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Advanced Dispute Resolution

Resolve disputes by understanding conflict

At face-value, many of the disputes we encounter appear to have quite simple solutions, so why can they be so difficult to resolve?

Disputes can be small or large, simple or complex. What we know is that any type of dispute can be difficult to resolve, and even if resolved, we may be left feeling dissatisfied, wanting to appeal the decision, or find that a new dispute is arising in its place. Disputes resolved via an understanding of the inter-personal conflict that sits below the surface appear less susceptible to these issues.

This course harnesses the learnings from current neuro-psychological research, permitting a peek into the minds of people in dispute. Whether it is a dispute we find ourselves in, or a dispute we have been tasked with resolving, access to a framework that allows us to attempt to decode the conflict behaviours generating and perpetuating the dispute is a critical first step. Participants will be presented with accessible explanations of the mental processes that motivate common conflict behaviours, which tend to obstruct constructive negotiations, such as demands for action or evidence, stone-walling or black-and-white thinking, an unwillingness to perspective-take, and discussions that seem to be disingenuous or to be going in circles.

Once pertinent conflict behaviours have been considered, the research indicates a range of theoretically-derived interventions that seek to reduce emotional arousal and improve understanding. In turn, this can assist in reducing rigidity and increasing the possibility that constructive negotiations can take place. Participants will be presented with a range of accessible tools that can be employed as appropriate.


Conflict is natural and is a part of all of our lives. This course will benefit anyone who works in dispute resolution, works in or with conflict, or has an interest in gaining a better understanding of their own conflict behaviours and those of others.

Learning Outcomes

• Disputes: A fair and satisfactory resolution
• An introduction to understanding the mind in conflict
• Practical skill: Decoding conflict behaviours
• An introduction to indicated interventions for conflict behaviours
• Practical skill: Employing indicated interventions.

ABOUT THE facilitator

Dr Darren Moroney

B.Psych, PhD (Counselling Psychology)

Darren is a registered psychologist, academic, and nationally accredited mediator.

Currently based in the Mediation Clinic in the University of Western Australia’s Law School, Darren conducts conflict resolution processes across a range of matters and contexts, including workplace and HR, family, and Court-referred Restraining Order matters. He conducts mediations across WA and VIC.

Darren is also a trainer for UWA’s professional National Mediation Accreditation System (NMAS) course and has provided training and consultation to numerous businesses, organisations, and departments, including the Corruption and Crime Commission, WA Police, Australian Federal Police, WA Children’s Court, State Administrative Tribunal, Aboriginal Mediation Service, DMIRS, WA Department of Education, Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators (AIFLAM), and Anglicare WA.
As a psychologist, Darren utilises a mentalizing-based approach to assist clients with a range of relational and mental health challenges. As an academic, Darren has taught in and conducted research for, the UWA Law School and Curtin University’s Psychology program.

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