Managing High Conflict Personalities in Legal Disputes - PDL1041

Managing High Conflict Personalities in Legal Disputes

Professional development short course

This unit focuses on managing personalities in conflict resolution, particularly resolving disputes involving "high-conflict" personalities. The course will help students and practising professionals recognisze personality styles, choose appropriate intervention techniques, and maintain ethical principles while dealing with difficult people professionally and personally.

The first part will focus on developing and understanding the dynamics of personality in conflict, especially the impact of "high-conflict" personalities in legal and workplace disputes.

The second part addresses how to manage individual clients, two or more parties in disputes, and systems involving many high-conflict parties. Methods will be taught and practiced in role-play exercises, including client counselling, coaching potentially high-conflict employees, coaching potentially high-conflict parties in separation and divorce, mediating high-conflict legal disputes, mediating workplace conflicts (when appropriate), managing high-conflict complainants with government agencies, and system-wide interventions to reduce high-conflict behaviour in organisations.

At a glance


Date: 20, 21, 22, 23, 27 &, 28 September


9.00am - 1.00pm




Domestic students: $3,262.50

Learning outcomes:

On successful completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  1. Apply knowledge and understanding of high-conflict personality disorders and their common conflict dynamics, the preoccupation for those with high conflict personalities with blaming, as well as brain research theory and methods for creative handling of high-conflict personalities in legal and workplace disputes and applying these initiatives to new situations in professional practice.
  2. Investigate, analyse and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts and theories in relation to the management of collaborative relationships among professionals in high-conflict cases.
  3. Conduct research into high conflict dispute resolution based on knowledge of appropriate research principles and methods.
  4. Use cognitive, technical and creative skills to generate and evaluate at an abstract level, complex ideas relevant to high conflict dispute resolution.
  5. Use and understand methods for coaching individual clients to deal with high conflict situations.
  6. Analyse high conflict behaviour in court and other types of hearings and processes.

Academic lead:

Bill Eddy

Bill Eddy has been a mediator, lawyer (Certified Family Law Specialist) and therapist (Licensed Clinical Social Worker). He has been a divorce mediator for the past 40 years, including 15 years as the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego, California.

He is also the co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer of the High Conflict Institute, for which he has trained lawyers, mediators, judges, mental health professionals and others on managing high-conflict personalities in over 30 states and ten countries.

He is the developer of the New Ways for Families® skills-training method for high conflict divorce and New Ways for Mediation® method for high conflict cases. He has written twenty books and manuals, including the new co-authored book BIFF for CoParent Communication: Your Guide to Difficult CoParent Texts, Emails and Social Media Posts and High Conflict People in Legal Disputes, 2 nd Edition.