Working with Victims of Gender Violence
Some people find themselves repeatedly involved in harmful relationships in which both abuse and maltreatment occur. Many of them struggle to walk away from the relationship, set boundaries, or protect themselves adequately. While in some cases victims are aware that the relationship is harmful, potentially dangerous, and must come to an end, in others, they are unable to assess the risks.
Several authors have hypothesized that the victim's behavior occurs, among other reasons, because of the intense emotions of guilt and learned helplessness that become activated. This could be explained, on the one hand, as part of the invalidation process to which they are subjected by their perpetrators and, on the other, as a result of the victim's own learning history.
There are two concepts that will be important to differentiate clearly: responsibility and vulnerability. Although the perpetrator is the only one responsible for the mistreatment, the victim may have vulnerabilities that come from her personal history. It will be essential to work on these vulnerabilities to prevent her from becoming involved again in harmful relationships. In some cases, it will be necessary to strengthen the victim's resources so she can leave the relationship. This will include offering psychoeducation on prototypical abusive behaviors and types of perpetrators, so that they can identify their partners as such and protect themselves from the strategies they use to retain victims by their side. At the same time, they may need to be guided through the complex process of leaving such a relationship. In other cases, it will be essential to overcome the traumatic bond generated with the perpetrator, which may involve working with apparently positive aspects such as idealization or the addictive component of the relationship.
This session was originally presented as a live conference session in April 2021.
At the conclusion of this session participants will be able to:
- Describe at least three frequent difficulties in victims of gener violence
- List three frequent defenses and blocking emotions in victims of gender violence
- Identify internalized toxic messages, how they show up in therapy
- Describe diverse difficulties with positive affect, including dysfunctional positive affect such as idealization and how to work with it
Presenter: Dolores Mosquera, Psy
Presenter Bio: Dolores Mosquera, is a psychologist and psychotherapist specializing in severe and complex trauma, personality disorders, and dissociation. She is an accredited EMDR Europe Trainer and supervisor. Dolores is the director of the Institute for the Study of Trauma and Personality Disorders (INTRA-TP) in A Coruña, Spain¬—a thre-clinic private institution initially founded in 2000. She is a member of the editorial board of the European Journal of Trauma and Dissociation, a member of the Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, and the co-editor of the European Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation´s Newsletter. Dolores has extensive teaching experience leading seminars, workshops, and lectures internationally. She has published 16 books and numerous articles on personality disorders, complex trauma, and dissociation, and is a recognized expert in this field. She received the David Servan-Schreiber award for outstanding contributions to the EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Processing) field in 2017, and was made Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation in 2018, for her contributions to the trauma and dissociation field.
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- 1.50 ISSTD Certificate ProgramThis program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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