a case of domestic abuse brief character change

Please read the transcript submission from the rest of the group and add your critique with (starting Jessica B.)

Watch

A Case of Domestic Abuse: Brief Character Change. Brief Therapy Inside Out, Governors State University. Communications Services. (Inc. Tucker & Theisen Zeig, 2000), 108:59

Introduction

In a small group, you will critique a transcript. The video above is an example of a brief therapy session with a woman who discloses she is being abused/battered. You will also see the therapist consulting with two other therapists about her work with this client. Consultation, feedback, and support are essential components for therapists’, especially when working with victims/survivors of violence. There is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ therapy session. This session demonstrates a ‘traditional’ mental health approach to Domestic Violence/Intimate Partner Violence (DV/IPV). Based on your readings in assessing for IPV and empowering and trauma-informed practice with victims/survivors add your responses to the session if you were the therapist.

Instructions:

The goal of this assignment is to critique the therapist’s traditional approach to working with a victim/survivor that fails to recognize the context and dynamics of the abuse and blames the survivor. This session is a striking example of what NOT to do in a session with a survivor. Your assignment is to place yourself in the therapist role and respond to Marcy from a trauma-informed, empowerment-based perspective. When you observe victim-blaming statements and the therapist’s efforts to ‘direct’ Marcy’s actions, name them, and add how you would respond to Marcy’s statements.

These questions are to help you focus on some of the more salient issues presented in the video. You will not be answering these questions. Rather you will be responding to Marcy in the session in the role of the therapist. The goal is to apply what you have learned about assessing for IPV and using best practice interventions.

  1. What words/language/therapeutic terms did the therapist use in providing responding to the client as well as describing her work with the other therapists?
  2. What words did the client use to describe her experiences/ feelings/concerns/fears etc.?
  3. How did the client react (affectively, verbally) to statements made by the therapist?
  4. How did the therapist explore the client’s reason for seeking therapy? Did the therapist ask for further information regarding the client’s statement: ‘….my husband and I are fighting a lot..’? What questions did she ask?
  5. What additional information would you explore to gain an understanding of this client’s situation? What specific questions would you ask if you were the therapist?
  6. How did the therapist respond to the client’s story? How did the therapist respond to the client’s statement, ‘…if I could stop ‘provoking’ him (husband) by getting angry at things he says to me.” How would you respond?
    • How would you respond to the client’s story? What statements would you make?
  7. List the examples of psychological and physical abuse the client disclosed during the session. How did the therapist respond to these disclosures? How would you respond to these disclosures? Is there anything you would do?
  8. The client discusses her hope for a ‘mutual agreed upon divorce’ and her wish that her son will continue to have contact with his father. How did the therapist respond to the client? Specifically what statements did the therapist make? How did the client respond?
    • How would you address these hopes?
  9. Several times during the session the therapist explored the client’s family background and past intimate relationships. What assumptions did the therapist make about the client’s family history? Were they accurate? What conclusions did she make? Are these conclusions helpful in assisting the client with her presenting issue?
    • Would you explore the same issues or others? What others?
  10. At one point in the session after the client discloses a physical assault the therapist responds: ‘…this is hard for me to hear’.
    • What is your opinion about the therapist making this statement?
  11. Are there statements the therapist made throughout the session that you have concerns about? (‘magical thinking’, ‘your inability to leave the relationship’, referral to a church group)
    • What are they and what concerns you about the statements? How would you respond?
  12. At the end of the session, the therapist states her goal: ‘[my] goal is to help you move out…’. Are there resources you would explore and discuss with the client? What are they? How would you end this session? What feedback would you give the client?
    • What is your opinion of this statement? What would you do?
    • What areas would you focus on at the end of this session?

This will be a group assignment. You will work on this as a group. Please consider all the questions above as ideas for your critique. In your group, divide the transcript among group members. You will only work on your own section as part of the whole (please identify the section you worked on); however, this collaborative project should allow for sharing of ideas and feedback so you can learn from what the other group members may have noted as the therapist’s errors as well as their proposed interventions. Add your responses to Marcy as well as additional questions/areas you would explore as the therapist. Add your responses in a different color under the therapist’s responses. Be sure to add any assessment tools or interventions that demonstrate a trauma-informed, empowerment approach to working with survivors. You will work in the group space for the first 4 weeks and will share the final product. You will then submit the final version individually, clearly marking your personal contributions.

Due by the end of Week 4. Save a complete transcript to your own workspace. You will need to watch the session’s video as well for affective interactions and signs to take into account.

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