Emotional Control and Communication in Conflict Resolution

Conflict is natural because of disagreement.  Whether the conflict is minor, verbal, or becomes violent, depends on the situation, time and place.  Individually and socially, conflict occurs everyday at different levels.  Whether at work and a disagreement occurs, or at home and an argument ensures, conflict is part of daily life.  Just because conflict and differences exist, does not mean it has to be a bad thing or dangerous thing.  While many conflicts spiral out of control into professional, personal or even social chaos, conflicts do not need to become divisive and destructive forces.  Differences can be discussed, mended and aligned to incorporate benefits for everyone.

Conflict resolution requires emotional control, communication, listening and an ability to understand wants and needs of self and other.


However, certain differences can only be mended so far.  Certain differences cannot always make every side happy and certain differences will leave some with some resentment.  It is how one intellectually and emotionally handles a conflict that matters sometime the most.  When wars result or family feuds ensue, then no matter the conclusion, no-one benefits.  Hence it is important to to not only employ good conflict resolution skills but also manage emotions.


Emotions can turn an argument or conflict into an aggressive verbal and sometimes physical battle with only impasses.  In this case, when entering into any conflict resolution meeting, or entering into argument or debate, to present oneself with a calm mind.   Anger Management is key.  Focusing on dislikes of other person or group,  lingering on past insults or wrongs, allowing prejudices to warp the intellect and issuing insults can only escalate.  The key is to de-escalate when conflict emerges during discussion.  It is important to identify one’s own triggers, as well as the other individual’s triggers.   Once these are identified, it is easier to avoid and also limit. Avoid being overly defensive or quick to respond if something upsets.  There are good ways to respond to criticism and bad ways.  It is key during conflict resolution to respond well.

Conflict resolution requires emotional control and intellectual reason.


Furthermore, one needs to identify tone of voice, body position and movement in regards to dealing with the individual.  How one initially represents oneself can determine the outcome of a discussion.  This is true when arguing with a spouse or friend, debating with another person, crafting a business deal, negotiating a bill, or even responding to an officer at a basic traffic stop. When one insults or past biases are voiced in an aggressive manner, the other person will automatically assume a more defensive position and be far less willing to listen.  Name calling and insulting while dismissing the primary topic is a good way to end any resolution before it ever begins.  Instead be calm and collective and be positive.  Avoid negative sentences and “I” statements, but keep very close to the topic and avoid ad hominem argumentation.   Compliments and acknowledgement of other another side’s view and an appreciation of one’s concerns can open a far more healthy dialogue.


Obviously a healthy a dialogue is the purpose.  Each dialogue has an end goal.  To reach the established end goal, involves communication and listening.  When one speaks so loudly above others, one not only alienates oneself from the other side, but also is unable to hear points and counter points. When pointing out strengths and weaknesses of one’s view,  there should be a clear line of respect and time for each side to fully articulate each other’s point of view.  Proper listening and communication is hence a pre-requisite in any negotiation or mediation and is as important as emotional control.

Reactions to Conflict

When dealing with conflict there are a variety of ways to handle it.  The article, “5 Conflict Resolution Strategies: Steps, Benefits and Tips” by Jennifer Herrity points out some key ways some may deal with conflict and its resolution.  She states,

“Conflicts are struggles that can arise during an active disagreement of opinions or interests, so it’s important to understand how to navigate and resolve them. In the workplace, there are many instances in which conflict can happen between coworkers, and when it does, it is important to resolve the situation before it escalates. In this article, we discuss five conflict resolution strategies, how to use them in the workplace and the benefits of conflict resolution…Different people use different methods to resolve conflict, depending on their personalities and preferences. The five most common strategies, known as the (Kenneth) Thomas-(Ralph) Kilmann model,  used to resolve conflicts in the workplace include”

“5 Conflict Resolution Strategies: Steps, Benefits and Tips”. Herrity, J. (2023). Indeed.

To review the entire article, please click here

Individuals when dealing with conflict can avoid the argument completely.  This passive reaction to an argument can lead many unresolved issues and deeper resentment.  Many introverts and passive individuals will flee conflict however instead of arguing or feeling bullied into an issue by a more aggressive personality.  Avoidance may relieve temporary tension but it does not resolve the existing issue.

How to resolve a conflict has many options. Please also review AIHCP’s Anger Management Program


Other individuals will actively engage and compete against the other person. They will completely and totally reject the entirety of the other person’s argument and push only for one’s own ideal or solution.  This leads to active hostility and disagreement and also offers no other solution.  Whether in business, politics, or international war, this leads to one eventually exerting power over the other or leaving a totally dissatisfied side which will later re-emerge with similar issues.Other individuals will accommodate the other individual.  This may lead to short term peace but again only presents a lingering issue.  Sometimes accommodation is purposely utilized to resolve short term issues with true sights on longer term venues.

Compromising, like accommodation, also provides a short term solution but usually leads to longer term issues and revisiting to the lasting issue.  Those in compromise though both walk away with a distaste but also a small gain.

Finally, collaboration is the ultimate solution when possible.  In this scenario, all individuals win because they work together towards something better.  Each side realizes the value of the other and combine their forces and ideas towards a greater good.

Character Matters

Understanding the sides of both and avoiding bias is key in conflict resolution. Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Certification


Individuals must also during any type of negotiation or conflict resolution possess some sort of character and ability to read it in others.  One should be able to analyze one’s own strength and weaknesses and see where one is right or wrong.  One must also understand the type of personality one is dealing with across from them.  What type of temperament, personality and demeanor consists within this individual.  Are they more of an exertive dominant Personality A, or a more passive Personality B?  One should be prepared to know maximum and minimum extremes one will waver, as well as the other, and then make a solid logical and honest agreement.  Keeping one’s word and processing a fair agreement meets with all standards of justice and integrity.  When many nations or individuals break deals, conflict is always unavoidable.  This is why the deal should always be just and not overtly benefiting oneself.  Trouble will only emerge later.  This should be seen as looking out for the future and avoiding unneeded drama in future days.


Personal interaction will always breed conflict because different people have different opinions.  It is important to protect one’s own interests but to also be fair and just. This is accomplished through communication, listening and understanding the person.  It involves anger management and emotional restraint in how one debates another view.  It demands logic, justice and a fair view of oneself.  When these qualities are missing, conflict resolution is moot and conflict itself will emerge.

Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention, Anger Management and Stress Management Programs.  The programs are online and independent study and open to qualified professionals seeking a four year certification.  Those seeking to help resolve issues and conflicts can easily utilize a Crisis Intervention Certification or Anger Management Certification to their resume and utilize the skills to better apply conflict resolution both personally and professionally whether at home, work, school, politics or at the international level.


“Conflict Resolution” MTCT. Mind Tools.  Access here

“How to Control Your Emotions During a Difficult Conversation”. Gallo, A. (2017). Harvard Business Review. Access here

“Conflict Resolution Skills”. (2023). HelpGuide.org.  Access here

“14 Conflict Resolution Strategies for the Workplace”. Wilson, C. (2022). Positive Psychology.  Access here





The Need for Better Mental Health and Crisis Intervention in Corrections

By James M Katz, BA


Photo showing a gentleman holding a plate with a circle design with the words Crisis in Blue in the middle of the circle

Crisis intervention in the correctional system is an important and necessary component of providing effective support to individuals going through difficult times. With the current population of inmates coming from a wide variety of backgrounds, it is essential for correctional facilities to have a plan in place that can provide immediate help to those struggling with mental health issues. This post will provide an overview of how crisis intervention works, its importance in maintaining a secure and healthy environment for inmates, as well as the different types of interventions available.

In the modern criminal justice system, corrections officers are responsible for providing a safe and humane environment for inmates. This task can be particularly challenging when faced with individuals in crisis. Crisis intervention team involves using specific strategies to de-escalate a situation, rather than relying solely on physical force. It is important that corrections officers understand the principles of crisis intervention and have the skills to respond appropriately and effectively in any given situation. The field of corrections is highly complex and carries with it a wide range of challenges. With the introduction of crisis intervention practices, correctional facilities have been able to better equip their staff in responding to difficult situations. Crisis intervention training has emerged as an essential tool for managing inmates and disrupting violent behaviors before they escalate out of control. This article below examines how better mental health resources is not only reducing the costs of corrections but improving the lives of potential suspects even before incarceration.

“There’s no doubt that among the ways Cuyahoga County could reduce costs and crises at a crowded, inefficient County Jail sorely in need of expensive renovation or replacement is by reducing the jail population. That can be accomplished through bail reform and more efficient, fairer management of cases. But it also could be achieved by making sure that suspects in need of treatment for mental health or addiction are diverted for appropriate treatment first.

That’s what the Cuyahoga County Diversion Center that opened to great fanfare more than 1 1/2 years ago was for. The center on East 55th Street is operated by Oriana House in conjunction with the Alcohol, Drug & Mental Health Services Board of Cuyahoga County.

More needs to be done to divert those in distress to treatment and not just straight to jail: editorial By Editorial Board, Cleveland.com Nov 27, 2022
Access Here 


What is Crisis intervention?

Crisis Intervention is a form of psychological support or counseling that helps individuals who are in the midst of a crisis. This type of therapy focuses on providing immediate and practical assistance to help individuals restore balance and cope with their current situation. Frequently a crisis intervention team will be deployed in situations such as national emergencies to assist in providing interventions.

The main goal of crisis intervention training is to reduce the level of distress experienced by an individual in order to prevent further psychological harm. A qualified mental health professional works with the individual to identify feelings and behaviors, assess needs, provide resources, develop strategies for coping and problem solving, and assist them in making positive changes. The therapist also provides emotional support and encourages healthy communication between family members or friends if needed.

Crisis intervention can be used for those experiencing any type of traumatic event such as natural disasters, physical or sexual abuse, bereavement or loss, illness or injury.

Benefits of Crisis Intervention Counseling

Crisis counseling is a type of therapy that helps individuals and families manage their responses to difficult life events. It typically takes the form of brief interventions aimed at helping those in crisis regain control, reduce stress, and develop coping strategies for more effective problem-solving. Crisis counselors are trained to identify the signs of an impending crisis, assess its severity, and provide immediate assistance.

The benefits of crisis intervention include improved communication skills, increased self-awareness, enhanced understanding of personal strengths and weaknesses, improved decision making skills in high-stress situations, better problem-solving abilities, increased emotional regulation skills such as anger management or impulse control strategies. In addition to these short term benefits, crisis counseling can also lead to long term positive changes such as decreased anxiety levels and stronger overall mental health.

Challenges of Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention is an important part of mental health care, and it has its own unique set of challenges. It involves responding to a person who is in crisis – they may be feeling overwhelmed, confused, and out of control. Crisis intervention requires professional expertise to help the individual address their immediate needs and develop a plan for long-term recovery.

The goal of crisis intervention is to quickly assess the situation, identify any underlying causes or triggers, develop coping strategies and problem-solving skills, and ultimately provide support for an individual’s recovery. It can be emotionally challenging for both the counselor and the person in crisis as emotions are often running high. Therefore it is essential that counselors provide compassionate yet professional support during this difficult time. Additionally, counselors must take into account factors such as cultural background or language barriers when determining how best to approach a situation.

Strategies for Effective Crisis Intervention

Crisis intervention can be a difficult task, especially during times of intense emotional distress. Therefore, it is important to know the strategies for effective crisis intervention so that individuals in crisis can receive the help they need. Learning the fundamentals of crisis intervention helps create an environment where individuals are more likely to receive assistance and support.

One effective strategy for crisis intervention is active listening. Active listening involves responding thoughtfully and respectfully to what someone in a state of crisis is saying. It also requires giving them your full attention while they speak and avoiding distractions or passing judgment on their situation. Additionally, it’s important to remain present with them throughout their expression of emotions and feelings without attempting to provide solutions right away. This basic skill of active listening can go a long way towards helping someone who is facing a learning crisis feel heard, understood and accepted in order to begin healing from their experience.

Impact on Corrections System

Photo of the main watch tower at SAN FRANCISCO, USA - November 4: The Alcatraz Island Prison on October 4, 2014 in San Francisco, California. Alcatraz is one of the most infamous prisons in American history.

Crisis intervention has been a key asset to the corrections system in recent years. It has allowed inmates and corrections officers to learn how to better handle crisis situations within the prison environment, while also providing inmates with an outlet for their emotions. Crisis intervention can help inmates better manage their feelings and reactions when faced with difficult situations, instead of resorting to violence or aggression.

Studies have shown that those who receive crisis intervention training are more likely to be successful in navigating learning crises than those who do not receive the training. This is especially true for those who have experienced trauma in their lives prior to being incarcerated. Through crisis intervention training, these individuals can learn strategies for managing difficult emotions and developing constructive ways of responding in high-stakes situations.


In conclusion, a crisis intervention team in the correctional system is an essential element of providing quality healthcare to incarcerated individuals. Crisis intervention has been proven to reduce recidivism, increase mental health stability, and improve overall wellbeing. Correctional systems can benefit from a comprehensive approach which includes both preventive and reactive strategies. It is important that the correctional staff and health professionals work together to ensure that all inmates have access to the resources they need during times of crisis.

Crisis Intervention not only has a huge impact on the criminal justice world but other areas of mental health care as well. If you are a licensed counselor, a mental health professional or perhaps work in a field that deals with crisis every day then maybe you would be interested in our Crisis Intervention Certification program? All of the crisis intervention courses are available online and are on open enrollment. For more information please visit our certification page.




Additional Resources: 

Barriers and Facilitators to Effective Mental Health Care in Correctional Settings. Olivia Kolodziejczak, Samuel Justin Sinclair. Journal of Correctional Health Care.  Jul 1, 2018
Access Here

Mental health screening tools in correctional institutions: a systematic review. Martin, M.S., Colman, I., Simpson, A.I. et al. . BMC Psychiatry 13, 275 (2013).
Access Here 

Improving Mental Health for Inmates. Heather Stringer /www.apa.org/ March 2019, Vol 50, No. 3
Access Here

Mental Health of Prisoners: Prevalence, Adverse Outcomes, and Interventions. Seena Fazel, et al. The Lancet Psychiatry, Volume 3, Issue 9, 2016, Pages 871-881, ISSN 2215-0366.
Access Here

Utilizing Crisis Intervention Teams in Prison to Improve Officer Knowledge, Stigmatizing Attitudes, and Perception of Response Options. Canada, K. E., Watson, A. C., & O’kelley, S. (2021). Criminal Justice and Behavior48(1), 10–31.
Access Here

Crisis Intervention Certification Blog on Crisis Intervention and Arrests

With numerous police clashes with citizens it is becoming more apparent that there needs to better mental health crisis training.  Mentally ill individuals need to be apprehended but de-escalation and better trained officers and first responders are essential to the safety of these individuals during arrest.  Crisis Intervention and training is essential to prevent individuals who need medical help from receiving abuse from officers.  Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Certification

Crisis training is important during and after arrest in facilities for mentally ill. Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Certification


The article, “How to Connect People in Crisis to the Care They Need” by Julie Wertheimer looks closer at the issue at hand.  She looks at how better training and after care can help solve the nation’s biggest issues of police brutality as well as issues where mentally ill are left to roam the streets.  She states,

“Meanwhile, county jails and other correctional facilities are ill-equipped to handle the treatment needs of people with behavioral health issues, and incarceration can exacerbate certain mental health disorders. Yet jails are often filled with people whose mental health needs could be better supported elsewhere. A study of Los Angeles County jails, for instance, determined that more than 60% of their population with mental illnesses likely could have been better served by community programs, as opposed to incarceration.”

To read the entire article, please click here

Please also review AIHCP’s Crisis Intervention Certification and see if it meets your academic and professional goals.  The program is online and independent study and open to qualified professionals looking for a four year certification in Crisis Intervention.