NCDVTMH Online Repository of Trauma-Focused Interventions for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence

The first 10 models selected for the Online Repository of Trauma-Focused Interventions for Survivors of IPV came from our updated literature review. We found 51 articles that empirically evaluated a non-pharmacological treatment or intervention with trauma-relevant outcomes that included survivors of IPV. Papers were then organized into 3 groups 1) studies of trauma interventions specifically designed for survivors of IPV; 2) trauma-focused interventions with no IPV-specific modifications, but with a sample made up exclusively of IPV participants; and 3) trauma-focused intervention with no IPV-specific modifications that included survivors of IPV in a mixed study sample of other types of trauma survivors. For the Online Repository we selected an initial 10 models from this pool of published research for which there was high quality, good evidence and/or that were innovative and/or promising. These include the following (please click to download each PDF):


  1. Covington, S. S., Burke, C., Keaton, S., & Norcott, C. (2008). Evaluation of a trauma-informed and gender-responsive intervention for women in drug treatment. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 40(5), 387-398. — Helping Women Recovery (HWR) is a curriculum designed to treat women with histories of addiction and trauma in various settings. Sessions of HWR are based in four modules: self, relationships, sexuality, and spirituality; areas that have been identified as relapse triggers that are crucial to growth and healing. A combination of psychoeducational, cognitive-behavioral, expressive arts, and relational approaches are employed in sessions. Beyond Trauma (BT) is a trauma-specific curriculum following HWR that highlights the areas of violence, abuse and trauma, the impact of trauma, and healing from trauma. Major emphasis is placed on coping skills, especially emotional wellness development. Beyond Trauma also aims to help women in their expression and experience of feelings of grief, loss, fear, shame, and anger.
  2. Crespo, M., & Arinero, M. (2010). Assessment of the efficacy of a psychological treatment for women victims of violence by their intimate male partner. The Spanish Journal of Psychology, 13(2), 849. — Crespo and Arinero evaluated the long-term efficacy of two versions of a brief psychotherapeutic cognitive-behavioral program for women who were victims of intimate partner violence. Women were randomized into one of two groups – one that included a module on exposure techniques and the other, a module on communication skills training. The program is comprised of seven modules; six common modules and one specific module involving either exposure techniques or communication skills. The six common modules cover the following: (a) diaphragmatic breathing exercises to control arousal; (b) improving mood by planning to increase pleasant activities; (c) improving self-esteem; (d) restructuring of biased cognitions; (e) increasing problem-solving skills for an independent life; and (f) psychoeducation about violence in intimate relationships. In between sessions women received written materials with homework exercises. Exposure therapy addressed the posttraumatic symptoms of re-experiencing and avoidance. Communication skills training targeted feelings of anger and the ability to express and communicate.
  3. DePrince, A. P., Labus, J., Belknap, J., Buckingham, S., & Gover, A. (2012). The impact of community-based outreach on psychological distress and victim safety in women exposed to intimate partner abuse. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 80(2), 211-221. — Though not strictly considered an intervention study, DePrince et al. (2012) sought to evaluate existing Community-Coordinated Response (CCR) Programs within a community. This study compared a community-based outreach program to a criminal justice system referral program for female survivors of police reported IPV. In the outreach condition, women were contacted directly by community based advocates – who were familiar with their specific situation – and were told how various available services applied to their case. In the referral condition, an advocate – who were not familiar with all case details – from the prosecutor’s office or police department contacted women with recommendations for referral services. It was believed that service provision would be improved for IPV survivors when services were matched to their specific needs (the outreach condition). The research team did not develop the intervention; CCR had been established in Denver of community based with criminal justice system. The goal was to try to understand impact of CCR and to study it as the multidisciplinary response that was already in place (CCR vs. TAU).
  4. Dutton, M. A., Bermudez, D., Matás, A., Majid, H., & Myers, N. A. L. (2013). Mindfulness-based stress reduction for low-income, predominantly African American women with PTSD and a history of intimate partner violence. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice, 20(1), 23-32. — Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), a community-based intervention adapted for low-income, predominately minority women who are currently experiencing PTSD and depression. MBSR adapted for this population is a 10-week, 1.5 hour per week meditation-based group training consisting of 20 hours of instruction. MBSR instruction involves (a) formal meditation practices (body scan, gentle Hatha yoga, seated meditation, walking meditation), (b) informal meditation practiced during daily activities (e.g., eating, communication, driving, daily activities) and (c) mindful inquiry.
  5. Graham-Bermann, S., & Miller, L. E. (2013). Intervention to reduce traumatic stress following intimate partner violence: An efficacy trial of the moms’ empowerment program (MEP). Psychodynamic Psychiatry, 41(2), 329-350. — The Mom’s Empowerment Program (MEP) looks at the role and function of social supports and relationships to address trauma symptoms resulting from IPV. MEP addresses advocacy needs, psychoeducation about violence and its effects, and skills for promoting positive mental health. A group format facilitates the sharing of the IPV story and companionship. A children’s program was also designed to help identify and process feelings, address any self-blame they may have about the witnessed abuse, and teach safety skills and coping strategies.
  6. Johnson, D. M., Zlotnick, C., & Perez, S. (2011). Cognitive behavioral treatment of PTSD in residents of battered women’s shelters: Results of a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79(4), 542-551. and Johnson, D. M., Johnson, N. L., Perez, S. K., Palmieri, P. A., & Zlotnick, C. (2016). Comparison of adding treatment of PTSD during and after shelter stay to standard care in residents of battered women’s shelters: results of a randomized clinical trial. Journal of traumatic stress29(4), 365-373. — Helping to Overcome PTSD through Empowerment (HOPE) is a 9-12 session manualized, cognitive-behavioral, empowerment-based individual treatment for survivors of intimate partner violence (IPV) residing in shelter. It incorporates many of the traditional components of CBT for PTSD (e.g., cognitive-restructuring, skill building) with a focus on helping women to realistically appraise the degree of threat they are under and to learn how to manage their PTSD symptoms in ways that do not put their safety at risk or further intensify their PTSD. Early sessions of HOPE involve psychoeducation about IPV, PTSD, and safety planning. HOPE also incorporates empowerment strategies, helping women to identify aspects of their situation that are under their control and teaching empowerment skills to help establish independence, make informed choices, and access resources. HOPE also emphasizes the need for collaboration with DV advocates/case managers and other resource providers.
  7. Kaslow, N. J., Leiner, A. S., Reviere, S., Jackson, E., Bethea, K., Bhaju, J., … Thompson, M. P.  (2010). Suicidal, abused African American women’s response to a culturally informed intervention. Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 78(4), 449-458. — The Grady Nia Project is a culturally competent intervention for African American women who had experienced abuse and demonstrated suicidality. The Project examines the influence of intrapersonal, social and situational, and social-environmental factors on behavior while incorporating elements of Black feminism/womanism, feminist theory, and Afrocentric theory (African proverbs, heroines, and culturally relevant coping strategies). Grady Nia sessions include assessments for IPV risk and suicide, interactive discussions on the week’s topic, and group activities. Adjunctive services such as community resources, referrals to social services, and necessary goods like food and clothes are also made available.
  8. Kubany, E. S., Hill, E. E., Owens, J. A., Iannce-Spencer, C., McCaig, M. A., Tremayne, K. J., et al. (2004). Cognitive trauma therapy for battered women with PTSD (CTT-BW). Journal of Consulting & Clinical Psychology, 72(1), 3-18. — Cognitive trauma therapy for battered women (CTT-BW) is a multicomponent intervention designed specifically for the treatment of PTSD in women with histories of physical and/or sexual abuse. CTT-BW emphasizes the role of inaccurate beliefs, guilt, and shame in maintaining PTSD. To develop CTT-BW, Kubany consulted with advocates and women who had experienced intimate partner violence and built upon existing cognitive-behavioral techniques for treating PTSD such as psychoeducation, stress management training, and discussion of the trauma history as part of therapy. Additional procedures were designed to assess and modify guilt-related beliefs and monitor and reduce negative self-talk. Treatment modules included for survivors included self-advocacy, empowerment, managing unwanted contacts by former abusive partners, communication skills, and skills for identifying risk factors for potential perpetrators. The 8-11 session individual treatment was delivered in 1.5-hour sessions.
  9. Sullivan, C. M., & Bybee, D. I. (1999). Reducing violence using community-based advocacy for women with abusive partners. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67(1), 43. — Sullivan and Bybee (1999) developed and evaluated a community-based advocacy intervention designed to increase access to community resources and social support for shelter based women who experienced abuse. Advocacy consisted of five phases (assessment, implementation, monitoring, secondary implementation, and termination) that sought to develop a safety and action plan tailored to the participant’s specific situation that could be monitored and modified as needed. For 10 weeks, the advocate would meet with the participant and the pair would spend time in the community for 4-6 hours a week looking for jobs and/or housing, work on legal issues, or help with accessing other resources.
  10. Taft, A. J., Small, R., Hegarty, K. L., Watson, L. F., Gold, L., & Lumley, J. A. (2011). Mothers’ AdvocateS In the Community (MOSAIC) – non-professional mentor support to reduce intimate partner violence and depression in mothers: A cluster randomised trial in primary care. BMC Public Health, 11, 178-187. — MOSAIC (Mother Advocates In the Community) is an intervention featuring the use of nonprofessional mentor supports to reduce IPV occurrence and rates of depression among pregnant and recent mothers at risk of or currently experiencing IPV. The intervention consisted of 12 months of weekly home visits by community mentors (mothers who lived in the community) who offered companionship, advocacy, parenting support, and referrals. Women were referred to the intervention through their general practice clinics (GP) or Maternal Child Health teams (MCH).

  • Center Highlights

  • News & Updates