Toxic Couples: The Psychology of Domestic Violence

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Routledge, 2014 - PSYCHOLOGY - 227 pages
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Domestic violence is a major public health concern, affecting millions worldwide. It is underreported, often devastating and sometimes ends in murder. In Toxic Couples: The Psychology of Domestic Violence, Anna Motz integrates psychological and criminological data with clinical illustrations and discussion of current high-profile cases. She examines the complex manifestations and multiple causes of intimate partner violence.

Motz disentangles the roles played by those involved and examines the addictive nature of these damaging partnerships. The book describes various forms of abuse, including physical, sexual and emotional, and analyses how intimate partner violence can escalate to murder. She explores important factors including:

  • the role of addiction;
  • homelessness and vulnerability;
  • the intergenerational transmission of abuse;
  • sadomasochistic relationships;
  • honour-based violence.

The book emphasizes the significance of female- as well as male-perpetrated violence and outlines the powerful impact on the children of abusive parents, extending the clinical awareness of professionals working with those affected.

Toxic Couples: The Psychology of Domestic Violence is ideal for clinicians working with the victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence, for students of psychology, gender studies and social care courses and for anyone interested in the psychological forces behind violence in relationships.


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About the author (2014)

Anna Motz is a consultant clinical and forensic psychologist and psychotherapist with extensive experience of the assessment and treatment of victims and perpetrators of violence. She is a former president of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, editor of Managing Self-Harm: Psychological Perspectives (Routledge, 2009) and author of The Psychology of Female Violence: Crimes Against the Body (Routledge, 2000, 2008).

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