The Language of Healing: Women’s Voices in Healing and Recovering From Domestic Violenceedit
Little is known about the course of recovery or healing from intimate partner violence. Shelter-based interventions are limited and frequently end before traumatized women can adequately reconstruct social and personal identity. Based on the belief that healing from relationship violence is a social, spiritual, cultural, and psychological process, we designed a group treatment approach that discouraged repetitive disclosure about the history of abuse and that used holistic, integrative, and alternative healing approaches such as prayer, meditation, yoga, creative visualization, and art therapy. Structured interviews and focus groups were used to engage the women in articulating a conceptualization of healing from domestic violence. The Post-traumatic Checklist was used as a pre and posttest measure to assess the group’s effectiveness. Positive quantitative and qualitative results were obtained and are presented. Implications for further research are also discussed.