Intimate Partner Violence

Course materials are available as articles, and audio with transcripts.

This is an intermediate level course about spousal and partner abuse. The course not only identifies the scope, demographics, and typologies associated with Intimate Partner Violence, but also summarizes an array of techniques used to assess domestically violent relationships. Further, various interventions currently in use are compared and contrasted. Domestic violence in ethnic minority families, as well as in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender relationships is reviewed in the final component of the course.

Specific tenets of the Codes of Ethics as well as California Law are provided in one article and one audio interview (transcript provided). Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

The overall goal of this course is to help psychotherapists understand the complexities involved in domestic violence and enable them to make predictions, assessments and interventions in these volatile and often tragic situations.


  • Ali, P. A., Dhingra, K., & McGarry, J. (2016). A literature review of intimate partner violence and its classifications. Aggression and violent behavior, 31, 16-25.
  • Arroyo, K., Lundahl, B., Butters, R., Vanderloo, M., & Wood, D. S. (2017). Short-term interventions for survivors of intimate partner violence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 18 (2), 155-171.
  • Austin, A. E., Shanahan, M. E., Barrios, Y. V., & Macy, R. J. (2017). A systematic review of interventions for women parenting in the context of intimate partner violence. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. Doi:

Educational Objectives

  • Make spousal and partner abuse assessments.
  • Detect and identify domestic violence.
  • Utilize domestic violence interventions.


    • Detection of Domestic Violence
      • Scope of the Problem & Demographics of Intimate Partner Violence
      • Factors Impacting Intimate Partner Violence: Characteristics and typology of Male Batterers and Relational Qualities
    • Assessment of Domestic Violence
      • Framing Statements, Methods of Questioning and Detecting Domestic Violence
      • When Abuse Is Discovered: Planning, Documentation & Confidentiality
      • Potential Physical and Behavioral Health Effects of Domestic Abuse
      • Lenore Walker's Cycle of Violence
      • Patient Advocacy, Risk Assessment and Safety Planning
    • Intervention Strategies
      • Prosecution & Mandated Intervention
      • Treatment Approaches: Client-Centered, Self Psychology and Dynamic Approaches
      • The Compassion Workshop & Solution-Focused Approaches
      • Treatment of Assaultive Men from an Attachment Perspective
    • Partner Violence in Ethnic Minority Families
      • African American, Latino, Asian and Native American: Incidence of Partner Violence among Ethnic Minorities
      • Acculturation, Stereotypes, Barrier to Treatment & Research Concerns
    • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Relationships
      • The Prevalence of the Problem
      • Research Findings & The Legal System
      • Availability of (or lack of) Resources & List of Resources
    • A National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP)
  • A Cultural Perspective and Systems Theory Applied to Domestic Violence
  • Code of Ethics and Domestic Violence
  • California Law and Domestic Violence