There are interesting scientific findings in high conflict, brain chemistry and ability to problem solve and engage in self control.

Based on the results of research by Teicher and several other scientists, they found that the corpus callosum for abused boys actually had a significantly smaller middle part, especially if they had been neglected. The corpus callosum for abused girls also had a significantly smaller middle part, especially if they had been sexually abused. Scientists found that the stress of any type of abuse, including repeated verbal and emotional abuse, could have a harmful impact. This could lead to long-term inability to manage emotions and relationships.

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Teicher (2002) explains the effect of this damage to the bridge between hemispheres:

Reduced integration between the right and left hemispheres and a smaller corpus callosum may predispose these patients to shift abruptly from left- to right-dominated states with very different emotional perceptions and memories. Such polarized hemispheric dominance could cause a person to see friends, family and co-workers in an overly positive way in one state and in a resoundingly negative way in another – which is the hallmark of the disorder.

The result of this research is that there may actually be a physical barrier to self-awareness, self-control, and problem-solving for many high-conflict parents. This doesn’t mean that all were abused growing up, but they may not have developed these skills sufficiently.

The good news is that counseling and training that emphasize learning skills appear to help some people overcome these problems.


About Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq

Bill Eddy is a lawyer, therapist, mediator and the President of High Conflict Institute. He developed the "High Conflict Personality" theory (HCP Theory) and has become an international expert on managing disputes involving high conflict personalities and personality disorders. He provides training on this subject to lawyers, judges, mediators, managers, human resource professionals, businesspersons, healthcare administrators, college administrators, homeowners’ association managers, ombudspersons, law enforcement, therapists and others. He has been a speaker and trainer in over 25 states, several provinces in Canada, Australia, France and Sweden.

As an attorney, Bill is a Certified Family Law Specialist in California and the Senior Family Mediator at the National Conflict Resolution Center in San Diego. Prior to becoming an attorney in 1992, he was a Licensed Clinical Social worker with twelve years’ experience providing therapy to children, adults, couples and families in psychiatric hospitals and outpatient clinics. He has taught Negotiation and Mediation at the University of San Diego School of Law for six years and he is on the part-time faculty of the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law and the National Judicial College.

He is the author of numerous articles and several books.

Areas of Expertise: Mediation, Family Law, Workplace, Judicial Officers, Court Systems, Governmental Entities, Mental Health Professionals, New Ways for Families.

To view his book, “BIFF: Quick Responses to High-Conflict People,” visit this link:

To view his book, “Don’t Alienate the Kids!” Visit this site: