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Building Love and Intimacy:
Effective Therapeutic Strategies for Abusive Relationships

February 22-23, 2019
Community Room, Town Center, Corte Madera, CA

Presented by Daniel Sonkin, Ph.D., LMFT and John Hamel, Ph.D., LCSW
6-12 CEUs Available for LCSWs, MFTs, and LPCs


Intimate partner abuse is a serious societal problem, but also a complex, multi-faceted problem amenable to a variety of intervention strategies. While many perpetrators can be helped by participating in so-called batterer intervention programs (BIPs), this psychoeducational group format is limited. Many with personality disorders or other mental health issues require a more therapeutic approach, and BIPs, while appropriate for chronic, serious and consequential types of abuse, typically do not address the needs of victims, co-perpetrators, and other family members. Most intimate partner abuse is bi-directional, typically arises from escalating conflicts, and does not involve high levels of power and control behaviors or life-threatening injuries. This two-day training is intended to help mental health professionals better understand intimate partner abuse in all of its manifestations, and to provide the strategies necessary for optimal treatment outcomes.

Day 1 explores the characteristics, dynamics, causes, and consequences of intimate partner abuse, and the research base for evidence-based interventions. Topics include:

• Gender symmetry and asymmetry, and the prevailing intervention paradigm
• The importance of context
• The Holtzworth-Munroe and Johnson typologies, and the continuum of abuse
• Risk factors and their implications for treatment
• Outcome studies: What works
• Childhood of origin factors: socialization and shame
• The role of attachment

Day 2 focuses on assessment and treatment, with numerous case examples. Topics include:

• Why partner abuse is under-detected
• Working within a systemic perspective while keeping victims safe
• Useful assessment tools
• Strategies for effective individual therapy
• Couples counseling: Tips and caveats
• Secure base priming and other promising, cutting-edge approaches

Register for Day 1 Only (February 22, 2019): $185.00 per person (click on the button below)

Register for Day 2 Only (February 23, 2019): $185.00 per person (click on the button below)

Register for Days 1 and 2 (February 22-23, 2019): $325.00 per person (click the button below)


Daniel Sonkin, Ph.D., MFT (http://www.danielsonkin.com) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in an independent practice in Sausalito, California. Since 1981, his work has focused on the treatment of individuals and couples facing a variety interpersonal problems. In addition to his clinical experience, he has testified as an expert witness since 1977 in criminal cases where domestic violence is an issue. As one of the early specialists in the field of family violence, Dr. Sonkin has developed a widely used protocol for treating male batterers. His book, Learning to Live Without Violence: A Handbook for Men has been published in English, Spanish and Japanese and is utilized by treatment programs around the world. He is also the author of numerous articles and books on domestic violence and child abuse. For the past thirty years he has been integrating attachment theory and neurobiology into his clinical work. In addition to his clinical practice, he was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Counseling at Sonoma State University, a former member and chair of the CAMFT Ethics Committee and is a former member of the CAMFT Board of Directors. He is the recipient of the 1989 CAMFT Clark Vincent Award for Literary Contribution to the field of Marriage and Family Therapy and is the 2000 recipient of the CAMFT Honorary Distinguished Clinical Member Award.

John Hamel, Ph.D., LCSW (https://johnhamel.net), has a Masters in Social Welfare from U.C.L.A., and a Ph.D. from the University of Central Lancashire, U.K., where he is currently a Research Fellow. He has worked with family violence perpetrators and victims since 1992, and is a court-approved provider of batterer intervention and parent programs in four San Francisco Bay Area counties. Mr. Hamel is the author of Gender-Inclusive Treatment of Intimate Partner Abuse, 2nd Edition: Evidence-Based Approaches, (Springer, 2014); co-editor with Tonia Nicholls, PhD, of Family Interventions in Domestic Violence: A Handbook of Gender-Inclusive Theory and Treatment (Springer, 2007); and editor of Intimate Partner and Family Abuse: A Casebook of Gender Inclusive Therapy (Springer, 2008.) He also has had dozens of his research articles published in various peer-reviewed scholarly journals, and is Editor-in-Chief of Partner Abuse, a journal published quarterly by Springer Publishing. Mr. Hamel regularly speaks at conferences on domestic violence, has trained mental health professionals, victim advocates social service organizations, law enforcement, attorneys and family court mediators, and has provided case consultation and expert witness testimony. He is a founding member of the Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Programs (ADVIP), an organization of mental health professionals and researchers dedicated to evidence-based practice (www.domesticviolenceintervention.net).


Registration: 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
A.M. Session:  9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (break between 10:30 – 10:45)
Overview of IPV Research:  Prevalence, Risk Factors, Characteristics, Consequences, and Outcome Studies
Lunch: 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
P.M. Session: 1:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (break between 2:45 – 3:00 p.m.)
Childhood, Personality, and Attachment

A.M. Session:  9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (break between 10:30 – 10:45)
Assessment, Treatment Planning, and Victim Safety 1.5 hours
Individual Therapy 1.5 hours
Lunch: 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
P.M. Session: 1:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. (break between 2:45 – 3:00 p.m.)
Couples Counseling 1.5 hours
Cutting Edge Interventions 1.5 hours