Intimate Partner Violence: Towards a More Comprehensive Understanding of Maladaptive Coping in Relationships

Online Course Materials:    ArticlesArticles    AudiosVideos   ArticlesArticles    VideosVideos   

All materials are available as audios with transcripts.

Developed by Sage de Beixedon Breslin, Ph.D.

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Course fulfills the Spousal and Partner Abuse course requirements for California psychologists, MFTs and LCSWs.

Online course on Domestic Violence – Intimate Partner Violence for 15 CE credits 

General Course Description

People tend to think that domestic violence doesn’t happen to folks like them. “That only happens to other people,” is a common thought. But, violence happens to people just like us, no matter who we are. Domestic violence is experienced by those in every age group, race, ethnicity, culture, social class and sexual orientation. And, whether the parties involved are married and living in the same home, or just dating more casually, violence knows no boundaries. Intimate partner violence is an equal opportunity phenomenon. According to recent statistics, the Domestic Violence problem in the United States may be generating nearly 8 million victims per year.

This is an intermediate level, comprehensive course which presents 13 documents for perusal. Groundbreaking work by Lenore Walker, Michael Johnson and David Wexler forms the foundation of the course. In the first document, intimate partner violence is defined, described and quantified. The next three documents follow the progress of theories of domestic violence from the more traditional to the more contemporary ways of understanding this complex phenomenon. Perspectives on the mechanism and impacts of verbal violence are reviewed in the following two articles. The next article is a brief assessment tool commonly utilized to identify and evaluate domestic violence. Following this, two documents are provided which describe and quantify the phenomenon of intimate partner violence in ethnically diverse cultures. Particular attention is paid to the effects of patriarchy and religion on the development and maintenance of domestic violence. The next document presents information about the incidence and scope of intimate partner violence in the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender population. This is followed by a document which identifies the sections of the ethics codes and laws which pertain to the clinician’s role in the identification, assessment, and response to intimate partner violence. An audiotaped interview with Meredith Watkins provides a brief summary of changes in the DSM-5 which affect the identification of domestic violence. Transcripts are available for all videos & audios. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives:

    This course will teach the participant to

  • Note current prevalence and demographics for intimate partner violence.
  • Describe the types of domestic violence likely to be present in healthcare settings.
  • Detect and identify domestic violence through brief assessment.
  • Summarize the developments in the field of domestic violence prevention theory.
  • Report similarities and differences in the nature and prevalence of domestic violence in the global community.
  • Specify elements present for domestic violence in the LGBT community.
  • Identify and update the relevant California laws and Ethics codes and ethical decision-making.


  • Gray, M. J. & Hassija, C. (2011). The effectiveness and feasibility of videoconferencing technology to provide evidence based treatment to rural domestic violence and sexual assault populations. Telemedicine and e-Health, 17(4), 309-315.
  • Lynch, S. M. (2013). Not good enough and on a tether: Exploring how violent relationships impact women’s sense of self. Psychodynamic Psychiatry 41(2), 219-246.
  • National Coalition of Anti-Violence programs. (2015). Lesbian, Gay,Bisexual,Transgender, Queer and HIV: Affected intimate partner violence. Retrieved from

Course Syllabus:

  • Intimate Partner Violence: An Introduction- What is IPV?
    • Verbal Violence
    • Threats of Harm
    • Physical Assault
    • Sexual Trauma
  • IPV Statistics, Prevalence and Demographics
  • In the beginning: IPV research and contemplations- historical through contemporary
    • Historical views: Lenore Walker and the Cycle of Violence
    • Psychological and Behavioral Impacts on Relationship of Flawed Early Attachments: Dutton and Wexler on the new traditions
    • Towards a new understanding of IPV: Michael Johnson
      • Patriarchal Terrorism vs. Common Couple Violence (Situational Couple Violence)
  • Recognizing the broader implications for violence in relationship (Patricia Evans)
    • Subtle decompensation of relationships enduring verbal violence
    • Negative impacts on mental, physical, and spiritual well-being
    • Impacts on the witnesses of violence, in addition to the victims
  • Assessment and Detection of IPV
  • Treatment of IPV
    • Moving past the Duluth Model
    • Use of Group Therapy Models
    • Compassionate Accountability
  • IPV in Ethnically Diverse Populations- The World View
    • Incidence of Intimate Partner and Family Violence among Ethnic Minorities
    • Impacts of Acculturation, Religion, & Patriarchy
    • Stereotypes of IPV in Ethnically Diverse Communities
    • Barriers to Treatment
    • Research Concerns
  • IPV and the LGBT Community
    • The Prevalence of the Problem
    • Research Findings & The Legal System
    • Availability of (or lack of) Resources & List of Resources
    • The National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)
  • California Laws and Regulations, Codes of Ethics and Ethical Decision-Making
    • Sections of California Law that Pertain to Spousal and Partner Abuse
    • Training Requirements
    • APA, CAMFT and NASW Codes of Ethics – Codes relevant to Spousal and Partner Abuse
  • Changes in the DSM-5 impacting the identification of domestic violence
CE Badge Created with Sketch. 7 CE

Cost: $69.00

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