Career and Job Search Guide

Domestic Violence Counselor

Some experts believe marital counseling should not be pursued if one member of the relationship has abused the other.

However, following abuse counseling and successful completion of an abuse recovery program, experts recommend marital counseling for couples interested in saving their marriages.

Since domestic violence is usually a multi-faceted issue, reported cases of it require counselors with expertise on the subject. It is essential that counselors wanting to work with victims of domestic abuse receive specific training. Becoming licensed and certified as a domestic violence counselor is possible anywhere within the United States since every state has a certification program.

Since domestic abuse counseling is very specialized, abuse victims seeking treatment from other counseling professionals can become frustrated during counseling sessions. Seeking help from the wrong professionals can be detrimental to victims. Those with a generalized psychology or counseling background are sufficiently prepared to complete a domestic violence counseling certification, but in order to effectively assist abuse victims, counselors must complete specialized training.

One of the reasons counselors must receive specialized training in order to treat victims of domestic violence is counselors with generalized training may approach the problem simply as a common marriage problem. Not that they would trivialize or downplay the seriousness of domestic abuse, but rather approach solving it as any other issue married couples struggle with.

Individuals who abuse their spouses usually suffered abuse when they were young, or they're are very selfish and narcissistic. Many are motivated by a desire to control others. Often people who abuse their spouses appear to be stable and sensitive individuals.

There are various forms of abuse, including emotional, sexual, physical, and spiritual abuse. Whatever type of abuse, most abusers desire to have greater control over the person they hurt. Abuse victims are often scared, overly self-deprecating, and easily manipulated when around the perpetrator of the abuse.

Although domestic abusers are usually men, women are frequently the perpetrators. Sadly, domestic abuse is a frequent occurrence in the United States with nearly 25% of women being victims at least once during their lives. Even though men are not as victimized as much as women, the percentage of abused men is not overwhelming smaller compared to the percentage for women.

Effective domestic abuse counselors will always be in demand since abuse victims often suffer extreme emotional duress that makes it difficult from them to cope with everyday stresses. Those who receive treatment from domestic abuse counselors can gain hope and develop empowering coping skills.

Since most abuse victims are conditioned to be passive during the period of their abuse, domestic abuse counselors must utilize treatments to empower the victim. To treat victims, domestic abuse counselors utilize group and individual therapy. During these sessions, counselors will teach abuse victims to be positive, honest about their abuse, and willing to take initiative to end abusive relationships.

Effective domestic abuse counselors are able to show their patients how small steps can lead to life altering changes. They help patients visualize change and explain how it is possible.

After successful treatment, it is possible for abuse suffers to be honest about their abuse and take steps to end abusive relationships and avoid harmful ones in the future. Not only will abuse victims be empowered, they'll be happier with themselves and have the ability to cope with their emotional pain.

Since prospective domestic abuse counselors must complete a certification program in the state they intend to practice in, there is no specific degree one must hold to work as a domestic abuse counselor. However, those with degrees in counseling, psychology, or social work will be better prepared for certification programs.