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Intimate Spousal and Partner Violence

15 CE Credit Hours - Online Course - $149.00

Developed by Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Course includes an historic extensive interview with Dr. Lenore Walker reviewing her life's work on domestic violence

Course fulfills the Spousal and Partner Abuse Pre-Licensing Requirement for Psychologists (who began graduate training on or after January 1, 2004), MFTs (if graduate studies were completed outside CA), LCSWs, and LPCCs.

This course is also offered as part of a Pre-licensing Savings Package of pre-requisite courses.

Course materials: text/webpage Articles    audio Audios

Transcripts are available for ALL MP3s in pdf format.

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General Course Description

This intermediate course addresses the causes, assessment, treatment, statistics and legal issues concerning Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). It is essential for today's clinicians to be up to date on this pervasive, growing issue, because much of what we believed about causes, treatment and prevention was based upon research clouded by ideologies and social views. Debunking the popular notion that IPV is always about power and control, this course goes well beyond such outdated and erroneous assumptions. In addition to articles, this course includes audio interviews with IPV experts, such as Dr. Lenore Walker, Dr. Steven Stosny, Mike Carolla, and Dr. Ofer Zur.

The course includes four sections and 5 audio interviews. Section One presents statistics on the incidence, causes, and effects of intimate partner violence. It includes information on intimate partner violence in gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples. Section Two presents an overview of how our perspective on the causes of and treatments for intimate partner violence have evolved. Section Three presents and discusses assessment instruments. Section Four presents the ethical and legal requirements surrounding intimate partner violence and reviews the relevant parts of the APA, CAMFT and NASW Codes of Ethics to spousal and partner abuse, with a particular emphasis on California law. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach the participant to:

1.    Report statistics on incidence of IPV, broken down by state, ethnicities, and types of IPV, including physical abuse, psychological abuse, and stalking.

2.    Describe the incidence and unique dynamics of IPV in same sex and transgender couples.

3.    Review the dynamics of violence from a multi-cultural perspective.

4.    Describe the surprising incidence of female on male IPV.

5.    Review the different dynamics and causes of IPV among male batterers.

6.    Review the different dynamics and causes of IPV among female batterers.

7.    Summarize a historical overview of IPV research to help separate facts and science from one's own values and biases about the issue.

8.    Explain why treatment models such as the Duluth Model are of little use and often even harmful to battered women.

9.    Report how to help minimize the effects of IPV on children.

11.    Demonstrate more clinical sensitivity about determining custody in cases involving IPV.

12.    Name the assessment instruments that assess past, current, potential IPV, and different types of IPV.

13.    Apply the principles of effective IPV treatment for individuals and couples.

14.    Review domestic violence programs and agencies.

15.    Describe updated knowledge of mandated reporting and confidentiality issues as described by APA, CAMFT, NASW and California legal codes.

16.    Review the extensive IPV resources for clients and professionals.


Arroyo, K., Lundahl, B., Butters, R., Vanderloo, M., & Wood, D. S. (2017). Short-term interventions for survivors of intimate partner violence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 18 (2), 155-171.

Black, M.C., Basile, K.C., Breiding, M.J., Smith, S.G., Walters, M.L., Merrick, M.T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M.R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2014). Domestic Violence and the Child Welfare System. Retrieved from: https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/domestic-violence.pdf

Course Syllabus

Incidence of IPV by race, ethnicity, geography, and gender

  • Incidence of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking
  • Incidence of psychological aggression

Statistics on and characteristics of IPV in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and HIV-affected intimate relationships

  • By race/ethnicity, immigration, and disability status
  • Abusive partner tactics
  • Police involvement
  • List of state IPV resources

Children and IPV

  • Behavioral, social, and emotional problems
  • Cognitive and attitudinal problems
  • Long-term problems
  • Assessing children's danger and resilience
  • When IPV between parents does and does not constitute child abuse
  • Promising practice initiatives and principles to protect children against the effects of IPV
  • List of agencies and resources to help children

Shifting perspectives on IPV causes and treatments

  • Outdated view of male batterers
  • Emerging recognition of high incidence of women on male violence
  • Changing view of police on domestic violence calls
  • Changing perspectives of courts
  • Why former models such as Duluth are ineffective and occasionally harmful
  • Different characteristics among women who batter or kill men

New perspectives on IPV and people who batter

  • Systemic view: both partners play a role in IPV
  • Why the systemic perspective is NOT blaming the victim
  • Strength-based approach: each partner has legitimate, understandable, important needs
  • Biological/evolutionary perspective on violence and control

Assessment instruments for IPV victimization and perpetration

  • Scales that assess current, past, or future IPV
  • Sexual victimization and perpetration scales
  • Physical victimization and perpetration scales
  • Psychological/emotional victimization and perpetration scales
  • Stalking victimization and perpetration scales

Legal and ethical mandates on therapists and IPV

  • California penal, criminal and evidentiary codes
  • When reporting is mandatory and when it is not
  • Confidentiality requirements and violations
  • Information from APA, NASW, and CAMFT codes of ethics
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