Domestic Abuse Counseling – 5 Clues for a
Positive Outcome in Domestic Abuse Treatment
by Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D.
“Do you think my husband will/can change?” Spousal abuse survivors embarking on domestic abuse counseling ask this question. They want to know if I think their husbands will change. And the husbands secretly ask, “Will/can she change?”
Now, let’s face it, I don’t have a crystal ball but I can tell you what a good prognosis looks like. I can tell you how someone presents wherein the chances are in their favor for a positive outcome in domestic abuse treatment. And, I can tell you which prospective patients are not likely to embrace the therapeutic process and benefit from a domestic violence intervention.
Will Your Abusive Partner Change?
There is a good possibility with appropriate domestic abuse treatment, IF...
1) Your partner evidences a pattern of battering behavior and he is aware (or somewhat conscious) of his attitudes and behavior—even though he may be mostly or partly in denial.
2) Your partner is highly motivated to maintain and/or restore the relationship with you and salvage the family. Further, he wants contact with his children and the stability of spousal co-parenting in the same home.
3) Your partner expresses a present readiness for personal and interpersonal change—even though he may begin the therapy insisting that you are part of the problem or you are “the primary problem.”
4) Your partner is NOT an individual with a clinically certifiable personality disorder, which is not to be confused with personality characteristics. (Caution: Do not diagnose your partner if you are not professionally licensed to do so…no matter how tempted you are or how much you have read on the Internet.)
5) Your partner does not have untreated substance abuse issues. That is…if there is substance abuse, there is a substance abuse treatment component underway.
Change for Abusive Relationships
If you can say yes to the above clues for positive results in domestic abuse counseling, you could be facing the prospect of a successful outcome in domestic abuse treatment. The only way you will know is to try an intervention. First, you can inquire yourself and then learn how to inspire your partner’s participation in the therapeutic process.
The therapist will be in the best position to assess the five criteria accurately and let you know the prognosis for a positive outcome in domestic abuse counseling. If your partner shows signs of a poor prognosis, you will be in a better position to make appropriate choices for you and your family. In either case, this preliminary information will set you on a purposeful and productive path of breaking the cycle of family violence for you and your children.
For more information about domestic abuse counseling, visit www.preventabusiverelationships.com/spousal_abuse_tx.php and claim your Free Instant Access to Survivor Success eInsights. Psychologist Dr. Jeanne King, Ph.D. helps couples nationwide recognize, end and heal from legal and domestic abuse. Copyright 2010, Jeanne King, Ph.D. Domestic Violence Prevention and InterventionThis series of eInsights is presented to you by Partners in Prevention, a nonprofit organization. If you find this eInsight article useful, we invite you to contribute to the maintenance and growth of the Survivor Success Tips & eInsights. To make a tax-deductible donation, please visit www.EndDomesticAbuse.org
Dr. Jeanne King is a licensed psychologist and domestic abuse consultant. Feel free to contact us if you need help with physical and/or emotional pain, stress-related illnesses, or relationship abuse issues at home or in court. Contact Us to reach Dr. King.