Psychotherapy Services in South West London

Abusive relationship

Can violent men change? Research has found that many men can reach  point where they no longer engage in violent behaviour in their intimate relationships. Coventry University – Kate Walker, Sarah Brown and Emma Sleath – have begun to understand the psychological processes involved in desisting from violent behaviour. The researchers presented a conceptual model to explain the process of desistance from violent behaviour, triggers and transitions points represent important aspects and the model shows that the process is not linear. Instead there are cycles of change triggered by the wake up call. Initially violence tend to be rationalised (e.g. “She shouldn’t have provoked me”). Some signs of change occur when men felt guilty for much longer and the guilt became ingrained rather than fleeting and when men feel more concerned about the consequences of their actions rather than their simply their action. So can violent men change? Yes but not overnight. Desisting from violence requires hard work and commitment and men going through this transition need to be made aware of the process involved. This means that psychological treatment is necessary for both the victim and the abuser.

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