In my treatment of batterers I have found Identification of themes of Rational
Learning to be beneficial. As you read through the list of client responses below,
think if any might be beneficial in your next session.]
to Spouses or Partners: "I've learned that I should listen to her and
give her a chance to talk without interrupting, and I've learned I should try
to be more understanding toward her and her feelings." "My goal was
to really listen to my wife. She didn't like my jokes, where I touch her. This
was a good goal for me because not listening to her had been an old habit. This
was a good solid base for me to start with."
--Two-Way Communication: "I've found out communication between the both of us, instead of taking it
upon myself to do whatever I decided, clears up a lot of problems before they
even start." "In a period in my life when I shut most people out, this
class opened my eyes to not only share my life with them, but to listen, learn
and to better understand other beings."
--Awareness of Other's Needs: "The biggest asset I am bringing with me from this group, I feel, is my awareness
of my significant other's needs." "It has been helpful in making me
aware of her feelings. I stop to think of what I'm saying or doing around her."
Nice: "Being nice and saying nice things." "So, yes, I will
definitely keep up what I'm doing now, which is spending more time with my daughter
and being nicer to her, which I've been doing."
--Spend More Time
with Family: "I also learned that spending more time with my family isn't
as bad as I thought it would be, and I've really enjoyed them a lot more because
of it." "I've learned to include her in my everyday plans, include her
in my life, and it makes her feel I want her around and a part of my life. I've
learned to take a little time each day to spend just with her. It makes her feel
good and loved, and I've seen how much it means."
--Give Space to Self
and Others: "How to deal with frustration and anger, by taking time out
for oneself and giving others their time and space, too." "My goal was
to allow my wife her freedom, so to speak, as in going to her appointments and
such by herself. At first it was difficult, as in the feeling is she going to
be home or not, or is she being shipped out to another hospital. I was able to
shift my mind onto other tasks to keep it occupied. I now work and focus my attention
on myself to do a few things that make me feel good, but at the same time maintain
a sense of calm but with my guard up as in the responsibilities a husband is to
make, and I try to make them in more of a loving manner."
Chores and Kids: "I feel that I have learned that I need to work at my
own responsibility around my house and in my relationship rather than helping
my friends or doing nothing at all. Doing more work at home has helped my relationship
with my wife. We have been arguing less than before." "My wife is most
likely to notice a change in me. Me being home more, helping with homework, and
getting the kids to bed."
--To Be a Better Dad: "I also have
become more of a daddy than a father. I was acting like my dad, and I did not
want my daughter to have a life like I did."
--Look for Good in People: "Where I might otherwise overreact, I learned that giving compliments
helps increase the trust level and makes everyone feel better about themselves."
--Care: "I learned a lot about caring and respecting others." "I learned
that others care about me also."
--Respect Others: "I learned
to respect people and accept people for who they are."
--Give-and-Take: "I learned that if you give a little of yourself the return is excellent."
--Trust: "I see trust is intertwined with a lot of the emotions I feel. The more I
trust, the easier it is to deal with those life situations."
Mo Yee Lee, Solution-Focused Treatment of Domestic Violence Offenders. Oxford
University Press, Oxford, UK, 2003.
Reflection Exercise #4
The preceding section contained Identified Themes
of Relational Learning. Write three case study examples regarding how you might
use the content of this section of the Manual in your practice.
Online Continuing Education QUESTION
What are three samples of "rational learning themes" you
might look for in your next session to be reinforced with your client?