Following the previous blog, a concept which is perhaps often not given enough attention in situations of DV is the aggressor, which like the victim could be of either gender. By no means am I condoning the behaviour of aggressors however as with all behaviour, it does not stem from nothing. I strongly believe that prior to engaging in psychological or physical violence, aggressors are experiencing some sort of feeling which leads them to behave in this manner with their partner. Therefore, feelings do not come about for no reason, pertaining to CBT I believe that feelings are elicited according to how the individual perceives specific stimuli.
Thus in a sense when working with individuals who are aggressors one understands that aggressors are also passing through a difficult period. As they need to resort to physical or psychological violence in order to attempt to relieve their own negative feelings. This in turn further exacerbates their feelings as the individual may experience guilt and anxiety for causing the partner to experience great pain. The decision needs to be taken by the aggressor on what needs to be done – whether or not to seek help in order to help themselves and their families by processing the meaning and the root cause of the need to act in this manner. At the same time the individual would work towards finding positive methods of expression in order to help mend the aggressors relationships with others.
More to follow..
– Karl Grech is a counsellor. He offers counselling to both individuals and couples within Willingness. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.