailored to the specifics of a given situation.
The vision for the Center moving forward is that we will do more and more training in how to address conflicts in a variety of settings.
For more about Dr. Robinson go here.
For the history of the development of the term Creative Conflict Resolution...