Assessment and Treatment of Domestic Violence


Social Work Practice, knowledge and skills and Clinical Interventions

Name and Qualifications of the Presenter:

Dr. Janet A. Geller, LCSW, BCD, is a licensed clinical social worker in New York. She formally was an Assistant Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Social Work. Her most recent position was as The Director of the Family Violence Prevention Center at Jewish Board of Family & Children’s Services where she trained and supervised social work staff on the treatment of domestic violence. Dr. Geller was responsible for the development and implementation of agency-wide domestic violence services. Dr. Geller has published extensively on domestic violence including a book, Breaking Destructive Patterns: Multiple Strategies for Treating Partner Abuse published by the Free Press. In addition to lecturing at universities, mental health agencies, psychiatric and medical hospitals nationwide, Dr. Geller has appeared on several national talk shows as an authority on domestic violence.

Dr. Geller has treated survivors and abusers of domestic violence for over 25 years throughout New York. She has been trained in individual and family therapy. In addition to working with families, she also treats individuals and couples. Dr. Geller had worked in numerous social work and mental health institutions as a direct practitioner, supervisor and director for several years.

Course Description:

Session amounts may vary based on the individual needs of the organization.

For individuals, please contact us for more information.

The focus is to provide the practitioner with a multi-modality treatment model for domestic violence that is applicable to working with the abused person as well as the person who is abusive. The model is interventive, employing psycho-educational, cognitive behavioral, psychodynamic, systemic and violence-eliminating techniques. This is a two phase model: Phase 1 – crisis intervention, Phase 2 – working intensively in-depth. Sensitivity to ethnicity, religion, race and culture will be addressed.

The Psychodynamics of Partner Abuse and the Psychological Effects of Victimization

Assessment for Domestic Violence

  • Theory of victimization – experiential
  • Effects on children
  • Race, culture and ethnicity
  • Modalities of Treatment Applicable to Partner Abuse

Assessing for trauma

  • The psychological and emotional effects of trauma
  • Treatment techniques
  • Modalities of Treatment Applicable to Partner Abuse

Assessing for trauma

  • The psychological and emotional effects of trauma
  • Treatment techniques
  • Modalities of Treatment Applicable to Partner Abuse

Crisis Intervention

  • Advocacy
  • Case Management
  • Safety Planning
  • Clinical Techniques: Individual, Group and Couple


  • Violence Eliminating Strategic Interventions
  • Treating aggression VIDEO
  • Cognitive Behavioral tools
  • The Practitioners Needs

Countertransference and other reactions

  • Self-care
  • When danger is perceived
  • Strategies for safety

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will demonstrate their ability to assess domestic violence by demonstrating how they would use a standardized objective measure and
  • Participants will list a series of questions for assessing the presence of domestic violence within cases where this is not the presenting problem.
  • Participants will illustrate knowledge of their ability to determine the level of abuse from mild to severe and will provide examples of the appropriate treatment plans based on the different levels of abuse.
  • Participants will demonstrate knowledge of treatment techniques and tools for treating the abuse.
  • Participants will demonstrate their ability to recognize and manage countertransference and will list 4 techniques of self-care.