Treating the Abusive Partner

An Individualized Cognitive-Behavioral Approach

Christopher M. Murphy and Christopher I. Eckhardt

September 9, 2005
ISBN 9781593852078
Price: $43.00
290 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"

“I would recommend this book to clinicians working with partner-abusive clients or with victims of abuse....I found the authors' use of their own practice experiences integrated with reference to the existing research on partner abuse to be an effective teaching tool....The authors should be applauded for their contribution to practice knowledge with a challenging, often stereotyped clinical population.”

Clinical Social Work Journal

“This book presents an individualized cognitive behavioral approach developed by the authors in an effort to supersede the standard group-oriented treatment approach that is commonly used in the treatment of abusive clients....A highly readable, valuable reference that will benefit both the seasoned clinician, as well as someone with little experience working with this population. The text is both interesting and informative and challenges the reader to consider a multitude of factors that may contribute to the development of abusive behaviors....I appreciated the comprehensive nature of this text and believe that the authors have developed an effective, researched-based modality for working with abusive clients.”

Family Journal

“Valuable for mental health professionals. The authors...provide a substantive set of modules for therapeutic intervention with a troublesome client population.”


“This is a remarkable and important book. Its value to all clinicians, not just those working with domestic violence, is high....The strategies and carefully laid out treatment approaches serve as a primer for those providing empirically supported, yet individualized treatments applicable to a wide range of presenting problems....While the book only contains about 250 pages of material, it is so packed with content that it reads like a book three times as thick!...Even if you are not interested in acquiring expertise in this area, this would be a book worth reading simply due to its richness regarding doing good therapy with anyone....Should be required reading for any graduate program where couples work is a part of the curriculum, whether IPV is focused on or not. It would be an excellent adjunctive text in any alcoholism or substance abuse course, due to the overlap in strategies and the comorbidities of the problems. The authors have more than met their goals and provided the field with a gem. The cost of the book, when weighed against the richness of the information it provides, makes it an extraordinary value.”

Child and Family Behavior Therapy

“The authors...move beyond existing approaches to consider relatively new applications of motivational interviewing techniques to the treatment of abusive partners, along with other new approaches....[This book] can serve as a useful introduction to the topic for practitioners new to this area, a comprehensive reference and source of new ideas for practitioners already working with court-mandated populations of abusive partners, and a nice resource for family or couple therapists likely to encounter couples experiencing partner abuse....Given that the chapters are well-organized and the book is clearly written and easy to read, it is potentially useful for graduate and undergraduate level courses to help students develop a general understanding of partner abuse theory, research, and intervention.”

The Family Psychologist

“To date, knowledge and understanding about effective treatments for domestic abuse perpetrators is limited. This book presents an empirically based approach for clinicians conducting individual treatment with this population. The authors have extensive experience working with abusive clients, and their 4-phase treatment model emphasizes the importance of individualized case formulation and the establishment of a collaborative working alliance. Throughout, the clinical examples provided are helpful in illustrating important concepts. This is an impressive book that will prove valuable to both mental health professionals and researchers in the field of domestic violence. The authors have crafted a significant work that will stimulate intervention studies as well as further clinical developments.”

—Cindy Miller-Perrin, PhD, Social Science Division, Pepperdine University

“This book should be required reading for all clinicians working with intimate partner abusers. It is well documented and, importantly, it comes from two authors with considerable clinical and research experience in working with physically abusive men. The book challenges the usefulness of group treatment, citing the dangers of peer reinforcement and resistance to the therapy process, and noting the very meager evidence for the effectiveness of such approaches. As an alternative, it offers an individualized treatment approach that utilizes case formulation and various means to enhance motivation. An excellent guide.”

—K. Daniel O'Leary, PhD, Department of Psychology, Stony Brook University

Treating the Abusive Partner is a significant achievement, combining a comprehensive review of the research on domestic abusers with a clinically detailed, original, and effective treatment model. In emphasizing the many known differences among abusers and the importance of individually based treatment, the book offers something practical as well as intellectually stimulating for practitioners and academics alike. It is a unique and very readable contribution to the field of domestic violence.”

—B. J. Cling, PhD, JD, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice and St. John's University, New York