Advertisement

Couples Counseling to End Intimate Partner Violence

  • Sandra M. StithEmail author
  • Chelsea M. Spencer
Living reference work entry

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) is a serious issue plaguing couples around the world. Numerous batterer intervention programs have been developed and empirically tested. Fewer treatment models have been empirically tested to work with couples who choose to stay together after violence. The concept of conjoint treatment of couples after they have experienced any type of IPV remains controversial. This chapter addresses the history of couples counseling to end IPV, including prevalence and risk markers for IPV and the controversy surrounding this type of treatment. The chapter also provides an overview of current models of treatment and highlights the importance of clear assessment, intervention, and treatment methods that are currently being used to safely treat couples who have experienced IPV but remain committed to their relationship.

Keywords

Couples counseling Intimate partner violence Systemic treatment 

References

  1. Adams, D. (1988). Treatment models of men who batter: A pro-feminist analysis. In K. Yllo & M. Bograd (Eds.), Feminist perspectives on wife abuse (pp. 176–199). Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  2. Babor, T. F., Higgins-Biddle, J. C., Saunders, J. B., & Monteiro, M. G. (2001). AUDIT: The alcohol use disorders test: Guidelines for use in primary care. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  3. Bagarozzi, D. A., & Giddings, W. C. (1983). Conjugal violence: A critical review of current research and clinical practices. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 11, 3–15.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barocas, B., Emery, D., & Mills, L. G. (2016). Changing the domestic violence narrative: Aligning definitions and standards. Journal of Family Violence, 31(8), 941–947.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boal, A. L., & Mankowski, E. S. (2014). The impact of legislative standards on batterer intervention program practices and characteristics. American Journal of Community Psychology, 53, 218–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bograd, M. (1992). Values in conflict: Challenges to family therapists’ thinking. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 18, 245–256.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bolton, F. G., & Bolton, S. R. (1987). Working with violent families: A guide for clinical and legal practitioners. Newbury Park: Sage.Google Scholar
  8. Bradley, R. P., & Gottman, J. M. (2012). Reducing situational violence in low-income couples by fostering healthy relationships. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38, 187–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bradley, R. P., Cleary, D., Drummery, K., Gottman, J. M., & Gottman, J. S. K. (2014). Treating couples who mutually exhibit violence or aggression: Reducing behaviors that show a susceptibility for violence. Journal of Family Violence, 29, 549–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Christensen, A., Atkins, D., Berns, S., Wheeler, J., Baucom, D., & Simpson, L. (2004). Traditional versus integrative behavioral couple therapy for significantly and chronically distressed married couples. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 72, 176–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cooper, J., & Vetere, A. (2005). Domestic violence and family safety: A systemic approach to working with violence in families. Philadelphia: Whurr Publishers Ltd..CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. de Shazer, S., Dolan, Y., Korman, H., Trepper, T., McCollum, E., & Berg, I. K. (2007). More than miracles: The state of the art in solution-focused brief therapy. New York: Hawthorn Press.Google Scholar
  13. Deschner, J. (1984). The hitting habit: Anger control for battering couples. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  14. Deschner, J. P., & McNeil, J. S. (1986). Results of anger control training for battering couples. Journal of Family Violence, 1, 111–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Doss, B. D., Cicila, L. N., Georgia, E., McKenzie, K. R., Nowlan, K. M., Benson, L. A., & Christensen, A. (2016). A randomized controlled trial of the web-based OurRelationship program: Effects on relationship and individual functioning. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84, 285–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Garcia-Moreno, C., Jansen, H., Ellsberg, M., Heise, L., & Watts, C. H. (2006). Prevalence of intimate partner violence: Findings from the WHO multi-country study on women’s health and domestic violence. The Lancet, 368, 1260–1269.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(06)69523-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gottman, J., & Silver, N. (2000). The seven principles for making marriage work: A practical guide from the country’s foremost relationship expert. New York: Three Rivers Press.Google Scholar
  18. Hrapczynski, K. M., Epstein, N. B., Werlinch, C. A., & LaTaillade, J. (2012). Changes in negative attributions during couple therapy for abusive behavior: Relations to changes in satisfaction and behavior. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38, 117–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Johnson, M. P. (2008). A typology of domestic violence: Intimate terrorism, violent resistance, and situational couple violence. Boston: Northeastern University.Google Scholar
  20. Johnson, J., & Kanzler, D. (1993). Treating domestic violence: Evaluating the effectiveness of a domestic violence diversion program. Studies in Symbolic Interaction, 15, 271Y289.Google Scholar
  21. Johnson, M. P., & Leone, J. M. (2005). The differential effects of intimate terrorism and situational couple violence: Findings from the national violence against women survey. Journal of Family Issues, 26, 322–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jory, B. (2004). The intimate justice scale: An instrument to screen for psychological abuse and physical violence in clinical practice. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30, 29–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jose, A., & O’Leary, K. D. (2009). Prevalence of partner aggression in representative and clinic samples. In K. D. O’Leary & E. M. Woodin (Eds.), Psychological and physical aggression in couples: Causes and interventions (pp. 15–35). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Karakurt, G., Whiting, K., van Esch, C., Bolen, S. D., & Calabrese, J. R. (2016). Couples therapy for intimate partner violence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 42(4), 567–583.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J., Misra, T. A., Selwyn, C., & Rohling, M. (2012). Rates of bidirectional versus unidirectional intimate partner violence across samples, sexual orientations, and race ethnicities: A comprehensive review. Partner Abuse, 3(2), 199–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. LaTaillade, J., Epstein, N. B., & Werlinich, C. A. (2006). Conjoint treatment of intimate partner violence: A cognitive behavioral approach. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 20, 393.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Leone, J. M., Lape, M. E., & Xu, Y. (2014). Women’s decisions to not seek formal help for partner violence: A comparison of intimate terrorism and situational couple violence. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 29(10), 1580–1876.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lohr, J. M., Bonge, D., Witte, T. H., Hamberger, K., & Langhinrichsen-Rohling, J. (2005). Consistency and accuracy of batterer typology identification. Journal of Family Violence, 20, 253–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Love, H. A., Spencer, C. M., May, S. A., Mendez, M., & Stith, S. M. (2018). Perpetrator risk markers for intimate terrorism and situational couple violence: A meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence and Abuse. Advanced online publication.Google Scholar
  30. Madanes, C., Keim, J. P., & Smelser, D. (1995). The violence of men: New techniques for working with abusive families: A therapy of social action. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  31. Magill, J. (1989). Family therapy: An approach to the treatment of wife assault. In B. Pressman, G. Cameron, & M. Rothery (Eds.), Intervening with assaulted women: Current theory, research and practice. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  32. Maiuro, R. D., & Eberley, J. A. (2009). State standards for domestic violence perpetrator treatment: Current status, trends, and recommendations. Violence and Victims, 23, 133–155.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. McCollum, E. E., & Stith, S. M. (2007). Conjoint couple’s treatment for intimate partner violence: Controversy and promise. Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy, 6(1/2), 71–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Miller, W. R., & Rollnick, S. (2002). Motivational interviewing: Preparing people for change (2nd ed.). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  35. Mills, L. G., Barocas, B., & Ariel, B. (2013). The next generation of court-mandated domestic violence treatment: A comparison study of batterer intervention and restorative justice programs. Journal of Experimental Criminology, 9(1), 65–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Murphy, C. M., & Eckhardt, C. I. (2005). Treating the abusive partner: An individualized cognitive-behavioral approach. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  37. Neidig, P. H. (1992). Participants’ workbook for PACT. Stony Brook: State University of New York.Google Scholar
  38. Neidig, P. H., & Friedman, P. H. (1984). Spouse abuse: A treatment program for couples. Champaign: Research Press.Google Scholar
  39. O’Farrell, T. J., & Clements, I. K. (2012). Review of outcome research on marital and family therapy in treatment for alcoholism. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 38(1), 12–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. O’Farrell, T. J., & Fals-Stewart, W. (2006). Behavioral couples therapy for alcoholism and drug abuse. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  41. O’Leary, K. D., Heyman, R. E., & Neidig, P. H. (1999). Treatment of wife abuse: A comparison of gender-specific and conjoint approaches. Behavior Therapy, 30, 475–505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Skinner, H. (1982). The drug abuse screening test. Addictive Behaviors, 7, 363–371.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Stith, S. M., & McCollum, E. E. (2011). Conjoint treatment of couples who have experienced intimate partner violence. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 16, 312–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Stith, S. M., Rosen, K. H., McCollum, E. E., & Thomsen, C. J. (2004). Treating intimate partner violence within intact couple relationships: Outcomes of multi-couple versus individual couple therapy. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 30(3), 305–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Stith, S. M., McCollum, E. E., & Rosen, K. H. (2011). Couples therapy for domestic violence: Finding safe solutions. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Straus, M. A. (1974). Leveling, civility, and violence in the family. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 36, 13–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Straus, M., Hamby, S., Boney-McCoy, S., & Sugarman, D. (1996). The revised Conflict Tactics Scales (CTS2): Development and preliminary psychometric data. Journal of Family Issues, 17, 283–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sullivan, C. M., & Rumptz, M. H. (1994). Adjustment and needs of African-American women who utilized a domestic violence shelter. Violence and Victims, 9, 275–286.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sullivan, C. M., Basta, J., Tan, C., & Davidson, W. S., II. (1992). After the crisis: A needs assessment of women leaving a domestic violence shelter. Violence and Victims, 7, 267–275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Taft, C. T., Howard, J., Monson, C. M., Walling, S. M., Resick, P. A., & Murphy, C. M. (2014). “Strength at home” intervention to prevent conflict and violence in military couples: Pilot findings. Partner Abuse, 5, 41–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Taft, C. T., Creech, S. K., Gallagher, M. W., Macdonald, A., Murphy, C., & Monson, C. M. (2016a). Strength at home couples program to prevent military partner violence: A randomized control trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 84, 935–945.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Taft, C. T., Murphy, C. M., & Creech, S. K. (2016b). Trauma-informed treatment and prevention of intimate partner violence. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Woodin, E. M., & O’Leary, I. K. D. (2010). A brief motivational intervention for physically aggressive dating couples. Prevention Science, 11, 371–383.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Wray, A. M., Hoyt, T., & Gerstle, M. (2013). Preliminary examination of a mutual intimate partner violence intervention among treatment-mandated couples. Journal of Family Psychology, 27, 664–670.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Family Studies and Human ServicesKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Glenna Tinney
    • 1
  • Shelly M. Wagers
    • 2
  • Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling
    • 3
  1. 1.ConsultantAlexandriaUSA
  2. 2.College of Arts and Sciences - Society, Culture, and LanguageUniversity of South Florida - St. PetersburgSt. PetersburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA

Personalised recommendations