Book Review: High Conflict People In Legal Disputes By Bill Eddy, LCSW, ESQ

high conflict peopleThe same person who suggested I read A New Way to Win by Tobias Desjardins also suggested I read High Conflict People in Legal Disputes by Bill Eddy, LCSW, ESQ, and I have to say that this book really helped me through some of the things I am going through.

This particular book is geared toward the professionals, such as counselors, attorneys, judges, etc. and how to identify and work with (or let go of) high conflict people in the best way possible, and knowing when to let go of clients with this type of personality. Eddy goes into depth about the DSM-IV-TR Cluster B personality disorders: Borderline, Narcissistic, Antisocial, and Histrionic. Most individuals with high conflict personality disorders have one or more (typically more) of these personality disorders. While I had studied these specific personality disorders while studying my psychology degree, since I don’t deal with personality disorders on a regular basis, this was a great refresher for me.

Individuals with these personality disorders tend to have specific cognitive distortions, which the individual truly believes is true, even though it is his or her made up reality.

I found the information in this book quite useful for my situation, especially since it describes who and how someone may become a target for an individual with one of these personality disorders. It also describes exactly how I have felt as a target and how I should deal with the situation with pretty specific advice.

I also found it useful to understand how someone with cognitive distortions thinks, feels, and to learn why they do the things they do. This helps me understand how to handle specific situations both in person and through documentation to other professionals (i.e. investigators, law enforcement, and judges). It also helped me to brace myself for the worst possible outcome for my situation; however, because of the information and tips presented in this book, I was able to present myself and my evidence in a way that was beneficial to my side.

Many times, someone with these types of personality disorders have had them since a very young age, and without proper (and specific) treatment, these disorders will:

  • Rule their lives
  • Continue them down the self-destructive path
  • Maintain and increase interpersonal conflict, unreliability of dramatic mood swings, and instability in all aspects of the individual’s life
  • Create preoccupation with cognitive distortions and delusions

Each personality disorder will result in different fundamental faults and difficulties with each area of the person’s life. However, when an individual has all four of these disorders, it really is a recipe for disaster for them and anyone around them because everyone will be affected.

If you are a professional, if you believe you have been targeted by someone and drug into a legal dispute, if you believe you may be in a relationship (or have a relationship with), or you are just looking for additional information about these personality disorders, I highly recommend reading this book as it is very insightful, informative, and it is an easy read (even if you aren’t a professional in one of these areas that requires a contract-reading-comprehension level).

To read more about Eddy, or to read more written by him, you can visit his site.

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