When I find myself in times of trouble…..

   Sometimes I wonder if, because I work in ‘conflict resolution’, people think I have no conflicts in my life.  Or that I know how to stop all conflict.  Oh, how I wish that were true.  😉
   I know that sometimes people come to me, whether it’s as a lawyer or a therapist [I’m both] and ask what is THE answer.  They come to me thinking that conflict is resolved by a determination of “who’s right”….or “whose rights”. 
   Conflict is almost never resolved that way.  It may get suppressed, it may get abated…because it has been ‘decided’.  But rarely does such a decision resolve the conflict between those who are involved.  The conflict instead festers and grows until it boils over again and the ‘decision’ is questioned, ignored, or even attacked as wrong or biased.
   This is why I have believed so strongly for over 10 years in the possibility that is offered by the use of Collaborative Practice.  Because its entire premise, its full focus is on reaching an agreement that works for all involved.  Not a decision that tells them who ‘won’, or even a settlement that leaves them all with a partial ‘loss’.  CP works toward neither a ‘win-lose’ nor even what some suggest is a ‘win-win’, but rather what I have come to call a ‘work-work’ outcome.  One that solves the problem that resulted in conflict by creating an agreement that ‘works’ for all.  And it works for those in many types of ‘conflict’….Business disputes, Medical mistakes, divorce….  check the CPPIL website for more info.
   It isn’t magic.  And it isn’t always easy – for me and my colleagues and certainly not always easy for those who are in conflict.  But I believe strongly in its possibility for supporting those who “find themselves in times of trouble” to find a way out.

I welcome your comments and questions.

carl Michael rossi, JD, LPC, NCC


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