What is causing “the perceived injurious experience”?

The Circle of Conflict
Fig. 1

What is causing the “the perceived injurious” experience? What drives conflict? How does each party in conflict get their needs met? Read this excerpt from our Introduction to Family Law course for more insights.


  • Relationship-based conflicts: fuelled by misperceptions, stereotypes, negative conduct, ineffective communication, historical experiences, etc.
  • Value-based conflicts: caused by different ways of living or upbringing, different cultures, religions, or ideologies, resulting in different criteria for evaluating and responding to events.
  • Data or information-based conflicts: caused by an absence of information, different access to it or unequal distribution of it; and/or different evaluations or interpretations of it.
  • Structural or resource-based conflicts: resulting from different access to, distribution of or control over resources such as time or money, geographical constraints, physical differences or organizational structures.
  • Externally-driven conflicts: result from caused by factors beyond anyone’s control, not necessarily acknowledged or voiced.
  • Interest-focused conflicts: driven by goals, fears, wants, hopes that are either different but compatible or directly in conflict either because they are identical or irreconcilable.

Hilary Linton is a Toronto lawyer whose practice is restricted to providing mediation, arbitration, teaching and consulting services. She has used her years of experience to launch her ADR business, Riverdale Mediation, which specializes in family mediation and arbitration, teaching mediation and negotiation theory and skills, and private training and consulting for corporations, government and individuals.

About Hilary Linton

Hilary Linton is a Toronto lawyer, mediator, arbitrator and teacher. After litigating family and civil disputes for 14 years, she started Riverdale Mediation which is internationally recognized for high quality dispute resolution services and innovative ADR training. Teaching hundreds of adults every year, Hilary and her team at Riverdale have designed a wide range of courses. Hilary has been honoured with the inaugural James G. McLeod Professorship in Family Law at Western University Law School, and the Ontario Bar Association Award of Excellence in ADR in 2014. She has taught many ADR courses as an adjunct professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, Western Law and Toronto Advanced Professional Education.

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