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A Reconceptualization of Issues in the Treatment of Abused Women: A Case Study
Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice (1980)
  • Diane R. Follingstad, University of South Carolina - Columbia

The personality profile of abused women needs to be reconceptualized as a result of living in an abusive situation rather than as the antecedent that provokes abuse from the spouse. The personality traits exhibited by abused women closely parallel symptoms of learned helplessness, a concept that can be used to explain the perception of no alternatives, an inability to effect change, and passivity. A strategy for therapeutic intervention is outlined through a case study that suggests changing faculty beliefs and developing skills prior to instituting change in the abused woman's environment. The case study is significant in its successful modification of the abusive male's behavior even though he never came to therapy. Significant posttherapy decreases in MMPI personality scales as well as mood scales indicate vast personality changes in the client as a result of her successful attempts to change her environment.

  • violence against women,
  • battered women,
  • treatment,
  • intervention
Publication Date
Citation Information
Diane R. Follingstad. "A Reconceptualization of Issues in the Treatment of Abused Women: A Case Study" Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice Vol. 17 Iss. 3 (1980)
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