High Conflict Institute was co-founded by Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq., and Megan L. Hunter, MBA, to provide education and resources to professionals handling High Conflict disputes, and to anyone involved in relationships of any kind with people who have High Conflict Personalities (HCPs). Michelle Jensen, MSW, JD, first joined HCI in 2009 as the Program Coordinator for various HCI projects. She returned in 2012 to work primarily with the New Ways for Families method, providing education and resources on high conflict disputes in family law settings. Trissan Dicomes is a Paralegal who worked with Bill Eddy in his Family Law Mediation endeavors and joined HCI staff as the BIFF Response Coordinator in 2013.
After years of working with High Conflict people (HCPs), we came to the conclusion that many disputes are not driven by complex issues, but by High Conflict Personalities. Based on Bill Eddy’s broad training in mental health, law and conflict resolution, he developed the High Conflict Personality Theory (the “HCP Theory”) and has been teaching the necessary skills for handling HCPs in a wide variety of settings: legal, workplace, healthcare, education, government, business, families and others. The BIFF Response project was launched in 2013 as a means of providing key skills in the setting of responding to and managing HCP’s communications, particularly those in writing.
HCPs become preoccupied with a target of blame—usually someone close to them (such as a spouse, relative, neighbor, co-worker) or someone in a position of authority (boss, doctor, administrator, government official). Managing HCPs involves using skills which are the opposite of what one feels like doing. Learning these skills takes time and practice, but can make an amazing difference in resolving, managing, and containing High Conflict disputes.
Our coaching, consulting, books, DVDs, videos, seminars and other trainings provide opportunities for anyone who needs guidance and support managing relationships with HCPs. We provide seminars and consultations upon request, as well as host our own seminars for general registration.
We are committed to changing the culture of conflict from one of all-or-nothing solutions, good and bad people, and shame and blame, to a culture of mutual empathy, attention and respect for all people while teaching new skills, assertively setting limits, and containing dangerous behavior.
Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, mediator and the President of High Conflict Institute. He developed the "High Conflict Personality" theory (HCP Theory) and has become an international expert on managing disputes involving high conflict personalities and personality disorders. He provides training on this subject to lawyers, judges, mediators, managers, human resource professionals, businesspersons, healthcare administrators, college administrators, homeowners’ association managers, ombudspersons, law enforcement, therapists and others. He has been a speaker and trainer in over 25 states, several provinces in Canada, Australia, France and Sweden.
As an attorney, Bill is a Certified Family Law Specialist in California and the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego. Prior to becoming an attorney in 1992, he was a Licensed Clinical Social worker with twelve years’ experience providing therapy to children, adults, couples and families in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics. He has taught Negotiation and Mediation at the University of San Diego School of Law for six years and he is on the part-time faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law and the National Judicial College. He is the author of numerous articles and several books, including:
- High Conflict People in Legal Disputes
- It’s All YOUR Fault! 12 Tips for Managing People Who Blame Others for Everything
- 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
He is also the developer of the “New Ways for Families” method of managing potentially high conflict families in and out of family court. He is currently developing a method for managing potentially high conflict employees titled “New Ways for Work.”
Megan Hunter is the co-founder of High Conflict Institute. She developed the concept of the Institute after 13 years in family law as the Family Law Specialist with the Arizona Supreme Court, Administrative Office of the Courts and Child Support Manager of the Dawes County Attorney’s Office in Nebraska.
Her family law experience includes policy formation, research and program development regarding court procedures, child support protocols and parent education programs, as well as developing expertise regarding international child custody disputes. As staff to the Arizona Legislature’s Domestic Relations and Child Support Committee she gained a broad understanding of the issues facing both families and professionals in family law.
Megan has provided speaking and training regarding family law and managing high conflict people to a wide variety of audiences across the United States, as well as in Canada and Australia. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor’s of Business and Economics from Chadron State College, Chadron, Nebraska. She served as President of the Arizona Chapter of the Association of Family & Conciliation Courts, the Arizona Family Support Council and Nebraska Child Support Enforcement Association and served on a federal task force that designed a strategic plan for judicial and child support enforcement collaboration. She is a public member of the Arizona Board of Psychologist Examiners and was honored with the 2006 “Friend of Psychology” Award from the Arizona Association of Psychologists. She has training in general and family mediation.
Trissan Dicomes is the Coordinator of the BIFF Response Project, an offshoot of the High Conflict Institute’s teachings, and an integral part thereof. Trissan earned an Associates of Paralegal Science degree and has over 20 years’ experience in Civil Litigation, Probate Law and Family Law Mediation.
Before joining HCI in 2013, Trissan utilized her litigation skills at several law offices in Washington and California, and in 2005, she discovered her passion for mediation and dispute resolution at the National Conflict Resolution Center (NCRC) in San Diego, CA. Trissan worked closely with Bill Eddy and NCRC mediators and trainers for 8 years, absorbing and applying resolution skills while she managed a large caseload of predominantly high-conflict divorce mediations and parties. Trissan also helped develop divorce educational materials and programs and managed the organization’s IT needs.As the BIFF Response Coordinator, Trissan directs the project as well as coaches groups and individuals in learning new skills to use when communications from High-Conflict people or situations come into play.
Michelle is the Program Director for New Ways for Families™, a project of High Conflict Institute. Michelle is a graduate of California Western School of Law, where she focused her legal education on child and family law. She received her Master of Social Work from San Diego State University.
Prior to joining High Conflict Institute, Michelle spent several years working with programs dedicated to providing support and resources to strengthen families, specifically in the context of domestic violence, adoption, and the child welfare system. Michelle also interned with Bill Eddy at the National Conflict Resolution Center, in San Diego, where she developed conflict resolution skills and techniques for handling high conflict family law disputes. Michelle has been working with Bill Eddy in various positions since 2008.
As Program Director for New Ways for Families, Michelle assists legal and mental health professionals in implementing the New Ways method in their family court system and/or community counseling organization.