Over two-thirds of clients in family therapy clinics engage in some form of physical violence against their partners within the year prior to the initiation of therapy. However, family therapists are aware of only a small proportion of these cases. The purpose of this article is to enhance the ability of family therapists to detect marital violence. We examine client and therapist reasons for why physical violence is not detected. We then review various methods to screen for the presence of physical violence, especially the Conflict Tactics Scales. Finally, indicators of life-threatening violence are presented to help family therapists detect cases that require immediate intervention to protect the partner whose life may be in danger.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)