Increasing responsibility, safety, and trust through a dialogical approach: A case study in couple therapy for psychological abusive behavior

Berta Vall, Jaakko Seikkula, Aarno Laitila, Juha Holma, Luis Botella

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article reports an analysis of conjoint therapy for psychological intimate partner violence, treated via a dialogical approach. The article reviews current controversies surrounding this treatment modality and its outcome. The dialogical approach is presented as an appropriate method for analyzing and understanding the issue of violence, but it is emphasized that the focus on communication does not involve a return to a systemic perspective on intimate partner violence. Four important dimensions are identified as emerging in conjoint treatment for psychological intimate partner violence, namely responsibility, safety, trust, and the role of the therapists. The Dialogical Investigations of Happenings of Change method was used to analyze the transcripts of the therapy sessions. The results on these four dimensions, as identified via a dialogical method, are illustrated with transcript vignettes. Finally, there is discussion of the contribution that the dialogical approach can make in conjoint therapy for psychological intimate partner violence, with mention also of the implications for research and for clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-299
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Family Psychotherapy
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2014

Keywords

  • couple therapy
  • dialogical approach
  • intimate partner violence
  • psychological abusive behavior
  • therapists role

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