Individual versus Group Therapy

A variety of treatment modalities exists for most types of psychological and behavioral problems, but group therapy is considered the treatment of choice for abusive men. Group sessions can range from 6 to 32 weeks in design. While individual therapy can focus on the behavioral, psychodynamic, or the cognitive methods described above, most experts in this field consider group therapy to be the most effective. There are several reasons. First, there are distinct benefits in discussing abusive behavior in front of other abusers. Many batterers are in denial about their own abusive behavior yet are able to identify violent behavior in other people. Thus, the group can be used to help break through an individual member's denial of his negative attitudes, or abuse toward his partner. Here the culture of violence is challenged by the group. Second, men can find comfort and support when they discover that others like them have had similarly difficult experiences during childhood, and/or suffer from the same feelings of frustration in dealing with the stress and the women in their lives. Group leaders also serve as living models of nonviolent men who are sensitive to their own and other peoples' needs.

Domestic Violence Intervention

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