Battering and family therapy: a feminist perspective

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Sage Publications, Mar 23, 1993 - Family & Relationships - 302 pages
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Battering and Family Therapy challenges traditional intervention by family therapists in treating family violence. Experts in specific legal, ethical, and practical areas propose alternative approaches to the treatment of wife battering from a feminist psychological perspective. Intended to educate therapists, it addresses key issues, including the psychological state of women who remain in violent relationships and current laws governing family violence. Specific guidelines for individual work with battering victims are presented. Suggested replacements are provided for the traditional family systems approach to abusive relationships, focusing on co-responsibility--a method that tends to make the victim responsible for her own predicament. It also considers training family therapists to recognize family violence, multi-ethnic perspectives on battering, and the impact of abusive marital relationships on children. Therapists, counselors, social workers, and psychologists--in practice and in training--will discover much of value in this edited volume. "This edited collection is an ambitious consideration of the three `Fs': family violence, family therapy, and feminist thinking. . . . This is an excellent introduction to the major issues in the treatment of wife abuse and should be required reading in training programs for therapists." --Mary J. Coe, The American Journal of Family Therapy "The content of the book, Battering and Family Therapy, is far more extensive than the title suggests. The book addresses various psychological and legal topics related to violence against women. Chapters pertaining to legal or ethical issues provide an essential perspective in understanding domestic violence. . . . Overall, this volume provides an excellent collection of chapters addressing a broad range of topics related to domestic violence for which the title is, unfortunately, misleading. This book should be recommended to professionals and graduate students alike." --Mary Ann Dutton, Nova University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida "This is a crucial book for family therapy. The bombshell among its many valuable chapters is the report of the editors' own research with therapists--a sample of 405 APA members and one of 362 AAMFT members who, faced with a case study of wife battering, were almost entirely unable to take the violence seriously and come up with interventions that would lead to safety for the woman, even when told "the case was one of domestic violence with a lethal outcome." This book helps us unlearn what we think we know. . . . The book contains excellent practical guidelines for treatment. . . . I hope, as the editors recommend, this information becomes part of the essential knowledge base for all therapists." --Journal of Family Psychotherapy "This book is about 3 Fs: family violence, family therapy, and feminist thinking. . . . Contributors offer useful suggestions for obtaining relevant information about ongoing violence without involving the victim in the treatment of the batterer in ways that could make her vulnerable to retaliation. . . . For me, the most troubling material in the volume were the data on current practice standards for violent families as reflected by surveys of family counselors and psychotherapists. These data suggested to me that the concern of medical educators to include domestic violence in their curriculum should be likewise extended to the other helping professions." --from the foreword by Mary P. Koss, University of Arizona, Tucson "Hansen and Harway have succeeded in putting together a comprehensive volume on battering and family therapy. The descriptive and analytical material in this book rivets attention on the seriousness of the complex issues being discussed. A gripping volume, which presents the legal as well as the psychological dynamics and considerations, approaches battering and violence from the vantage point of the individuals involved, from the marital dyad's perspective, from the intergenerational backdrop of the family of origin, and with a kaleidoscopic overview of the larger social context. It highlights the difficulties of treating batterers and their victims and points up directions for strategies geared to changing individual behaviors as well as the social milieu which gives rise to violent behaviors." --Florence W. Kaslow, Director, Florida Couples and Family Institute, West Palm Beach "The publication of Marsali Hansen and Michele Harway's edited volume, Battering and Family Therapy: A Feminist Perspective, could not be more timely. . . . This volume will undoubtedly be regarded as an important contribution to ongoing debates. Battering and Family Therapy does a good job of providing an overview of recent research on family violence, feminist analysis of the problem, current critiques of conjoint treatment, and implications for therapeutic practice. . . . It should be on the shelf of all practicing clinicians who come into contact with domestic violence because of its rich references and practical advice." --Violence Update "Highly recommended." --Family Violence & Sexual Assault Bulletin Book Club

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Contents

Treating the Batterer
11
The Legal Road to Freedom
13
Characteristics and Causes
29
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

MICHELE HARWAY, PhD, is a well-regarded scholar in the field of couples therapy. Her research and writings on domestic violence are highly praised, and she conducts seminars across the country on treating the domestic abuse couple. She is currently, Director of the Clinical Program at Antioch University. Awarded the 1998 Family Psychologist of the Year Award by Division 43 of the APA, she is also the Division''s past president (2000). Currently, she is the treasurer of APA Division 51 (Men and Masculinity). She also maintains a private practice.

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