Spousal/Partner Abuse


This two-day course will develop an understanding of intimate partner violence (IPV), its dynamics,  effects, and sequelae to help guide the clinician in differential assessment and treatment planning and to learn how to effectively engage in a therapeutic alliance that increases safety, accountability and change.  Intimate partner violence has been found to affect a significant number of men, women and children in our communities, the presence of which has been linked to many physical and mental health risks.  Depression is the most common presenting clinical issue in female survivors of intimate partner violence; despite the link, partner abuse is seldom voluntarily disclosed at intake.  Couples therapy is a commonly sought intervention in couples experiencing domestic violence with similarly low disclosure rates of the presence of IPV in the relationship.  These clinical presentations make family therapists key service providers for issues of family violence; however, studies show that clinicians too often fail to adequately screen, assess and incorporate family violence treatment strategies into treatment plans.  This course will help clinicians gain the confidence needed to effectively screen, assess, plan, and treat clients with histories of domestic violence and to understand and collaborate with the broader network of services available to support families beyond the treatment context. 


  • Recognize and understand dynamics of domestic violence as they relate to clinical practice
  • Recognize indicators and presenting problems associated with IPV
  • Utilize clinical interview, screening and assessment tools for effective treatment planning including use of the DSM axis system for clarifying clinical issues
  • Evaluate trauma using a broader lens considering complex trauma both in children exposed to IPV and adult survivors
  • Apply effective intervention strategies for working with individual victims, perpetrators and couples, including safety planning and referrals
  • Apply state mandatory reporting requirements in clinical practice
  • Create client centered treatment relationship that improves outcomes with IPC survivors and offenders
  • Skills for using motivational interviewing to build effective therapeutic alliance
  • How to effectively engage in interdisciplinary collaboration to improve treatment outcomes while maintaining confidentiality and therapeutic safety

Additional Information

Eligible Participants

Santa Clara County Title IV-E Collaborative training events are free for all who qualify. Eligible participants include:

  • Staff of residential treatment facilities in Santa Clara County
  • Foster and adoptive parents
  • Prospective foster and adoptive parents
  • Santa Clara County social workers
  • Santa Clara County children’s mental health providers
  • Staff of community based organizations that serve children and families in Santa Clara County
  • College and university students in academic preparation to work with families and children

Please arrive 10 minutes prior to the start time to assure registration for the course. Attendees arriving after the start of the training time may lose registration position, and may not be allowed in due to wait list and need for prompt start time. Please cancel in advance if you cannot attend as frequent "no shows" may result in an inability to register for future training.

Please Note:

If you are seeking CEU's for this training, you must be present for the entirety of the training. You must sign in and sign out on the designated CEU sign-in sheet. 


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