A couple is arguing beside their children.

Keeping the peace during conflict

During his counselling sessions, Martin Krautschneider often deals with clients who seek his help due to ongoing conflicts and disputes.

“During conflicts people often lose their grip on the facts: their emotional and temperamental side takes centre stage.” Passion where there is a difference of opinion plays a key role with people with whom you have a particularly close relationship. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s your partner, your daughter or your son – the negative feelings can go so far that you want to choke, kill or hit them out of anger – of course just figuratively,” says Krautschneider.

His recommendation is that you have to let these ideas and internal impulses be, because you can’t suppress them in the moment anyway. The professional recommends turning this anger into something creative, getting out of the situation and getting some distance. “Meditate, go running... whatever works for you. Or contact a friend to share your anger and your suffering.”

You could also use this time to try to look at the dispute from an outside perspective: “you might find something funny about the argument. Think of the situation as a play – maybe you can even internally applaud the actors!”

Fundamentally, Krautschneider recommends addressing irritation in a relationship (not just a couple) as early as possible: “find out why the other person is thinking or acting like that. What's it about? What trigger is responsible for these actions?”

The counsellor also talks about the fact that you could try to enjoy the pain – it is unusual, but a helpful option for some people.

If you would like a counselling session on this topic, contact one of the Austrian family counselling centres. You can arrange a free appointment at any time.

Our interview parnter

Martin Krautschneider is a Social Worker and Psychotherapist working at the Familienberatung Am Schöpfwerk family counselling centre in Vienna.

Familienberatung Am Schöpfwerk
Am Schöpfwerk 29 / 14
1120 Wien

The interview was conducted in June 2022.

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