Domestic Violence Therapy
by Marty Brenner
There is a growing need for domestic violence therapy in modern society. This violent crime occurs between husbands and wives, parents and children, gay couples and unrelated members of a household. Because victims are often reluctant to tell doctors how the injuries were sustained, it is difficult to know exactly how many cases of domestic violence occur each year.
Some estimates claim that domestic violence is the leading cause of emergency room visits for women between the ages of 14 and 44 but these figures are hard to substantiate. Researchers acknowledge that many incidents go unreported. Domestic violence therapy reduces the number and severity of violent attacks within the home by giving both the victim and the attacker safe and effective tools to manage anger.
Domestic violence usually has several distinct and separate cycles. Arguments and threats escalate in tension cycles, whereas acts of violence usually become more severe over time. Honeymoon cycles are complex. In these intense and intimate relationships, the couple reunites and experience extreme closeness. They idealize this intimacy as definitive of the relationship, vowing to never fight again. The aggressor apologizes profusely or blames the victim, who willingly accepts the blame, especially early in the relationship. Of course, this “perfect relationship” cannot last, and the perpetrator ratchets up her anger to start the honeymoon cycle again. Therapy interrupts and addresses each aspect of these cycles.
Domestic violence does not develop overnight and the road to recovery can be a long journey. Domestic violence is a pattern of behavior that both the victim and the aggressor participate in. Usually domestic violence occurs in relationships where one person is aggressive and the other passive. Therapy allows the victim of violence a safe environment to express and explore feelings of guilt, anger, resentment and blame without fear of reprisal. Therapy is designed to help the survivor to identify their role in the relationship and let go of self-blame and shame. Qualified therapists help victims see themselves as survivors, not perpetrators, of the violence. Therapy helps victims gain a healthy view of his relationship and reclaim his self-esteem.
Domestic violence therapy helps the aggressor accept her responsibility in the situation, and then presses him to dig a little deeper to find the source of his violent anger. Anger is normally a rare and explosive response to pain and danger; domestic violence is a protracted expression of anger that is not necessarily in response to a specific threat. Therapy encourages the perpetrator to explore his anger and find healthy ways to express his negative emotions.
Therapy begins during a period of relative calm rather than during the apex of a violent episode. Emotions run at a fever pitch, preventing any calm and reasonable thought processes in the middle of an incident. It can be extremely difficult to safely extricate yourself from a dangerous situation, whether you are the aggressor or the victim. In either case, you understand the ramifications of having your “secret” exposed. Seek qualified, professional help that can address every aspect of your family’s needs.
Current thinking among researchers is that couples counseling is never appropriate in cases of domestic violence. When violence is present in a relationship, one person has more power than the other; this more dominant person dictates what the submissive partner can say during therapy. Failure to follow the plan can have particularly dangerous consequences, so couples therapy can potentially cause more violence.
Each participant and affected family member should engage in independent sessions so that each person can speak freely in a safe and controlled environment. Children and other observers can avoid future negative consequences associated with witnessing domestic violence.
Marty has been providing guidance and counseling for the last 20 years to a wide and diverse range of people.
Individuals challenged with various addictions including but not limited to – substance abuse, alcohol, and anger.
Marty is a certified chemical dependency counselor and anger management facilitator.
Affectionately known as “Marty”, he has positively influenced and helped reshape the lives of many people in recovery, ranging from ex-cons to his high profile clients in the Delray Beach, Florida.
Marty is an excellent resource with in-depth knowledge of all of the current trends in the substance abuse and mental health treatment fields, as well as individual options for successful recovery outcomes.
Today, residential facilities simply aren’t an option for many clients with busy work schedules and travel conflicts, which is why Marty tailors programs to meet the needs of these clients, whether it be in his office or a location of their choosing.
His approach is casual and non-threatening. Marty is very kind and caring.
As you know, it is difficult to convince clients that anger management or substance abuse treatment is critical. Career commitments, privacy, reputation and other concerns may conflict in making treatment the priority it should be.
It is Marty’s primary goal to help people rebuild lives using tried and true techniques.
- Anger and Relationships General Overview and Differences
- Anger Complications
- Anger in the Workplace
- Anger Styles