chapter  31
28 Pages

LOVE AND VIOLENCE: GENDER PARADOXES IN VOLATILE ATTACHMENTS

B y se lec t ing couples w h o w a n t e d to stay together, a n d treat ing t h e m i n

c o n j o i n t therapy, w e k n e w the risks. B o t h profess ional ly and pol i t i ca l ly , there

are m a n y cogent arguments that the use o f b a t t e r i n g groups for m e n and s u p -

p o r t groups for w o m e n is the most appropr ia te treatment strategy (4, 10, 25 ,

32 , 34) . T h i s p o s i t i o n makes sense. First , c o n j o i n t therapy, by d e f i n i t i o n , i m -

plies that there is a m u t u a l p r o b l e m to be so lved, and this a lmost inev i tab ly

slides i n t o the i m p l i c a t i o n o f m u t u a l responsib i l i ty for it . T h i s c o n s t r u c t i o n o f

the s i tuat ion denies a n d obscures the social reality that the m a n is m o r e p o w -

er ful than the w o m a n , a n d this d i s t o r t i o n then falsifies the therapy. I f the

w o m a n were to act as i f she were equal , express ing her o p i n i o n s a n d e m o -

t ions freely, she w o u l d p u t herse l f i n danger after the session. I f she protects

herse l f and the fragile re la t ionship that she, for whatever reasons, wishes to

m a i n t a i n , the therapy is i n a u t h e n t i c . O n the o t h e r h a n d , there were n o w e l l -

c o n c e i v e d batterers groups for us to c o n n e c t w i t h , a n d the couples w h o came

to us e x p l i c i t l y w a n t e d to be seen con jo in t ly .