What are the family therapy activities for conflict resolution?

The current blogspot will answer the question “what are family therapy activities for conflict resolution?”. It will be based on the topics managing conflict in a family (The 7 different ways), family education for conflict resolution, effective conflict resolution activities for family therapy and play and art therapy techniques for conflict resolution during family therapies.

Managing Conflict in Family (The 7 different ways)

Conflict in a family can be managed through the following ways:

  • Accommodation of another person’s desires by neglecting one’s own needs and satisfying the needs and desires of the other person or member of the family in order to preserve the peace and harmony among relationships.
  • Working in collaboration with each other towards a possible solution. All members of the family work towards a mutually agreed upon goal to gain mutual satisfaction.
  • The members of a family can collaborate to reach a mutually agreed upon resolution of the conflict so that all family members live in harmony.
  • Compromising partially with one’s own needs and assertively dealing with the conflict is another way towards resolution of  family conflict. 
  • Problem solving strategy strategy for conflict resolution within a family takes the member of the family to ponder over the possible reasons that gave birth to the conflict and work towards a solution considering the conflict as an opportunity for strengthening the relationship of the family.
  • Avoiding the importance of conflict in life is another way of conflict resolution. The wife, husband and children deny the existence of conflict and carry on with their routine lives.
  • Legalizing the conflict resolution through family courts or marital court along family therapy.

Family Education for Conflict Resolution:

The activities for family education for conflict resolution are:

  • Psychoeducation of the members of the family about rights of members of the family
  • Understanding the roles of members of the family
  • Understanding the rights of members of the family
  • Develop insight among the family members that they are the sole architects of family peace as well as family conflict
  • Normalize family conflict and get therapy for its resolution by discussing family life problems.

Activities for conflict resolution in family therapy

The activities for conflict resolution in family therapy are :

  • Stop the blame game, take conflict as a mutual area of concern rather than blaming it all on a single member of the family.
  • Focus on the problem instead of the person. Try not to lose calm during conflicts. Yelling and shouting only increases the negativity in relationships and never provides a solution to conflict.
  • Pay attention to your own and the other member’s non-verbal cues.
  • Use reflective listening. Practice frustration tolerance when resolving conflict. Provide a listening ear to the other person without interrupting. When the other member is done with explaining his idea then present your understanding of his idea.
  • Use “I” statements and try not to sound much defensive.
  • Try to use a collaborative approach for settling the dispute. Agree on some middle grounds that are acceptable to both the members of the parties.
  • Try to consider your own feelings about the conflict and also give importance to the concerns of the other member’s feelings. Resolve the conflict towards a win-win ground.
  • Understand your emotions when in conflict. Know when to take a timeout to relax. 
  • Sit in a calm place and consider yourself being the spectator of the conflict. This way, reflect upon your own and the other member’s side of the conflict.
  • Try to solve the problem by focusing on the solution strategy. Consider accommodation, collaboration, compromising or avoidance to overcome the conflict and enhance quality of living.
  • The magic ball technique of resolving a conflict can be utilized to overcome the family conflict by asking each member to look into the ball and foresee what must have happened that leads to the resolution of the conflict in future. Each member can then discuss the expected solution to the resolution and the family can collaborate mutually towards it.
  • The miracle question technique asks the members of the family if a miracle could solve their conflict, what that miracle would be? The family members hence understand the core of the problem and work towards its resolution.

Play and Art conflict resolution techniques for family therapy

The play and art techniques to be utilized during family therapy for conflict resolution are:

  • Family therapy can utilize play and art techniques to explore the underlying conflict and the role of each member of that family in causing and resolving that conflict. Animal names can be utilized to better explain and identify the role of family members.
  • Genogram activity can be used during family therapy to understand the quality of relationship among the members of the family. This can be further utilized to strengthen the interpersonal relations among members of the family.
  • The emotion ball technique can be utilized by the therapist. All the members of the family are made to sit in a circle. Small balls with smileys are passed in the circle. Each member has to share an incident when they felt the feeling along all the family members.
  • Creating a gift for the family activity is used during family therapy sessions to understand the inner working attributes of the family. The task is to create a gift with provided art material for the whole family. In the end, questions are asked to know the leader in the family and the decision maker in the family. Members are also asked to relate the activity to their family life.


The blogspot was based on the question “what are the family therapy activities for conflict resolution?”. We learned that family therapy utilizes accommodation, collaboration, compromise, avoidance, problem solving and legalization as strategies for conflict resolution. We also understood that psychoeducation of family members is also an effective way to resolve family conflict. Alongside various effective strategies like considering the problem, not blaming the person, using active listening techniques and certain significant play and art therapy techniques were also discussed as activities for conflict resolution in family therapy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the ways of resolving conflict in family?

The ways of resolving conflict in family are :
Focus on the problem
Avoid blaming
Stay calm
Manage your emotions
Don’t interrupt when the other member is speaking
Use active listening 
Focus on the solution

What are the five conflict resolution strategies?

The five conflict resolution strategies are :

What are the seven steps in conflict resolution?

The seven steps in conflict resolution are: 
Identify the issue
Understand other’s interests
Brainstorm the solution
Discuss and evaluate the solution
Narrow down the possible solution
Document the final solution
Enact the solution and discuss outcome

Why is it necessary to resolve a conflict?

It is necessary to resolve a conflict so that the family members can enjoy a peaceful and satisfied life. If a conflict goes unresolved it leads to disturbed interpersonal relations among members of the family. If members of the family keep dominating each other or escaping the conflict situation it leads to an emotional detour and gives rise to  anxiety among members of the family.


P. Greeff, Tanya De Bruyne, A. (2000). Conflict management style and marital satisfaction. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 26(4), 321-334.

Heitler, S. (2010). Combined individual/marital therapy: A conflict-resolution framework and ethical considerations. Retrieved from http://www.therapyhelp.com/225 

Wyatt, R. C. (2006). Susan Heitler on couples therapy. Retrieved from https://www.psychotherapy.net/interview/susan-heitler

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