Spousal Abuse and Intimate Partner Violence Can it be Treated?

The ability to regulate emotions is a factor

Unfortunately, domestic violence is something that can happen to anyone at any time. Sure, there are some warning signs such as drug/alcohol abuse, severe depression, and anger management issues. That is not to say that someone with absolutely no indicators cannot become violent. Human beings are violent by nature. We are raised from an early age to stifle that anger and aggression but for some, the ability to keep from lashing out is simply not there. This ability can be limited further by physical and psychological factors such as anxiety, PTSD, and fear of intimacy. The bottom line is whether it involves a woman, man, child or any combination thereof, domestic violence is a real issue and it is something that happens all too often. The question then becomes where to go after it has happened? Can domestic violence (as a condition) be treated?

Research shows that CBT can make a difference

With regards to whether or not domestic violence (in any form) can be treated, Julia Babcock and colleagues studied 22 research papers. They found that there is a small but significant effect of cognitive – behavioral therapy (CBT), and other types of treatment on subsequent recidivism of violence; https://paperpile.com/shared/cYDLut

A complication in the treatment of partner violence may be that a large portion of therapists refuse to see couples when violence has occurred. They feel that the “trust” required for open communication in session has been broken, making the session in most instances ineffective. On the other side of the spectrum, therapy for the victim is highly recommended. Whether the victim is a man, woman or child, the abuse they suffered or witnessed was a traumatic event in their life. As with any other traumatic situations, having a safe place to work through what was done or witnessed is very healthy, and in many cases, extremely effective in overcoming the psychological effects of the abuse.


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Latest update: May 4, 2016
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