First, our staff members establish a therapeutic alliance with clients by using a combination of humor, appropriate confrontation, education, encouragement, and trauma-informed cognitive-behavioral therapy. Without an alliance, no amount of education or therapy will be helpful to clients.
Second, we teach clients our definition of domestic violence. At the core of domestic violence is the word “fear.” Anything a person does or says to an intimate partner or family member that causes fear IS domestic violence. The majority of our clients use their anger very well to control other persons. Our clients want someone to START doing something, STOP doing something, or do something his/her way. There are major differences between anger management and domestic violence abuser counseling.
The concepts and topics we teach include but are not limited to: empathy, nonviolent conflict management, the Power & Control Wheel, the Equality Wheel, the Respect Wheel, the Cycle of Violence, basic communication skills, active listening, healthy limits and boundaries, the effects of domestic violence on children, creating new neuropathways in the brain, the stages of change, the ACES quiz, resiliency, the Continuum of Abuse, personal warning signs, and the qualities of an equal, respectful, and honest relationship.