Thursday, January 22, 2009

Therapists ignore guideline on domestic violence

The following research relates to U.S. couple therapists only

Domestic violence is particularly common among couples seeking couples therapy with estimates of a half to two-thirds of couples seeking treatment reporting some incident of aggression in the previous year. There are guidelines as to how marital therapists treat the issue of domestic violence but little is known about whether therapists stick to them or not. A survey of 620 couples therapists by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy found that less than 4% of them consistently followed important published guidelines for domestic-violence screening. Only a minority indicated that they considered the victim's safety as a factor in choosing the course of treatment. The authors of the study concluded that domestic violence may be under-identified by couples therapists and that therapists could be using conjoint (both together) therapy with couples for whom this was not suitable because of relationship violence.

Schacht, Rebecca L. ... [et al] - Domestic violence assessment procedures among couple therapists Journal of Marital and Family Therapy January 2009, 35(1), 47-59

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