Domestic violence

Working safely and ethically with you

We understand how upsetting it can be to think and feel that we are out of control especially when we argue and fight. And we know it can be difficult to know what to do and how to stop this. We have worked with many couples who have fought both verbally, physically and psychologically with each other.

At The Open Room we consider domestic violence/abuse as a safety and child protection issue. Before we proceed working with you the couple, or you as one of a couple, we will work with you collaboratively to ascertain and assess whether counselling may be safe and suitable for you.

Our aim is to:

  • Provide an empathetic and supportive service
  • Provide a service that is able to identify when couple counselling is safe and suitable and when it is not
  • Offer safety work, support and help to work through issues and aid motivation to change
  • Help you to complete the job that you are trying to do spontaneously i.e. stop the current cycle and transition to better outcomes
  • Help with immediate behavioural change and safety work
  • Provide referral points, if more appropriate services are required

As part of an initial assessment we will discuss your safety and the existence of any harmful and threatening behaviour. We will work with you to agree a no-violence contract.  And help you to work on keeping yourself safe.

We like to think of this safety work in terms of being a ‘fire drill’ or hitting a pause button.  You can change your relationships by recognising trigger signs and old behaviours and take steps to change this.

All of this translates into a very specific approach. We will work with you in the initial sessions focusing solely on safety measures. If cessation of violence is adhered to, as a result of invoking safety measures, we may progress to working psycho-therapeutically with you. Counselling will then commence.

The process of counselling and psychotherapy can disturb us both emotionally and psychologically, as is meant to happen. This initial focus ensures you take full responsibility for your well-being, your life, your relationship and your safety.

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