The world would be a much better and safer place if we were all born with the knowledge of effective communication, conflict resolution skills and healthy boundaries! But, relationships don’t come with manuals and we are all different. We react differently, we come with different stories and beliefs on people, communication, relationships and life. This leads to conflicts in our relationships.
Sometimes couples aren’t sure how to handle conflict in a healthy, loving and nurturing way resulting in what is identified as unhealthy or even abusive relationships. It doesn’t mean they are bad people or terrible spouses. It simply means training is needed in order to have the kind of relationship we all long for; which is safe, happy and healthy.
Some behaviors that may lead to high conflict relationships are:
Couples therapy allows couples to work through conflict while increasing cohesion. However, it is important to clarify that not all couple conflict is just conflict. Some couple conflict can actually be domestic violence.
In an online article by Huffington Post, domestic violence stats are staggering and according to the CDC, every minute 20 people are victims of intimate partner or domestic violence.
Children are impacted by domestic violence too. Domestic violence victims are usually assumed to be a member of the immediate relationship- either the man or the women. However, a report, developed by UNICEF,The Body Shop International and the Secretariat for the United Nations Secretary-General’s Study on Violence against Children, highlights that children exposed to domestic violence are more likely to be victims of child abuse and may exhibit the same behaviors and psychological problems that physically abused children project. Academic and social deficits are also found in children who live in a Domestic Violence home. Some children project violence and risky behaviors and suffer from depression and anxiety.
The origin of Domestic Violence is complicated and during couples therapy sessions, patterns and behaviors will be explored individually and as a couple. Treatment can be private, group or may even be court ordered if authorities have become involved. It’s always best for all involved to get help early in the discovery of these types of unhealthy behaviors in your relationship by seeking quality, professional help.
Domestic Violence Focused Marital Treatment is a therapy option for couples that encounter high levels of aggression or abusive behavior- meaning: multiple occurrences of conflict that involve blaming, criticizing, contempt, abusive verbal communication, manipulation and can involve physical, emotional, psychological and sexual abuse.
This type of therapy is crucial in domestic violence as it’s considered focused marital treatment; it equips couples with the therapy and tools to eliminate violence and aggressive behavior. It also provides the couple with education on how to resolve conflict with effective communication skills and move away from abusive behavior, restoring hope and strength in the relationship.
Rest assured, your therapist will have an in-depth approach to helping bring relief and change to unhealthy behaviors.
Unfortunately, as domestic violence statistics increase, there is a lack of couple’s therapists that focus on this issue. Domestic violence is serious and if it is not dealt with it can progressively become worse causing severe emotional and physical damage.
To work with high conflict couples one needs to be patient, not easily offended, flexible, empathetic, neutral and not afraid to challenge.
These are qualities that I, as a Couples Therapist for Therapy With Heart, bring to the space where we will share and explore the patterns of yourself and/or your relationship.
My hope in offering Domestic Violence Focused Marital Treatment is to help those involved have a safe place to explore the unhealthy patterns of the relationship and move towards hope.
Please contact us immediately if you’d like to set an appointment to discuss possible therapy options for abusive or unhealthy behaviors. We’re definitely here to help.
This Post Written By:
Edward Callirgos MAS, LAMFT – Therapy With Heart
8737 E. Via De Commercio, Suite 200
Scottsdale, Arizona 85258
Phone: (480) 888-5380