Category: couples therapy

January 24, 2021

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Posted in couples therapy by Julia Babcock
June 14, 2016

While the discovery of an affair is devastating–and we certainly don’t recommend them–ironically, affairs can provide an opportunity for some couples to improve their relationship for the better. If the participating partner is willing to cut off contact with the other lover and talk about what he or she did, felt, and thought, couples therapy can help both the injured and the participating partner repair their relationship and make it stronger. Often, one or both partners finds it easier to give up and divorce rather than expose their own thoughts, hurts, rehash the past and make themselves vulnerable to more pain. However, if both partners are willing to talk, listen and be vulnerable they can recover from an affair and make their relationship so close that there is no room for a third party to encroach. Couples therapy can help rebuild relationships after an affair better and stronger than they were before image4841

Recommended book:

Snyder, D. K., Baucom, D. H., & Gordon, K. C. (2007). Getting Past the Affair: A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On. New York: Guilford Press.

Posted in couples therapy, Uncategorized by Julia Babcock | Tags: , ,
February 7, 2016
Men-only battering interventions for intimate partner violence (IPV) have had limited success above and beyond the effects of arrest alone (Babcock, Green & Robie, 2004).  However current state-mandated treatments for IPV dictate that men-only group is the treatment of choice.   Most men-only groups assume unilateral, male-to-female violence, which does not fit at least one-third of court-involved cases and leaves treatment needs of couples experiencing problematic relationship dynamics unmet. Further, most states mandate against ever conducting couples therapy in cases of IPV, at least until the man has completed a men’s group. We believe that there are some conditions where couples therapy may be preferable to men’s battering prevention and intervention groups.  These include couples where violence arises from arguments spun out of control, where the woman is also violent, where she is not in fear of her husband. We call this “situational violence.” Considering the underwhelming evidence of effectiveness for current gender-specific groups, we recommend future scientific studies to explore couples or couples’ groups interventions for abusive couples.  For a carefully screened subset of couples that experience predominantly “situational violence,” conjoint communication and relationship skills training groups may be a viable alternative to the Duluth model and cognitive-behavioral men-only groups. Until state guidelines loosen so that we can conduct such studies, we are stuck with a one-size-fits-all approach to domestic violence intervention.


Babcock, J. C., Green, C. E., & Robie, C. (2004). Does batterers’ treatment work?: A meta-analytic review of domestic violence treatment outcome research. Clinical Psychology Review, 23, 1023-1053.