On a daily basis, advisors encounter various types of interpersonal and intrapersonal conflict. Through this article, the reader will better understand conflict, its positive and negative impacts and the approaches of the actors experiencing conflict, and the means whereby conflicts arise, escalate, and come to resolution in advising situations. Particular emphasis is placed on describing the neurology of conflict escalation and de-escalation. Practical tips for seeking resolution in stressful encounters with students are included within the discussion of de-escalation processes.

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Author notes

Jeffrey L. McClellan is a career and academic counselor, Acting Director of Academic Support, and Assistant Director of the Career and Academic Counseling Center at Utah Valley State College. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in leadership studies. Mr. McClellan can be reached at mcclelje@uvsc.edu.