Dealing with conflict
by Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
Emotional conflict is one of the most significant problems that most traders (or people) have to deal
with in their lives. Yet explaining what it is or how it occurs is not easy. What follows is an interview
with a trader who went through a major improvement in his trading and life as a result of conflict
Although the exercise had taken place almost five months prior to this interview, when he actually
described the conflict he relived it again. As a result, I've made few notes about his language patterns and
this behavior to illustrate what was going on during the narration. Most of what happens is
self-explanatory, so I have kept my comments to a minimum. This trader's experience illustrates common
symptoms of conflicts, the nature of the conflict, the resolution of the conflict and the dramatic results of
The trader agreed to do this interview because he wanted to help other traders understand themselves
better. In addition, he also believes that some of the insights he gained after going through the process are
important to share with fellow traders. For the reasons alluded to in the narration, he wishes to remain
anonymous. I am extremely grateful to him for this contribution.