EP: 033



Traditionally, alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation and collaborative divorce are seen as a good fit for couples who are civil to each other and simply need a professional to support them in the legal aspects of the process. But Bill Eddy argues that the non-adversarial processes are crucial for high-conflict people navigating divorce.

Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, mediator and the co-founder and Training Director of the High Conflict Institute. He has become an international expert on managing disputes involving high-conflict personalities and personality disorders, and he provides training on the subject to professionals all over the world. Bill is a Certified Family Law Specialist and the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in Sand Diego. He is the author of several books, including High Conflict People in Legal Disputes, Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and BIFF: Quick Responses to High-Conflict People.

Today, Bill sits down with Katherine to explain why high-conflict people need a non-adversarial divorce process. He shares the benefits of consulting a lawyer during the mediation process and the significance of going into alternative dispute resolution with a focus on the future. Bill describes what is involved in his pre-mediation coaching as well as his approach to mediation when a restraining order is involved. Listen in for Bill’s insight on communicating with high-conflict people and finding a lawyer who supports mediation and the collaborative divorce process.


Why high-conflict people need a non-adversarial divorce process

  • Court escalates adversarial thinking
  • Gives rise to false allegations, abuse

How high-conflict people are more sensitive to feeling attacked

The benefit of consulting a lawyer during the mediation process

The value of a divorce financial analyst in alternative dispute resolution

How informed consent serves as the key to a non-adversarial process

What’s involved in Bill’s pre-mediation coaching

How Bill handles mediation when a restraining order is involved

How collaborative teaches high-conflict couples communication skills

How parenting plans can be structured around limited contact in extreme cases

How the self-doubt people feel during divorce is exacerbated by lack of respect

The techniques Bill recommends for communicating with high-conflict people

  • EAR—empathy, attention and respect
  • BIFF—brief, informative, friendly and firm (i.e.: email, Facebook)

Why Bill suggests finding a lawyer who will support mediation/collaborative divorce


High Conflict Institute

National Conflict Resolution Center


New Ways for Families

BIFF: Quick Responses to High-Conflict People by Bill Eddy

How to Write a BIFF Response DVD

Coaching for BIFF Response DVD

Our Family Wizard

Is Divorce Mediation for You? DVD

High Conflict People in Legal Disputes by Bill Eddy

Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder by Bill Eddy


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765