Individual treatment of intimate partner violence perpetrators

Christopher M. Murphy, Laura A. Meis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This article outlines a rationale for investigating the individual (one-on-one) treatment format and individualized (case-tailored) services for partner abuse perpetrators. Many state standards caution against or prohibit individual services in abuser intervention. However, initial research indicates that motivational interviewing, conducted individually, can increase abusive clients' engagement in the change process. Challenges of using the group format in treatment development are discussed along with potential benefits of individual treatment for this population. Notably, individual treatment can be adapted to the client's stage of change, can address a range of presenting concerns (such as substance abuse and mood disorders) that may influence outcome, and can be used to focus clinical attention on case-specific change targets while avoiding potentially negative and antisocial peer influences in the group format. Nevertheless, individual treatment has been almost entirely ignored to date in clinical research with this population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-186
Number of pages14
JournalViolence and Victims
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Abuse
  • Offenders
  • Partner violence
  • Therapy


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