top of page

Conflict Resolution: Utilizing the Collusion Diagram

two people in a collusion

Recovery is not a destination; it’s a lifelong journey marked by peaks and valleys, progressions and setbacks. For those in the recovery community, be it from addiction, mental health challenges, or life's numerous adversities, every day presents an opportunity for growth or a test of the spirit, mostly from within.

In this profound trek toward a healthier and more authentic existence, concepts like the Arbinger Approach offer a compass, guiding individuals toward a deeper understanding of their justifications, resentments, and internal collusions. Weaving the threads of psychology, personal accountability, and empathy, this approach doesn't just map the course, it also underscores pivotal tools for getting there – tools we can all adopt and adapt in our own personal odysseys.

The Arbinger Approach: A Beacon in Recovery and Mental Health

Grounded in the belief that the most profound changes in people's lives occur not through learning new information, but through repurposing how they see and understand the world, the Arbinger Approach is more than just a theory – it's been a profound pivot for numerous recovery journeys. With its bedrock of shared human experience, it acknowledges the complexity of justifications and the power of accountability.

At its heart, the Arbinger Approach reminds us that we are often the architects of our own sufferings and that acknowledging the tangled web of justifications can unravel seemingly inescapable patterns. This is especially true in the recovery and mental health realms, where untethered resentments and solidified justifications can act as anchors holding us back from progress and peace.

Understanding Collusion in the Context of Recovery

A collusion, within the framework of the Arbinger Approach, is essentially a cycle of blame and justification that individuals find themselves caught in, often subconsciously. It represents a form of mutual deception where individuals or groups reinforce each other's distorted perspectives, not recognizing their role in the problem or the dynamic. This cycle can manifest in various ways, whether it's blaming others for one's problems, justifying harmful behavior, or even seeing oneself as the sole victim in every circumstance. In the context of recovery and mental health, recognizing and addressing collusion is vital. It's about acknowledging that while we may not have control over every aspect of our lives, we do have the agency to change how we respond to and perceive our experiences. Breaking free from these cycles means moving towards honesty, accountability, and a willingness to see beyond our own narrow perspective.

Justifications and Resentments: Breaking Down Internal Collusions

When we're in the throes of justifying our actions or feelings, we engage in a process of self-deception that not only creates distance between us and our reality but can also strain our relationships and mental well-being. Resentments, on the other hand, are often silent architects, shaping our thoughts and actions in ways that can be incredibly detrimental to our recovery.

Enter the Collusion Diagram – a visual representation of justifications and resentments in action. The Collusion Diagram isn't just a tool; it's a mirror, reflecting the crisscrossing lines of alliances we form with our justifications and resentments. By defining these alliances and shedding light on the destructive patterns they engender, individuals can begin to disentangle from the internal collusions that hinder their path to recovery.

Collusion diagram

Practical Applications of the Arbinger Approach in Recovery

An approach as profound as the Arbinger Approach isn't just an ivory tower philosophy but a set of principles that can be effectively applied in real-life situations. Its guiding light nurtures a community not of mere allies, but of people committed to collective healing through self-awareness and empathy.

Consider the recovering alcoholic who, in applying Arbinger principles, takes stock of not only their relationship with alcohol but also the justifications they've woven around their consumption. Or the individual battling with depression, who, through the Arbinger lens, examines the resentments anchoring their despair, and begins to sculpt a healthier worldview. These are tangible shifts, each representing a significant step toward the light of recovery.

The Power of Solution-Based Problem Solving

In recovery, acknowledging a problem is only the first step. The Arbinger Approach calls individuals to the next level – toward solution-based problem solving. This is a critical exploration into accountability, asking individuals to not merely see their role in problems but also to envision and execute solutions.

Consider the addict striving toward sobriety who, with the Arbinger Approach, crafts a roadmap toward recovery by systematically dismantling the justifications that led to substance abuse. Or the person navigating the waters of anxiety and employs solution-based problem solving to address and dissipate their resentments. These are not overnight fixes but calibrated responses, each reinforcing the individual's role in their recovery narrative.

Implementing the Arbinger Method Approach and Collusion Diagram in Personal Recovery

two people resolving a conflict through empathy

For many, the notion of untangling the complex webs of justifications and resentments seems Herculean. Yet, the very foundation of the Arbinger Approach is one of progression, not perfection. With each application, individuals peel back layers, edging closer to their authentic selves and a life unencumbered by internal collusions.

Steps Toward a Healthier Recovery

Implementing the Arbinger Approach's Collusion Diagram is a distinctly personal process, but there are universally applicable steps that can nudge the wheel of change forward. First, comes recognition of the justifications and resentments at play. Then, a commitment to take responsibility for one's role in those constructs, followed by a concerted effort to redefine relationships, be they with substances, behaviors, or our own minds.

In the accompaniment of a supportive community, each milestone achieved brings new insights and fuels the engine of recovery. Whether it's the addict stepping boldly into sobriety, the person with PTSD learning to quiet their internal wars, or the depressive mind fostering a more empathetic outlook, the application of the Arbinger Approach reshapes not just individual recoveries but the broader landscape of mental health.

The Collusion Diagram in Action

To envision the Collusion Diagram in action is to gaze upon an intricate framework of justifications and resentments, each line a lifeline of sorts. By mapping these alliances, individuals can identify the 'players' in their personal dramas – substances, personas, traumas – and begin to shift the script. The diagram becomes a malleable representation of their recovery, one that can be scrutinized and altered as growth dictates.

From group therapy sessions to personal reflections, the power of the Collusion Diagram is in its tangibility – it takes unseen forces and provides a visible map to the internal landscape. It's a tool for the individual on a quest for self-examination and a touchstone for those walking alongside them in their recovery.

Arbinger as An Ongoing Lighthouse

guiding lighthouse in distance

The Arbinger Approach and the Collusion Diagram are but two facets of a multi-faceted jewel, the gem being the endurance and adaptability they afford those in recovery. They are lenses through which to view the world, and concurrently, insulation against relapse and stagnation. In cultivating a culture of empathy and self-reflection, they stand as formidable allies in the recovery arena.

Navigating the Future of Recovery and Mental Health

For those who share in the recovery journey, integrating the Arbinger Approach and the colliding intricacies of the Collusion Diagram isn't just prudent; it's a pivotal step toward a more enduring and vibrant recovery. In understanding and altering our internal collusions, we carve out spaces for new narratives, ones of strength and resilience, empathy and authentic self.

These aren't just frameworks for recovery; they are foundations for a future in which mental health is destigmatized and recovery is a beacon not of shame, but of valor. The Arbinger Approach and the Collusion Diagram open doors to a recovery culture predicated not on mere survival, but on thriving – on reclaiming lives rich with meaning, purpose, and a deeply-rooted understanding of the self.

In closing, the Arbinger Approach, as implemented through the Collusion Diagram, isn't a final solution nor a magical elixir; rather, it's a series of guideposts along a lifelong trek we call recovery. It underscores the potency of looking inward, of acknowledging our own roles in our recoveries, and ultimately, it offers a path to building that most elusive of recoveries – the recovery of the self.


References and Further Reading

For those interested in deepening their understanding of the Arbinger Approach and the application of the Collusion Diagram in personal recovery, the following resources provide comprehensive insight and elaboration:

  • "The Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict" by The Arbinger Institute. This book lays the foundational principles of the Arbinger Approach, offering readers a profound look into resolving internal and external conflicts.

  • "Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting Out of the Box" by The Arbinger Institute. This work explores the concept of self-deception and its impact on leadership, personal relationships, and recovery processes.

  • Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2013). "Motivational Interviewing: Helping People Change" (3rd ed.). Guilford Press. Though not directly related to the Arbinger Approach, this book provides insights into motivational psychology and its relevance to recovering addicts’ self-examination and change processes.

  • Johnson, S. M. (2019). "Attachment Theory in Practice: EFT with Individuals, Couples, and Families." The Guilford Press. Examines the role of attachment in the formation of justifications and resentments within personal relationships, offering a complementary perspective to the Arbinger Approach.

  • Arbinger Institute. (n.d.). "Implementing the Arbinger Approach: Tools and Resources." Retrieved from [Arbinger Institute’s official website]( A wealth of resources including tools, worksheets, and guides for those looking to implement Arbinger principles in their recovery or personal growth journeys.

These sources not only enrich the reader’s understanding of the Arbinger Approach and its applications but also serve as a guide for those seeking to transform their lives through introspective self-examination and change.

Justifying our actions, harboring resentments, and engaging in collusions can impede progress in recovery, perpetuating harmful patterns and inhibiting personal growth.
Chateau Health & Wellness is dedicated to supporting individuals in their battle against addiction, employing The Abringer method to foster accountability and cultivate a more effective mindset among clients, leading to lasting positive change.
To learn more, call (435) 222-5225 today

about chateau

get in touch

recent posts

bottom of page