Noon luncheon meetings are held on the first two Tuesdays of each month, at Charlie Brown's Steakhouse in Chatham Township. Breakfast meetings are held at 8:00 AM on the last two or three Tuesdays of each month. Breakfast meetings are held at Charlie Brown’s Steakhouse in Chatham Township. Guests are always welcomed to attend our Tuesday meetings. COME JOIN US


January 11 Program: “Conflict Resolution” presented by Mary E. Barrett and Tim Barrett, Individual and Family Counseling

Mary E. Barrett and Tim Barrett, who do Individual and Family Counseling, were introduced by David Lloyd. They then described their education and experience. They are now in private practice. They also teach conflict resolution at Drew University. Much of the talk dealt with how the couple helps organizations deal with conflict.

Mary E. Barrett, David Lloyd and Tim Barrett
The talk addressed how individuals interact with communities (including organizations, families, etc.) that they are a part of. Individuals are all different and sometimes that leads to conflict in an organization made up of many individuals. People are happier if they are connected to and participate in communities. However, participation is in decline. A recommended book on this subject is “Bowling Alone” by Robert Putnam (click here to learn more about the book). Both individuals and communities are better off if there is more participation. There is reciprocity when groups of people interact in communities and help each other. A strong community can better deal with difficult problems that come up from time-to-time.

Family therapy techniques can be applied to conflicts in groups, organizations and institutions. Mary and Tim work primarily with religious institutions, which sometimes get in conflict. The approach is to hold an all-day retreat and to reframe the issues. The leaders of the church are asked, “Why are you still here?” Participants then tell stories about the good things that happened over the years. They see that in spite of the conflicts, the organization still has deep meaning to them. Next, the group is asked what is wrong with the organization (no finger-pointing allowed). Many problems are identified. Then the group works together to pick the top 10 problems. At the end of the day, the group realizes that they are all “in it” together and they are ready to work things out. One of the issues in organizations is how people communicate when there are differences of opinion. Mary and Tim train participants to communicate about the differences in a positive way. The differences should not become a win-lose situation.

Mary and Tim will continue this program at the January 25th breakfast meeting. 

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