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New Book Issues Stern Warning to America
Experts see comparisons between current political tone and nasty divorce...with potentially dangerous consequences
Yes, say family relations experts Bill Eddy and Don Saposnek, because what’s currently happening in the political arena is similar to what happens in nasty, high-conflict divorces.
In their new book, “Splitting America,” Eddy and Saposnek spell out the parallels between today’s political climate and the way couples act during ugly breakups.
The authors say the lack of respect, the “all-or-nothing”
“Unfortunately, this is not a game,” they write. “Voters suffer, and the nation suffers because of it--just as painfully as children suffer in high-conflict divorce.”
Eddy and Saposnek note that the kind of negative behavior we are seeing in politics increases conflict rather than reducing or resolving it. What’s worse, it’s like a virus, infecting others who are exposed to it, leading the rest of us to act in the same manner.
And they warn this is only the beginning.
“Once the parties form hard positions on opposite ends of an issue and start name-calling the other, they tend to gather up supporters for their positions—and the “tribes” begin the warfare—a contagious effect that leads to escalation and polarization of conflict,” says Saposnek
The authors say that will not only make for nastier politics in the future, but for a nastier nation as well, breeding anger and even potential violence. They fear it could have a devastating effect on our culture down the road.
But, Eddy and Saposnek add, there is hope if the country takes just a few simple steps; the same ones angry couples need to take to cool down a fiery divorce.
First, politicians -- and citizens -- must show respect to those with whom they disagree. Personal attacks and negativity only divide us, while showing empathy and understanding helps bring the two sides together.
Second, we all need to respond calmly and appropriately to negative attacks. An “eye-for-an-
And finally, voters must elect leaders who reject the high-conflict political methods that cause division and anger.
“We need leaders who can listen; who can collaborate on solving problems; who treat everyone as important, not just those who already agree with them. Let’s elect those who have empathy for everyone, not just one group or party,” says Eddy.
Eddy and Saposnek say they hope their book will help change the destructive direction in which our country seems to be headed. They want us to avoid the “nasty divorce” that would hurt our nation and strive instead to seek common ground and understanding. After all, they point out, we are the American Family.
Splitting America is a must read for anyone who is disturbed by the current political situation. Published by High Conflict Institute Press, $12.95 paperback, and digital format $9.99, Splitting America can be obtained through the following websites: www.hcipress.com, www.UnhookedBooks.com, www.Amazon.com
About Bill Eddy
William A. (“Bill”) Eddy, L.C.S.W., J.D. is a family law attorney, therapist and mediator, with over thirty years’ experience working with children and families. He is the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego, California. He is also the President of the High Conflict Institute, which provides speakers, trainers and consultants on the subject of managing high-conflict people in legal disputes, workplace disputes, healthcare and education. He has taught Negotiation and Mediation at the University of San Diego School of Law and he teaches Psychology of Conflict at the Strauss Institute for Dispute Resolution at Pepperdine University School of Law. He is the author of several books, including:
Splitting: Protecting Yourself While Divorcing Someone with Borderline or Narcissistic Personality Disorder
BIFF: Quick Responses to High Conflict People, Their Personal Attacks, Hostile Email and Social Media Meltdowns
It’s All Your Fault! 12 Tips for Managing People Who Blame Others for Everything
For more information about Bill Eddy, please visit: www.HighConflictInstitute.com.
About Don Saposnek
Donald T. Saposnek, Ph.D. is a clinical-child psychologist, child custody mediator and family therapist in private practice for over 40 years, and is a national and international trainer of mediation and child development. For the past 35 years, he has been teaching on the psychology faculty at the University of California at Santa Cruz, and is Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He is the author of the classic book, Mediating Child Custody Disputes and has published extensively in the professional literature on child custody and child psychology. He serves on the editorial boards of the Family Court Review and Conflict Resolution Quarterly journals and is the editor of the international Academy of Professional Family Mediators’ The Professional Family Mediator. As director of Family Mediation Service of Santa Cruz, he managed the family court services for 17 years and has mediated nearly 5,000 child custody disputes in both the public and private sectors since 1977. For more information about Don Saposnek, please visit: www.mediate.com/
About HCI Press
HCI Press publishes books, CDs, and DVDs dedicated to helping people unhook from conflict and other problem life areas.
The Scottsdale, AZ based company publishes titles concerning handling high-conflict disputes in legal cases, divorce, mediation, workplace and neighbor disputes, and any other type of dispute. HCI Press offers several titles about the very specific area of high-conflict divorce and co-parenting. They also publish titles designed to help professionals deal with the difficult populations they serve and resulting vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue.
HCI Press’ authors are professionals in the fields of law, mental health, psychology, mediation, and medicine. To learn more about HCI Press, please visit: www.hcipress.com.