Two Foundational Texts on IPV and Mental Health — Now Available Online for the First Time!

Written by NCDVTMH Director Dr. Carole Warshaw with co-authors Phyllis Brashler and Jessica Gil in 2009, these two chapters provide a comprehensive overview of the impact of intimate partner violence (IPV) on mental health and an approach to mental health treatment in the context of IPV.

While updated research is now available in these areas, both chapters remain foundational texts and are highly relevant for health care providers, mental health and substance use providers, and DV/SA advocates today.

Both chapters are taken from Intimate Partner Violence: A Health Based Perspective, edited by C. Mitchell and D. Anglin. New York: Oxford University Press. Posted with permission.

Chapter 12: Mental Health Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence

Excerpt: The past 30 years have seen a substantial growth in research documenting the prevalence of intimate partner violence (IPV) and other lifetime trauma among women seen in health and mental health settings as well as the range of mental health conditions associated with current and past abuse. More recently, advances in the fields of traumatic stress, child development, genetics and neuroscience are generating new models for understanding the impact of early experience on subsequent health, mental health and life trajectories as well as the psychobiological impact of adult traumatic events. These, in turn, are changing our conceptual frameworks for understanding the effects of chronic interpersonal abuse across the lifespan, issues that research on intimate partner violence and mental health is only just beginning to reflect. This emerging body of knowledge, particularly when grounded in survivor and advocacy perspectives, provides a more useful framework for understanding the range of mental health responses experienced by survivors of intimate partner violence than earlier approaches that failed to link social context with psychiatric symptoms and disorders.

This chapter reviews research on the mental health consequences of intimate partner violence and other lifetime abuse and the intersection of intimate partner violence, lifetime trauma and mental health. It also provides a critical perspective on the limits of these data for understanding women’s experience of intimate partner violence and the concerns survivors have articulated about how these data are used and perceived. Finally, it offers a framework for understanding and responding to the traumatic effects of intimate partner violence and lifetime abuse and for addressing mental health issues in the context of IPV, including a number of issues not yet addressed by current research.

To access this chapter, click here: Mental Health Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence

For updated research on the health and mental health effects of IPV, see Current Evidence: Intimate Partner Violence, Trauma-Related Mental Health Conditions & Chronic Illness

Mental Health Treatment for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

Excerpt: Because domestic violence (DV) victimization is not, itself, a psychiatric condition, mental health treatment for survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) involves a combination of domestic violence-specific interventions related to safety, confidentiality, and access to resources, and treatment for the range of symptoms that can arise in the context of ongoing abuse. While important strides have been made in addressing the general health care response to domestic violence, there has been relatively little research specifically addressing treatment outcomes for the mental health sequelae of domestic violence. Over the past 35 years, recommendations for responding to domestic violence have evolved into consensus models of care that can be integrated into appropriate evidence-based and/or emerging multi-dimensional treatment approaches.  This chapter reviews the intervention and treatment research available at the time of its publication, discusses the strengths and limitations of existing evidence-based models for addressing the range of issues faced by survivors of domestic violence and describes consensus recommendations for DV-specific interventions and trauma treatment. Given that domestic violence survivors have a wide variety of life experiences with a range of mental health effects, there is no single treatment model that will fit the needs of all survivors.

To access this chapter, click here: Mental Health Treatment for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

For an updated review of trauma-focused treatment in the context of IPV, see NCDVTMH Review of Trauma-Specific Treatment in the Context of Domestic Violence



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