Treating the Abusive Partner: An Individualized Cognitive-Behavioral Approach

Treating the Abusive Partner: An Individualized Cognitive-Behavioral Approach

Treating the Abusive Partner: An Individualized Cognitive-Behavioral Approach

Treating the Abusive Partner: An Individualized Cognitive-Behavioral Approach

Synopsis

Intimate partner violence is notoriously difficult to treat, and this promising manual presents the first one-on-one cognitive-behavioral treatment approach for this highly challenging population. Provided are a straightforward rationale and clear guidelines for implementing the authors' flexible four-phase model, which is grounded in extensive research and clinical experience. Detailed case examples illustrate the complexities of conceptualizing individual cases and working with clients to enhance motivation for change, eliminate assaultive and threatening behaviors, alter abuse-maintaining schemas and beliefs, build relationship skills, and reduce relapse risks.

Excerpt

Intimate partner abuse is one of the most vexing social and public health problems in contemporary society. the obvious social costs include criminal justice and legal interventions in abusive situations, shelter and advocacy services for victims, and medical care for injured parties. Even more important are the often hidden effects on emotional, relationship, and family functioning. For example, partner abuse victimization is a significant factor in traumatic stress reactions, depression, and substance abuse. in addition, many child witnesses develop anxiety and stress reactions, conduct problems, academic difficulties, and a repetitive cycle of coercive behavior in their own relationships. Partner abuse is a common contributing factor to family instability, including relationship separation, divorce, family displacement, and homelessness.

One logical approach to social intervention in partner abuse is to provide counseling services for perpetrators. Over the last quarter century, over a thousand such programs have been developed in the United States. a wide variety of program models and practices have emerged, ranging from didactic presentations about gender and power to group psychodynamic therapy. Yet, to date, no specific program model or intervention practice for partner-abusive individuals has strong research support for its efficacy. Indeed, given the limited empirical support for abuser intervention, some scholars have questioned whether such programs should be offered at all.

Our goal in this book is to propose and describe a new intervention approach for partner-abusive clients, an approach informed by current research on the causes and correlates of abusive behavior. Our approach begins with the observation that partner-abusive individuals vary widely in . . .

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