Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Education

Program

Psychology

Supervisor(s)

Dr. Jason Brown

Abstract

Intimate partner violence (IPV) has been studied at length and consists of different forms including emotional, physical and sexual, which in isolation or combination have significant effects on the health of those involved. While there has been research on conjoint therapy for the mainstream population, there is no current research on Aboriginal couples. Interventions for family violence in Aboriginal communities should take a culture-based approach and focus on healing for the whole family. The purpose of this research was to identify risk and safety issues from the perspective of service providers for couples therapy with Aboriginal clients for IPV. A total of 25 service providers participated in over the phone interviews that included two questions: "How would you address risk with Aboriginal men in couple counselling who use abusive behaviour toward their intimate partner?" and "How would you address safety with Aboriginal men in couple counselling who use abusive behaviour toward their intimate partner?". Five concepts emerged from the responses to the question about risk including: 1) collaterals, 2) commitment to change, 3) violence, 4) mindset, and 5) mental health. Four concepts emerged from the responses to the questions about safety: 1) personal responsibility, 2) community involvement, 3) mandatory reporting, and 4) separate support for women. The concepts were compared and contrasted with the available literature.

Keywords: Aboriginal People, service providers, conjoint therapy, intimate partner violence, risk factors, safety factors, cultural factors.


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