Couples Therapy for Domestic Violence: Finding Safe Solutions

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Up to 65% of couples who seek therapy for marital problems have had at least one violent episode. Unfortunately, therapists often miss this information because they do not effectively assess for it. This book presents a safety-focused approach to assessment and treatment of couples who choose to remain together after one or both partners have been violent. Since 1997 the authors have been conducting Domestic Violence Focused Couples Treatment (DVFCT), collecting data, and refining the program with the goal of helping couples eliminate all forms of violence and begin on a positive path toward their vision of a healthy relationship.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Ileana Ungureanu, MD, PhD (Adler School of Professional Psychology)
Description: This much needed book in the field of couple and family therapy describes the assessment and treatment of couples dealing with domestic violence.
Purpose: It is the result of a research study on treating domestic violence from a relational perspective as opposed to an individual approach. The safety-focused approach described in this book can be used with couples currently dealing with domestic violence or as a prevention step for high-risk couples.
Audience: Written with practitioners in mind, this book will be particularly useful to couples therapists. It is a valuable addition to the readings of an advanced couple therapy class, especially in marriage and family therapy programs.
Features: The book describes the assessment of couples dealing with domestic violence as well as the screening process and the evaluation of couples suitable for couple therapy. Using multiple case presentations, the authors describe the 18-session model and their integration of solution-focused concepts and methods. I find especially useful the authors formulation of safety planning, the negotiated time-out techniques, and the use of mindfulness in dealing with anger.
Assessment: This will be extremely useful in the field of marriage and family therapy, which has lacked until now a handbook addressing domestic violence from a relational perspective. It is very well written and well researched. The presentation of both quantitative and qualitative findings is especially useful for practitioners.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433809828
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association
  • Publication date: 6/15/2011
  • Pages: 204
  • Sales rank: 1,004,960
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii

Introduction 3

Chapter 1 The Changing Face of Intimate Partner Violence Treatment 7

Chapter 2 Assessment for Intimate Partner Violence and Screening for Inclusion in the Treatment Program 21

Chapter 3 Domestic Violence-Focused Couples Therapy Within a Solution-Focused Framework 31

Chapter 4 Session 1: Honoring the Problem 43

Chapter 5 Session 2: The Foundation for Domestic Violence-Focused Couples Therapy-Defining the Miracle 51

Chapter 6 Session 3: Introduction to Intimate Partner Violence 63

Chapter 7 Session 4: Mindfulness and Safety Planning 75

Chapter 8 Session 5: Escalation and Negotiated Time-Out 87

Chapter 9 Session 6: Alcohol and Drug Use 109

Chapter 10 Sessions 7: Through 18 Phase 2-Conjoint Treatment 121

Chapter 11 Constraints, Multicouple Group Adaptations, and Termination 147

Chapter 12 Our Clients 161

Chapter 13 Our Research Findings 169

Suggested Readings 183

References 185

Index 193

About the Authors 203

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