Troy Fenlason, PsyD, is a 2009 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

  • Patricia Linn, Ph.D. (Committee Chair)
  • Nancy Murphy, D.Min. (Committee Member)
  • Liang Tien, Ph.D. (Committee Member)


intimate partner violence, Change Model of Intimate Partner Violence, CMIPV, domestic violence, change

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Recent meta-analytic studies, looking at outcome research of perpetrator intervention programs for intimate partner violence, have concluded that treatment has little to no effect on recidivism. There is a lot of skepticism about the effectiveness of treatment for perpetrators of intimate partner violence, and some are even skeptical that these perpetrators are capable of change. There is a need for a new, more-in-depth approach to the study of change in intimate partner violence. To get a better picture of change, this research study breaks with the prevailing quantitative approach focused on recidivism, and returns to a qualitative, grounded-theory approach focused on understanding the change process from the perspectives of intimate partners (perpetrators and their victims.) This study focused on the stories and experiences of 7 heterosexual, domestic couples. Each of these couples experienced violence in their relationship and received intervention and/or support services specifically addressing this violence. Each of these couples had been free of physical violence for more than a year and showed some positive change in intimate partner violence. Some perpetrators had demonstrated profoundly significant change after many years in the process, and yet, all were still in the process of change. A 5-stage model of change resulted, based on grounded-theory qualitative analysis. The model was named the Change Model of Intimate Partner Violence (CMIPV). It is based on 126 years of collective personal experiences of the change process. Their experiences were communicated through 14 hours of interviews, resulting in 300 transcription pages. The content of these interviews was reduced to 330 descriptions of change, 130 descriptions of contributing factors, and 123 descriptions of the process. The CMIPV that emerged from this analyis opened the door to new ways of thinking about change in intimate partner violence. The CMIPV may be foundational for perpetrator intervention strategies that specifically target stages of change. This study provided a valuable, never-before-documnented perspective on intimate partner violence. In addition, it added new and promising theory to the literature concerning intimate partner violence and the introduction of a new model worthy of ongoing investigation.

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