We have thirty years of experience in family and relationship therapy. We teach healthy parenting skills especially with difficult adolescents and young adults. We help families deal with addiction as well as depression and anxiety that affect the family system
TREATING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Any physical contact during a conflict can be considered domestic violence. The spectrum of these behaviors range from controlling behaviors, threats and cohesion to physical assault, like holding or blocking, shoving, slapping and pushing to threatened use of weapons, and, ultimately, homicide. The incidences range from impulsive one-time acts of aggressive behavior in response to hyper-arousal to systemic behaviors indicating domestic violence for power and control designed to intimidate the other partner in a relationship. Between 16 to 40% of divorcing couples cite domestic violence as a primary reason for termination, depending on cultural factors.
Dr. Paul Standal’s first objective is to provide couples with tools to reduce conflict, control impulsivity, and contain and modulate their hyper-arousal. He next assesses the physiological, psychological and interpersonal/family relations factors that contribute to a co-dependent trauma bond seen in many violent family environments.
Examples of physiological variables might include head trauma, dementia or M.S.
Psychological components might include PTSD, personality disorders, such as narcissistic or paranoid personality, or feelings of low self-esteem issues. Examples of interpersonal/family relations would be dealing with an “out of control” adolescent or feelings of jealousy leading to a cycle of violence.
Dr. Standal’s therapeutic approach is practical and solution-oriented, with the focus on stopping any further domestic violence. Though he is dedicated to helping create successful relationships, violence is so toxic that, without intervention, there is no chance for relational rehabilitation.
Dr. Standal uses supportive confrontation, enhancement of self-esteem, problem-solving and negotiation skills, and mastery of hyper-arousal, impulsivity and enhanced consequence awareness. He focuses on the development of emotional and affective awareness and feelings of security and self-esteem, particularly with issues of power and control. He teaches new healthy ways of expressing anger, resolving conflict, reducing hyper-arousal and relaxation training. He helps couples develop signals for breaking off unhealthy communications and implementing nonviolent conflict resolution and negotiation skills. Dr. Standal provides rules for “fair fighting” training and “blaming without response” exercises being done by both parties equally (designed to extinguish the mutual blaming that prevents identification and modification of behavior).
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