Counselor Training and Competencies in Intimate Partner Violence
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Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a problem that many counselors need to assess and treat. The legal system doles out mandates for both the perpetrator and victim of IPV; often not allowing clients or counselors the luxury of finding the ideal therapeutic relationship. This exploratory study examined the relationships of: completed education, personal experience with IPV, type of IPV training, and IPV training hours completed as they relate to (1) perceived preparedness to work clinically with IPV; (2) perceived IPV knowledge; (3) actual IPV knowledge; (4) opinions about IPV; and (5) IPV practice. This study surveyed 159 counseling professionals across the United States. Data were collected through an online survey and were analyzed using correlations, regressions, and one-way ANOVA. This study reinforces concerns found within previous research. That there is a lack of consistent training in IPV, inconsistent procedures at the clinical level, and limited training requirements, which appear to have a direct effect on IPV treatment and outcomes. The findings of this study suggest a large disparity within the training of IPV in educational programs and resources and continuity within the clinical settings. This study also raises questions about how personal IPV experience affects the confidence levels of clinicians.