Treatment for Female Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence: Investigating Supporting Factors and Barriers in the Development of the Therapeutic Alliance

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Kennedy, Alisha
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The objective of this literature review was to gain a deeper understanding of the factors that impact the therapeutic alliance in the treatment of female survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV). Much of the existing literature on this topic focuses on perpetrators of IPV and intervention strategies for survivors. A gap in the current literature exists around the role of the therapeutic alliance when working with IPV survivors and the intricacies of the factors that could hinder or support the alliance. The literature review was conducted by collecting existing research and articles on topics related to the research question investigating supporting factors and barriers in the development of the therapeutic alliance for female survivors of intimate partner violence. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods articles were included based on relevance to the research topic, publication within the past seven years, and an inclusion of both practitioner and survivor participants. The findings from the literature review highlighted six major themes. Themes that support the development of the therapeutic alliance with IPV survivors included non-judgement, empowerment, and survivor-led practice. Themes that arose throughout the literature as posing a barrier to the development of the alliance included blame-attribution, power dynamics, and intersectional identity. Recommendations for practitioners include self-reflection of personal identity, increasing survivors' feelings of autonomy during treatment, avoiding language that implies blame, and engaging in additional psychoeducation around IPV dynamics
intimate partner violence , therapeutic alliance , power dynamics , marginalized groups , psychotherapy , depression , post-traumatic stress disorder
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States , openAccess