Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Treatment

Conflict exists in all relationships; it’s a normal part of intimacy and connection. However, there are healthy and unhealthy ways to handle it. If you or your partner are handling conflict in an unhealthy way, it’s time to get some help. If your relationship is full of tension and sometimes things get out of control, it’s time to get some help. Things will not change on their own, they will get worse. Unhealthy patterns and behaviors don’t tend to heal themselves spontaneously.

If there is a willingness to change, you can restore health in your relationship. That’s where Tanom Counseling comes in. I can help you gain the tools you need to build and maintain a strong and caring relationship free of emotional or physical violence. The treatment I offer is often called Domestic Violence or Intimate Partner Violence Treatment, but I prefer to call it Relationship Repair and Rebuilding Treatment.

The fact that there are treatment options does not mean all relationships with interpersonal violence can (or should be) be saved. In this kind of work, victim safety is the number one objective. No meaningful work can be done if basic safety and respect are not present. After basic safety and respect come personal accountability and empathy.

There is a current emphasis in domestic violence treatment on “Trauma-Informed Care.” The idea behind this emphasis is that hurt people hurt people – those who have experienced trauma are more likely to do harm to others and a key component of treatment is to address and work through that earlier trauma so it no longer informs current behavior.

The treatment I offer aligns with the standards set up by the State of Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Managing Board. But the treatment doesn’t just offer help to offenders, it can help victims as well. I use a combination of cognitive skills, coping skills and relationship interventions to help your relationship get onto a healthy path and move into the future. The treatment can include how to help and work with children who have been impacted and bring their own traumas from the abuse to the table. I’m also trained in EMDR which can help address previous traumas, even going back to childhood.

There is hope in my work, but it is not blind. I am here to walk you through the process, wherever it leads.

Warning Signs and Useful Tips

All couples argue at times and in fact, conflict is normal in a healthy relationship as long as each person treats the other with respect.  Resolving conflict in a calm and respectful manner should be the goal not only for ourselves but for our relationships and for our children. How we demonstrate conflict resolution in front of our children will have a lasting impact on them and the way that they learn to handle tough emotions, conflict, and communication.

Domestic violence is not just physical. Negative patterns in the relationship must change for a couple to stay together and thrive. Awareness of what is healthy, and unhealthy in a relationship is the beginning of making a relationship work. What exactly constitutes domestic violence?  Below are some warning signs that may need a closer look:

  • Do your arguments end in raised voices?
  • Do you or your partner use language intended to sting?
  • Is the “silent treatment” part of your relationship?
  • Are things thrown or walls hit in frustration?
  • Are you “walking on eggshells”?
  • Do you feel that you can’t express your feelings to your partner?
  • Are you hopeful that these are just rough spots in the relationship and in time it will pass?
  • Does your partner have control of the finances?
  • Do you lack the freedom to see your family and friends?
  • Do you feel controlled or manipulated?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, consider making some changes in how you handle conflict in your relationship.

  • Try taking a timeout when conflict arises. Come up with a neutral, non-blaming signal, word, or phrase to be used when things get heated.
  • Talk with your partner about what your expectations are in the relationship.
  • Recognize what your physical, emotional and situational cues are so that you can use them as an early warning system to head off conflict.
  • Know what your triggers are. What pushes your buttons? Knowing this is also useful to head off arguments.
  • Make use of self-calming techniques such as breathing exercises.
  • Remove negativity from the relationship. Sarcasm and critical comments inhibit growth in a relationship.
  • Nothing changes if nothing changes. You deserve a happy and healthy relationship. Take steps to make changes that will improve your relationship.
  • Consider seeking out a counselor to give you different perspectives on your relationships and more tools to help you with your relationship.

What are some of the concerns that keep people from seeking help?

  • It’s embarrassing to talk about with a counselor.
  • If my family and friends find out, they will think less of me.
  • I will have to share the intimate parts of my relationship with the therapist. It will be humiliating.
  • I’m ok with the downsides of my relationship. It’s what I’m used to.
  • It will get better, it’s just a rough spot in our relationship.
  • This is how my parents argued and resolved conflicts. It’s normal.
  • All relationships have these kinds of conflicts.

We go to the doctor when we are not feeling well. We visit the dentist regularly. Seeing a professional counselor is another way of improving the quality of our lives. A counselor will listen without judgment, and hold what you say in confidence. It is a safe and private place to speak your mind. What you will find in seeing a counselor is that you will feel better by taking this step to improve your life.

Domestic violence is being talked about more in the media than ever before. It can become a slippery slope from the view of legal authorities, law enforcement, and even social activists. Aside from avoiding the legal entanglements, it makes sense to be proactive and improve your relationship because this is what you desire and what will ultimately bring you more happiness. If you feel you need to make some changes to improve the communications with your partner, now is the time to take action. Seeking out a therapist to assist in your relationship development is a good first step.