© 2011 By Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq.
I just finished a 2-day “New Ways for Families®” training in Alberta, Canada, for the YWCA of Calgary. The YWCA just received a 3-year Ministry of Justice grant to implement this program, developed by our High Conflict Institute.
It was a great experience, as there were nearly 100 counselors and a few lawyers in attendance, learning the “New Ways” methods of short-term counseling for potentially high-conflict families going through divorce. They asked excellent questions, especially about implementing this approach to help manage divorcing parents who are perpetrators and victims of domestic violence – one of the key goals of the program. The YWCA expects several hundred families will go through New Ways for Families and we will be studying its effectiveness.
There were also several people at the Calgary training from the Medicine Hat Family Service, also in Alberta, Canada, which also received a 3-year Ministry of Justice grant. They plan to have all divorcing families go through the New Ways program if they have a conflict over custody and access that they are bringing to court. My theory is that one-half of potentially high-conflict families that are headed into court battles over their children, will be able to stay out of court after learning the basic conflict resolution skills taught in this method. The research will tell. I look forward to more 2-day trainings in New Ways for Families this year!
Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, and mediator. He is the co-founder and Training Director of the High Conflict Institute, a training and consultation firm that trains professionals to deal with high conflict people and situations. He is the author of several books and methods for handling high conflict personalities and high conflict disputes with the most difficult people.