November Chapter Meeting Synopsis by Dr. Monica Epstein

The topic of interest during our meeting on November 17, 2016 was “Working with High Conflict Persons in a Collaborative Case: Is That Possible?”  Our guest presenters were Attorney Sheldon (Shelly) Finman and Deborah Coe Silver, Psychologist, both practicing professionals from Fort Myers, FL.  The session involved the sharing of thoughts, ideas, and suggestions as to how the professional might manage High Conflict Persons (HCP’s) in a collaborative process.  Dr. Silver discussed the different personality disorders and awareness of behavior patterns one might expect to see in high conflict clients.  She added that three out of ten high conflict clients were likely to meet criteria for a personality disorder.  The presenters provided insight into how to best deal with high conflict clients and described a model they employed in their practice called EAR: Empathy, Attention, and Respect.  They frequently referenced the work of author Bill Eddy and his book, “High Conflict People in Legal Disputes,” available on Amazon.  The presentation was lively and included movie excerpts demonstrating the different types of behaviors observed in persons with specific personality disorder diagnoses.  Attorney Finman and Dr. Silver would be welcome guests at future TBACP meetings.