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Intimate Partner Violence and Couple Therapy: An Integrative Approach

18 April 2008


This thesis presents an integrative model for a conjoint treatment for intimate partner violence that is designed to eliminate physical and psychological aggression, strengthen the emotional bond of the couple, and sensitively and competently address issues related to the clients' cultures. In this thesis, I argue that it is possible to end violence and abuse through an integration of interventions from Heyman and Schlee's (2003) Physical Aggression Couples Treatment (PACT), a cognitive behavioral therapy for couples experiencing violence; Johnson's (2004) Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), an empirically-supported humanistic couple therapy based on attachment theory; and Almeida and Durkin's (1999) Cultural Context Model, a couple therapy based on a feminist analysis of the importance of one's culture in the development of violent behavior. An analysis of violence in intimate partnerships that draws on attachment, systems, social learning, cognitive behavioral, feminist, and socio-cultural theoretical perspectives of intimate partner violence that underlie these approaches is included to justify the integration of the three methods.


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