Dominance and Dialogue in Couple Therapy for Psychological Intimate Partner Violence

Berta Vall, Jaakko Seikkula, Aarno Laitila, Juha Holma

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Although there is controversy concerning indications for conjoint therapy in Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), both research and practice have come to recognize that it has some important benefits. This study analyzes issues of dominance and dialogue in a conjoint therapy for psychological IPV within a naturalistic setting, in which the spouses sought couple therapy on a voluntary basis. The method used to analyze the therapy was Dialogical Investigations of Happenings of Change (DIHC). Results on dominance indicated that the male client showed more quantitative dominance, whereas semantic dominance was more present in the female client, and therapists used more interactional dominance. Results on dialogue analysis showed that dialogical dialogue might help to construct a new-shared meaning of the issue of violence. In the Discussion section some research and clinical implications of the results are derived.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)223-232
Number of pages10
JournalContemporary Family Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Couple therapy
  • DIHC (Dialogical Investigations of Happenings of Change)
  • Dialogical approach
  • Dominance
  • IPV
  • Psychological partner violence


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