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Partner Abuse Program

This program offers a narrative therapy approach to group or individual work with people who have perpetrated abuse against their intimate partners.  The focus of the intervention is to help individuals establish relationships based upon safety, equality, and respect rather than violence and abuse.  The program involves a multi-stage process that lasts 22 weeks.  The program is delivered in a flexible manner in accordance with the development of the particular group or individual.  The assumption is made that groups/individuals develop at a different pace.  Sometimes there needs to be more emphasis on one topic over another.

While the program is delivered from a narrative therapy lens, a variety of approaches are used including cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, stages of change, and the solution focused model.

The objectives of the intervention are to assist individuals in taking responsibility for stopping their abusive behaviour and for building the relationships they prefer with their partners.  There are various possible contributing factors that lead individuals to choose abuse that are addressed in the program:

  • negative identity conclusions: individuals are not clear what qualities they want in relationships and how they would prefer to be in relationships;
  • assumptions about how men and women are supposed to behave (i.e. sexist ideas, ideas from childhood experiences);
  • minimize and deny the serious effects of abuse on themselves and others;
  • feeling entitled to control others;
  • having little experience at healing, repairing relationships after making mistakes in relationships.

These factors are addressed throughout the program specifically including the following:

  • re-authoring identity:  individuals naming their own values and what is important to them in relationships which is consistent with stopping abuse and building respect;
  • Individuals developing a relapse prevention plan in which they study the ideas (i.e. justifications, assumptions) that lead them to choose abuse and counter and replace harmful thinking with new more effective thinking;
  • Individuals studying the effects of their abuse on themselves, others, and their relationships;
  • Individuals repair and heal the effects of their abuse.   

Referrals are accepted to meet supervisory orders under the Department of Public Safety and the Alternative Measures Program.  

For more information, please contact our office at (506) 450-2750.