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CHAPTER FOUR: From ill-behaviour to relational behaviour

Martine Groen Karnac Books ePub

Justine van Lawick

Systemic psychotherapy regarding physical violence within relationships

This chapter is a sequel to Chapter Three. The time-out programme depicted therein is summarized briefly here. Subsequently, the effectiveness is analysed. The time-out programme seems to work as a regulating programme in which clients learn to calm themselves in situations that conjure up fierce emotions. The time-out programme is not a miracle cure for violence, but a tool for clients to learn to calm themselves, which in turn will lead to increased self-control. It can easily be mastered to break through escalations; not only does it prevent physical violence, but it can also be used to prevent psychological violence. Clients feel more empowered through self-control than through intimidating and humiliating the spouse. This creates a foundation on which the development of reflection can be built. When the capacity to calm and control oneself merges with the capacity to reflect, violent behaviour will be channelled into relational behaviour. Recent publications about attachment, attitude, and neurobio-logical processes cast a new light on the effectiveness of this model.

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CHAPTER TWELVE: Apprehensive heroes

Martine Groen Karnac Books ePub

Martine Groen

The emphasis in this book is particularly placed on border-crossing behaviour within families and the consequences for children who grow up in violent, quarrelling families. The scale and size of this behaviour demand reflection. What is going on? In this chapter, different views are discussed surrounding the authority crisis within the primary living system and its consequences on the regulation of aggression of our youth, the future generation. This process of undermining was been set in motion immediately after the Second World War, and it has consequences for the manner in which we relate to the aggression we encounter every day on the streets, in public transport, and in the therapy room.

The manner in which aggression is regulated between people differs through time and history and is linked to the then ruling values, norms, and developed systems of punishment (Berlin, 1990). Nowadays, there is a growing “zero-tolerance” towards violent behaviour. The debate on norms and values has found its way into the political agenda once again. One has become aware that boundaries are crossed at all levels, and that no one has an answer at the ready.

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CHAPTER EIGHT: Rituals of revenge

Martine Groen Karnac Books ePub

Martine Groen

In partner relationships where conflicts are being resolved in a violent manner, there is often a vast amount of resentment about the humiliation endured by the one who has been beaten, once the violence has ceased and the fear of violence has lessened. There is a substantial need for vengeance. Taking revenge precedes forgiveness and reconciliation. To take revenge in a ritualized manner where the therapist bears witness and gives acknowledgement, can stem the destructive flow without the couple returning to the downward spiral of violence.

Family history

Which factors increase the chances of violence within partner relationships? Studies show (as seen in Chapter Five) that violent behaviour seen and experienced in the family home increases the chances that such behaviour might happen in a first partner relationship: 60–80% of men who hit originate from families where violence was used as a way to solve conflicts. Thirty-five per cent of those men have seen their mother being beaten at home (Straus,

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CHAPTER THREE: The downward spiral of violence between partners

Martine Groen Karnac Books ePub

Justine van Lawick

Introduction

Iclearly recall Peter and Ella, two good-looking, young, and successful people who came to me in the outpatients clinic of a psychiatric centre two days after Ella had attempted suicide by using drugs. Peter had found her just in time, and the hospital where Ella was admitted first referred them to me. Pressing for the reason as to why she had tried to commit suicide, I realized that Ella saw herself as worthless. Despite her shiny career as a manager of a medium-sized company, a beautiful house, a good income, social life, and travels abroad, she still felt unhappy and worthless. Peter was flabbergasted, and did not cease to praise her beauty, her captivating manners, elegant appearance, and cooking skills whenever they entertained guests. He did, however, find that she worked too long hours, and he blamed the demands of her job for her breakdown. He himself was not such a high flyer, and he experienced less stress as a result. When I examined her existential crisis further, it appeared she had undergone several operations in order to fulfil Peter's wishes even more. She had had a breast enhancement and a nose-job, her eyelids had been lifted, and her teeth had been perfected, all in the course of two years. Peter now demanded liposuction of her thighs, which he considered to be somewhat fat. He had already made some enquiries and found that it was possible. Ella had resisted openly for the first time ever, and said that she did not want any more tweaking done on her body. Peter did not let up, and pressed on about the surgery. The conflict ended in their first row ever, in which Peter had slapped her.

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CHAPTER SIX: Violence in families of various cultural backgrounds

Martine Groen Karnac Books ePub

Martine Groen

Introduction

The Dutch philosopher, poet, penal and international law expert, Afshin Ellian, wrote in the daily paper de Volkskrant,

It is utter nonsense to weigh cultural background as a factor in determining appropriate legal sanctions. If [you] do, you imply that minorities are exotic pets. That is rather patronizing. Does a Kurdish man who kills his unfaithful spouse have a right to milder punishment? No, because we do not condone it when people take the law into their own hands in the Netherlands. [17 February, 2001]

There are about 3.1 million immigrants and migrants in the Netherlands, comprising almost one fifth of the Dutch population. Half of these are of non-Western descent. The criteria used for determining one's immigrant status are either one's place of birth, or the place of birth of either parent. According to these criteria, children who have been born here are no longer considered immigrants (former minister Van Boxtel).

The four largest groups of non-Western immigrants in the Netherlands are Moroccans, Turks, Surinamese, and Antilleans. Another substantial, but smaller, group consists of Chinese immigrants. The latter group has been living in the Netherlands for a longer period of time. Motives to immigrate to the Netherlands have varied. Most Turks and Moroccans initially moved here on the explicit request of the Dutch government and manufacturing industries, in order to work here. The Surinamese moved here in large numbers just before Surinam gained its independence from the Netherlands, as they were able then to retain Dutch citizenship. Antilleans are still considered overseas citizens (members of empire, or, in Dutch, rijksgenoten). As such, they are legally entitled to various degrees of citizenship rights. However, the situation is complex and differs per island. According to a report by the Dutch Bureau of Statistics (CBS) printed in the Dutch newspaper NRC on 9 January 2007, it appears that the bureau expects the number of immigrants to rise by an additional 1.6 million. The expected growth can be partially accounted for by the number of immigrants from other EU countries, and by future children of immigrants already residing in the Netherlands. The highest numbers of new inhabitants are expected to be of Chinese, Afghan, Iraqi, and Iranian descent.

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