The critical incident technique was used to investigate the helpful and hindering counselling events for women who had experienced intimate partner violence (IPV). Given the ubiquitous nature of IPV, ongoing research in this area is essential to understand ways to best promote healing for women who have experienced abuse. This study focuses on women who have experienced IPV and who have attended counselling regarding the impact of this abuse. The main question in the study explores what counselling experiences helped or hindered women in the process of healing from an IPV situation. Seventy percent of critical incidents were identified as helpful and thirty percent hindering. Key findings show the tension between participants’ feelings of empowerment and feelings of shame within a counselling relationship. Safety was participants’ primary foundational need, as counselling relationship experiences can parallel those of the IPV relationship.
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Thesis advisor: Keats, Patrice
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