1st Edition

Working with Client Experiences of Domestic Abuse A Handbook for Counsellors, Psychotherapists, and Other Mental Health Professionals

Edited By Jeannette Roddy Copyright 2023
    238 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    238 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited volume shares relevant theory and practical strategies to support counsellors to work effectively with those who have experienced domestic abuse.

    The effect of relational and other abuses can impact an individual’s ability to engage with family, friends, counsellors or other professionals trying to support them due to reduced ability to trust and the impact of complex trauma. Helping someone to recover requires specific knowledge and skills, not usually part of a standard professional training program. This book acts as a training manual, providing an overview of what clients need at different stages of recovery. It contains chapters written by staff who deliver counselling and mental health training and provides their insight into the specific issues that clients may present, suggesting constructive and accessible suggestions for practice, and a chapter on counsellor self-care. The reflections/exercises in each chapter will help the reader assess their competency.

    Working with Client Experiences of Domestic Abuse will be of interest to mental health professionals, counselling training courses, and domestic violence services, who wish to incorporate counselling as part of their service offer.

    1. Introduction

    Jeannette Roddy

    2. A Model of Therapeutic Practice

    Jeannette Roddy

    3. Understanding Domestic Abuse

    Jeannette Roddy and Rod Dubrow-Marshall

    4. Enhancing Therapeutic Skills

    Jeannette Roddy, Leigh Gardner, and Linda Dubrow-Marshall

    5. Understanding Attachment and Transference

    Jeannette Roddy and Sarah Eccleston

    6. Working with Protective Emotions

    Linda Dubrow-Marshall and Laura Viliardos

    7. Working with Protective Behaviours

    Linda Dubrow-Marshall and Rod Dubrow-Marshall

    8. Understanding Complex Trauma

    Jeannette Roddy

    9. Understanding the Developmental Impact of Domestic Violence and Adverse Experiences in Childhood across the Life-Course

    Celeste Foster and Leigh Gardner

    10. Compassionate Mind Training

    Elaine Beaumont

    11. Different Clients, Different Contexts

    Jeannette Roddy, Rod Dubrow-Marshall, Laura Viliardos, Mark Widdowson, and Keelan Donohue

    12. Understanding the Impact of Law and Ethics

    Sarah Riding

    13. Using Creative Arts Therapies to Work with Trauma Developed from Experiences of Domestic Abuse

    Joanna Omylinksa-Thurston and Leigh Gardner

    14. Preparing Ourselves for Starting and Continuing Client Work

    Jeannette Roddy and Elaine Beaumont

    15. Looking Ahead

    Jeannette Roddy


    Jeannette Roddy has been a practicing counsellor/psychotherapist and researcher in domestic abuse counselling for over 10 years. She became a university academic in 2014, teaching and supervising counselling students in practice and research, and developing a domestic abuse counselling service. In 2022, she set up Dactari, which specializes in delivering domestic abuse counselling, training and research.

    ‘This book is an invaluable resource to therapeutic practitioners wanting to understand more about working with domestic abuse. The book draws on an impressive wealth of practice experience and research evidence. Grounded in a trauma-informed, person-centred and relationship-focused lens, Jeannette and contributing authors engage deeply with the complexity of working with this client group, offering practical strategies, self-reflection exercises, and theoretical insights that will support therapists to develop their practice and understand more about domestic abuse.’

    Tanya Beetham, PhD, is a lecturer in Psychology and Counselling at The Open University. She is a counsellor/psychotherapist with research expertise in domestic abuse.

    ‘This book is a well-researched and accessibly written guide to working with domestic abuse, which addresses a range of theoretical and professional perspectives. Readers are encouraged to discern whether they are suited to domestic abuse as a specialism and to this approach to the work. A valuable resource for any practitioner.’

    Nikki Dhillon Keane is the author of the BACP guidance Working with Domestic Abuse in the Counselling Professions and Domestic Abuse in Church Communities (rpbooks.co.uk) and founder of Safe in Faith and cofounder of the Faith and VAWG Coalition.