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In the last track, we discussed crisis behaviors of
emotional suffering, inappropriate behaviors, and hiding the problem and how perhaps
the commonly overlooked strategies of spending time, naming feelings, and reinforcing
when the primary focus in a domestic crisis may be the battered adult.
Learning the Cycle of Violence
As you know, studies have also found that women who are being battered are more likely to use physical discipline with their children. Thus, the children in these violent homes are given one more way to observe violence as the only means of conflict resolution. I stated to Sasha, "This observed violence, directed between parents and toward the children, can make it very easy for a child to learn that the people who love them also hurt them, serving to fuel the flame of their anger." At the end of the track I will explain an Anger Releasing technique.
In your next session with your Sasha, who has not left yet, would it be appropriate to use this type of information as a lever for those who are stating, 'I am staying in this relationship for my children.'?
However, have you found, like I, that the observations of violence have a stronger effect regarding the continuation of the violence, on boys than on girls? Perhaps this is because society has grown to be far more accepting of aggression and violence from men than from women. A study by Straus indicates that men who observed physical violence between their parents as children were three times as likely to have hit their wives during the year previous to his interview. This study also indicates that sons of violent parents have a rate of wife beating at 1,000 percent greater than sons of nonviolent parents.
Girls, of couse, internalize the abuse they witness and often repeat this in their future relationships. In short, angry, violent parents can create angry, violent children.
4 Anger Release Techniques
The four Anger Relase Techniques
I tend to suggest to children most often are:
What do you think of these four Anger Release Techniques? Would any of these be beneficial with a child you are currently treating? Write a letter to the parents and then rip it up? Pound on the bed? Shred sheets of newspaper? Scream into a pillow?
This track has discussed the three phases of observation, imitation, and internalization that children often pass through when learning the cycle of family violence. This brings us to the double dose, which is not only witnessing, but also experiencing abuse. The double dose will be discussed on the next track.
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