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Journal Article


Lømo B, Haavind H, Tjersland OA. J. Interpers. Violence 2018; 33(16): 2579-2601.


Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies, Oslo, Norway University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


(Copyright © 2018, SAGE Publishing)






The high drop-out rate and modest outcome for men in treatment for intimate partner violence (IPV) have highlighted the question of how therapists can establish an effective working alliance with these clients. The aim of this study was to conceptualize the variety of ways in which male clients using violence against a female partner might present themselves to form a working alliance that might appeal to them. We studied how 20 men voluntarily in individual IPV treatment contributed at the beginning of therapy to forming an alliance with therapists skilled in such treatment. The first therapy session in 10 drop-out and 10 completed cases was transcribed verbatim and analyzed qualitatively, following guidelines drawn from the constructionist grounded theory. The analysis resulted in a conceptual model of gateways and invitations to an alliance. Gateways are themes that have the potential to open a path toward collaboration on personal change. Each of the three gateways identified, comprised solide and weak invitations to an alliance: (a) presenting reasons for seeking treatment-as their own choice, as avoidance, or as a mistake; (b) presenting notions of change-as their own need to change their violent behavior, as ambivalence toward the project, or as a need to change the partner; and (c) disclosing and describing violence-as a personal narrative, as a scene, as a fragment of their life, or as something else. Implications for therapists' understanding of clients' motivational goals, negotiation of alliance, and disclosure of violence early in therapy are discussed.

Language: en


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