Conflict Resolution Skills for Couples and Counselors

Presented by Susan Heitler, PhD on 01-30-2009 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 10:30 a.m. Pacific (1:30 p.m. Eastern)

Poorly resolved conflict lies at the core of emotional distress. Individuals and couples with strong win-win conflict resolution skills often emerge from whatever challenges life presents with a renewed sense of well-being and positive relationship connections. Emotional upsets, by contrast, result from difficult or poorly-managed conflicts. When distressed individuals, couples, or families seek therapy, they are looking for help with resolving their conflicts. Conflict resolution expertise therefore is key to a therapist's effectiveness.

This web conference will teach the basics of "the win-win waltz," the three steps through which conflicts move to resolution. It will explain key conflict resolution terminology, differentiating between positional and interest-based bargaining, concerns and solutions, and simple solutions versus solution sets. Dr. Heitler will conclude by diagramming the circle of skills, all of which are essential for conflicts to be effectively resolved.

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Continuing Education (CE) Information

1.5 CE credits will be provided by for attending this web conference in its entirety. is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services. is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements., SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

To receive CE credit hours for an archived event, you will need to complete a survey as well as a 12 or 15-question exam, verifying that you listened to or watched the event in its entirety. Archived CE events generally are considered "homestudy" by licensing boards.

Registration Information

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Mental health professionals who are not members can attend this live web conference for $30.95 or access the homestudy recording for $15.50. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

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Meet the Presenter

Susan Heitler, PhD

Susan Heitler, PhD

Susan Heitler, PhD, has been a private practice clinical psychologist in Denver for over 30 years and has made significant contributions to the theory and practice of psychotherapy. Her primary mission has been to highlight for therapists the importance of becoming expert at conflict resolution. Conflict that is not handled effectively disrupts emotional well-being. People who go to therapy and marriage counseling are looking for help with resolving their conflicts. Conflict resolution alleviates disturbing feelings such as stress, anxiety, depression, and anger and can heal the ruptures in troubled marriages. So therapists need to be experts in all aspects of the process of conflict resolution. Dr. Heitler first set forth her integrative conflict-focused theory of emotional health, psychopathology and treatment in her 1990 book From Conflict to Resolution. Along with The Angry Couple, a training video that shows Dr. Heitler using her treatment methods with a difficult couple, From Conflict to Resolution has strongly influenced the work of many therapists.

Dr. Heitler's subsequent book, The Power of Two, teaches the skills that lead to marriage success. With her psychologist daughter Abigail Heitler Hirsch, PhD, she has also co-authored a Power of Two workbook, a Power of Two curriculum guide for teaching marriage skills workshops, and a video, The Win-Win Waltz, that trains therapists who would like to augment their practices by leading marriage skills workshops.

In addition, Power of Two interactive teaching games on the internet now reach thousands of people each week. Thanks to a grant from the U.S. government, therapists are welcome to add these games FOR FREE to their own sites (go here for instructions).

Dr. Heitler has lectured on her therapy methods nationwide and abroad in Spain, Austria, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Australia. Her book The Power of Two has been published in foreign language editions in Turkey, Brazil, Israel, Taiwan, and China. Dr. Heitler is frequently interviewed in magazines such as Fitness, Men's Health, Women's World, and Parenting. Her cases have appeared often in the Ladies' Home Journal column "Can This Marriage Be Saved?" In May, 2004 Dr. Heitler appeared on the CBS Early Show where anchor Harry Smith introduced her as "the most influential person in my life—my therapist," encouraging his viewers similarly to seek therapy when they are distressed and pre-marital counseling when they are contemplating marriage.

Dr. Heitler graduated from Harvard in 1967, earned a master's degree in education at Boston University and a doctorate in psychology from New York University. She and her husband, married over 35 years, have enjoyed raising four children, now young adults with children of their own.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • Logo has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  •, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

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