Alisha Guthery, PhD is a 2023 graduate of the Counselor Education & Supervision Progam at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee

Stephanie Thorson-Olesen, PhD, Committee Chair

Colin Ward, PhD, LMHC, Committee Member

Shawn Patrick, PhD, NCC, LCPC, Committee Member


Delphi methodology, grounded theory, relational violence, child abuse, domestic violence, gender-based violence, violence prevention, violence intervention, counselor, counseling education, advocacy

Document Type


Publication Date



This study solicited experts in relational violence across the United States using the Delphi methodology and grounded theory. This research was conducted in two phases and designed to answer two primary questions: (1) What cultural beliefs are involved in relational violence in the United States? And (2) How are the beliefs about relational violence maintained? The findings showed agreement from the experts on the societal beliefs that hold relational violence, the specific beliefs held by the abuser, and the impacts of these beliefs on the survivor. The experts offered ideas for intervention and prevention, which are important contributions to professional counseling and the field of relational violence, including specific educational considerations. This study enhances current research by providing a systemic lens to how relational violence is perpetrated. Cultural spillover theory was applied to identify the overlapping relationship between structural forces and violence, while polyvagal theory informed the biological underpinnings of relational violence and how it is perpetuated.


Alisha Guthery, PhD, 2023

ORCID Scholar No. 0009-0002-2546-1914