Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Couple Violence in Couple and Family Therapy

  • Chelsea SpencerEmail author
  • Marcos Mendez
  • Sandra Stith
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_446


Domestic violence; Intimate partner violence; IPV; Partner violence


Approximately 24% of all intimate relationships experience some forms of violence, and between 36% and 58% couples who are seeking therapy have experienced physical violence in their relationships (Jose and O’Leary 2009). However, not all couples who experience violence in their relationships are the same, nor are they all appropriate for couples therapy. Johnson (2008) identified different typologies of violent relationships, two of the most commonly recognized being intimate terrorism and situational couple violence. Intimate terrorism is characterized by asymmetric violence that is used as a means to control one’s partner. Couples experiencing intimate terrorism are generally not considered appropriate for couples treatment (Stith et al. 2011). Situational couple violence is characterized by less severe violence that is often bidirectional in nature and typically a response to a specific...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Farrah Hughes
    • 1
  1. 1.Employee Assistance ProgramMcLeod HealthFlorenceUSA