By Barry K. Weinhold and Janae B. Weinhold About Our Book The Partnership Way is the culmination of a dozen years of research and teaching that we conducted between 1986 and 1998. It began during Barry’s six month sabbatical that we spent living in a small town near Zurich, Switzerland. While we went there to study Process Oriented Psychology with Dr. Arnold Mindell, the crystalizing part of this experience was getting nuked by fallout from the Chernobyl disaster. We unknowingly walked the streets of Zurich in the three days following the explosion before the then USSR announced the explosion and the dangerous situation it created.
As our training group processed this cold-war experience together, we saw first-hand what happened when international “neighbors” didn’t speak to each other. This event felt so overwhelming to us and stirred many deep feelings . . . anger, sadness, hopelessness and powerlessness. We were faced with a choice of either becoming depressed and cynical, or doing something proactive. Ultimately, we decided that we could either be part of the problem or part of the solution. Before leaving Switzerland, we decided to organize a week-long international conference on conflict resolution that featured Arny Mindell as one of the presenters. After our return to Colorado Springs, we established our own nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, The Colorado Institute for Conflict Resolution & Creative Leadership.
Through it we organized two international conferences on conflict resolution, both of which featured Arny as a presenter. These two events brought together many of the leading edge thinkers and doers in the field of conflict resolution. The information and experiences we gathered from these two conferences, plus our training with Arny, gave us an overview of the field of conflict resolution. We looked at different models of resolving conflict–what worked well, what didn’t work so effectively and, most importantly, what was missing in the field. There seemed to be a number of effective approaches for resolving conflicts of wants and needs, but very little available for resolving highly emotional conflicts involving values and beliefs. And we couldn’t find any approaches for resolving intractable conflicts. This analysis gave us direction for our many years of research on conflict resolution, much of which came through the two of us learning how to resolve our couple conflicts and co-teaching a graduate level course on conflict resolution strategies at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs.
Through our constructivist, experiential approach in which we joined our students as co-learners, we gradually developed our Partnership Way approach and created specific tools for resolving different kinds of conflicts. By the end of 1998, we began consolidating all of this material into the 2000 edition of Conflict Resolution: The Partnership Way. The Partnership Way provides practical, proven tools for resolving conflicts of wants and needs, values and beliefs and conflicts involving deep or repressed feelings. In addition, it helps people find the developmental sources that cause intractable conflicts so that they can resolve these conflicts at their source. The Partnership Way contains many written exercises and self-inventories to help you identify your personal style of conflict resolution and hidden or unresolved conflicts or traumas. It has many simple processes to use in resolving a conflict at its source by healing the developmental trauma associated with it. For a more complete analysis of our book, go to the Book Reviews link.
The Weinholds present a comprehensive procedure to resolve disputes between individuals, groups, and organizations. They provide innovative tools that get right to the core of the conflict via identifying and resolving developmental traumas. This step-by-step guide takes the reader through the process of resolving impasses and creating partnership agreements. I have used the “Partnership Way” conflict resolution techniques that the Weinholds have developed in my clinical practice and have witnessed amazing results. The tools that the authors illustrate allow individuals to take responsibility for themselves and to make appropriate changes in their lives to create long-lasting collaborative relationships. -Diann Fury MA