Conflict Management

Discover different counselling styles for managing conflicts and crucial skills for aiding negotiations between disputing individuals or parties. Determine best practices for mediation and facilitation and how to deal with power imbalances.

Course CodeBPS201
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn How to Manage and Resolve Conflicts

It takes someone with strength of character, awareness, and sensitivity to the needs of different people to manage conflicts. You also need a solid foundation in conflict management theory. This is a course designed to help you be that person. It will assist counsellors, mediators and other professionals to examine conflicts and help those involved to reach agreements.

Conflicts occur when there is perceived or actual opposition to our interests, needs or values. It is a state of disharmony. Conflicts may arise in many different areas of life such as within or between groups, between two individuals, or between and individual and an organisation. Conflict can also occur in response to frustration when goals or needs are not met, from power struggles, due to cultural differences, due to differences in values or opinions, because or perceived roles, and so forth.

Conflict is often viewed as negative because it polarises opinion, deflates morale and can culminate in violence. However, it can also be positive when it encourages people to become more involved in important issues, clarifies differences of opinion and results in individual growth or group cohesiveness.

In fact, conflict is a natural part of everyday life. Without it we would not challenge each other to do better. Often, it is not the conflict that is the problem but failure to deal with it effectively which has negative consequences for relationships.

The most valuable aspect of conflict is the energy that it generates. Conflict management is not an attempt to suppress this energy, but to use it constructively by transforming it into creative and productive dialogue. Conflict is easier to manage if it is seen as inevitable but not necessarily destructive, and as a problem to be solved rather than a battle to be won.

The course teaches students to work through different types of conflict to encourage people to make better choices.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. Conflict Management and Anger
  2. Listening
  3. Negotiation
  4. Mediation
  5. Facilitation
  6. Balance of Power
  7. Discussion and Group Work
  8. Crisis Analysis and Responses

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Describe the nature of human conflict and ways to manage it.
  • Explain the importance of listening when dealing with conflict situations, and appreciate different listening techniques.
  • Define negotiation and discuss the process of negotiation
  • Define mediation and discuss the process of mediation
  • Define facilitation and discuss the process of facilitation
  • Discuss problems that may arise through negotiation, in particular, balance of power and its connotations
  • Explain the importance of working in groups as a means of learning how to deal with group conflicts
  • Explain ways of understanding and dealing with different types of crisis.

What You Will Do

  • Review five conflict handling styles
  • Look at methods for dealing with anger
  • Find out how to control listening and traps listeners experience
  • Understand empathic listening
  • Look at negotiation between a community and establishment
  • Make practical suggestions for negotiation
  • Identify responsibilities of a mediator, mediation processes, agreements, team work, and settling behaviours
  • Review factors influencing the balance of power
  • Consider the use of role play
  • Determine how to conduct structured experiences in small groups

Anger can Cause Conflict

Lots of different things can cause conflict. Anger is one of them.

Anger is often portrayed as a negative emotion, but it is not always the case. Anger is our how our body responds when we feel threatened. If we are genuinely under threat or someone else is under threat, we may feel the need to protect them. Our anger gets our body ready to do that. Anger helps us to escape from violent situations. It is seen as part of the body’s fight or flight response.

But sometimes people have a learned tendency to react with anger.  Or they may react with anger at perceived provocations, rather than real provocations.  The stereotypical idea of this is people who become angry because they think another person is looking at them in the wrong way or they pushed them on purpose or they think they are saying something about them. All of these things may not be real situations, but if the person perceives them as a threat, they may react with violence. All of us get angry at times, but how we control that anger will differ. DeFoore describes anger as a pressure cooker, we can only stop that anger for a certain amount of time until it explodes. Some people may be able to control their anger for a lot longer than others.

Anger causes physical responses, such as –

  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Higher levels of adrenaline and noradrenaline 

But it also has other physical impacts, such as –

  • Changes in our facial expressions
  • Changes in body language – for example, in humans, they may make louder noises, try to look physically larger, stare, bare their teeth and so on.  

These changes are designed to warn potential aggressors to stop their violent behaviour. So if a man is angry and stares, bares his teeth, stands up straight and shouts, it is a warning to another person that they should stop their aggression. Of course, this may work. But if the other person is also angry, it can intensify the anger in the situation and lead to violence.  

Anger can cause a loss of “self-monitoring” – the ability for people to be objective and think about what they are doing. This can lead them to not realise that they are acting inappropriately.  

So, anger is a normal emotion which can help us to survive but uncontrolled anger can have a negative effect on a person’s social and personal wellbeing. But many psychologists argue that suppressing our anger can also be harmful. 


You can do better than Learning by Rote

  • DON'T CHOOSE TO LEARN BY ROTE! Education is not just about temporarily absorbing facts then regurgitating them during an exam, only to forget them months later. It is about changing the way you think. ACS is NOT assessment based. Our courses are structured to teach you how to improve your thought processes, which you will apply over a lifetime, not just a semester.

  • With ACS, you are taught by people who are active in industry. If you want to learn Psychology, learn from someone who has sat in the Therapist's chair. If you want to learn writing, learn from a widely published author. This is what we offer you at ACS. Many lecturers and tutors have spent a lifetime within that institution. Our tutors are university educated, but work out there in industry.

  • Our courses are flexible enough to incorporate a student's own experience; it is personalised, therefore remaining with the student long after the award has been received - Agriculture students report on their findings at a farm; psychology students work through long misunderstood emotional situations in their lives. This is how a student actually EXPERIENCES the learning, rather than simply learning by Rote.

People Who Can Benefit From Studying This Course

Conflicts can occur in a range of situations from home life to work, and on a broader scale between countries. If they are not resolved they result in increased tension and sometimes that tension overflows resulting in injury or harm. There is always a need for people who are able to diffuse conflict situations and this course equips students with techniques and strategies to do just this. Conflict management is an important skill for counsellors and therapists but one that can also be applied into other areas of work.

This course is aimed at those working in, or aiming to work in:    

  • Counselling
  • Psychotherapy
  • Psychology
  • Mediation
  • Marriage guidance
  • Council positions
  • Police
  • Security
  • Correctional services




ACS is an Organisational Member of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning
ACS is an Organisational Member of the Institute of Training and Occupational Learning

ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association
ACS is a Member of the Complementary Medicine Association

Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network
Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council
ACS is recognised by the International Accreditation and Recognition Council

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Miriam ter Borg

Youth Worker, Tutor, Author and Natural Therapist. Miriam was previously an Outdoor Pursuits Instructor, Youth Worker, Surfing College Program Coordinator, Massage Therapist, Business Owner/Manager. Miriam's qualifications include B.Sc.(Psych), DipRem.M
Kate Gibson

Kate has 12 years experience as a marketing advisor and experience as a project manager. Kate has traveled and worked in a variety of locations including London, New Zealand and Australia. Kate has a B.Soc.Sc, Post-Grad. Dip. Org Behaviour (HR).
Gavin Cole

Psychologist, Educator, Author, Psychotherapist. B.Sc., Psych.Cert., M. Psych. Cert.Garden Design, MACA Gavin has over 25 years of experience in psychology, in both Australia and England. He has co-authored several psychology text books and many course
Tracey Jones

B.Sc. (Psych), M.Soc.Sc., Dip.Social Work, P.G.Dip Learning Disability, Cert Editing, Cert Creative Writing, PGCE. Member British Psychological Society, Member Assoc. for Coaching, Member British Learning Assoc. 25 years industry experience in writing,