Treating Clients With a History of Abusive Relationships

Treating Clients With a History of Abusive Relationships

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$295 AUD
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Clients with a history of abusive relationships tend to exhibit certain predictable behavioural patterns underlying emotional needs and cognitive distortions.  Therapists have a vital role in helping the clients to identify these patterns and their underlying causes.  Otherwise, the maladaptive patterns are bound to repeat themselves which will then lead to the same type of relationship problems, just in a different context. This course will review important topics and skills clinicians need to master in order to be effective in helping clients break these maladaptive patterns that usually lead to clients entering abusive relationships over and over again.


This comprehensive course will review the evidence and breakthroughs provided by research, and it will also disperse past misconceptions and errors in prior research on abusive relationships, especially co-dependency.  If you work with clients who suffer distress, trauma, lack of emotional fulfilment or loneliness due to the tendency to be drawn to abusive relationships then this is a course for you.


You will learn about:

  • the development and use of co-dependency,
  • understanding DSM-5 Dependent Personality Disorder,
  • attachment styles, and
  • using specific treatment tools with clients.


You will practice techniques such as:

  •  the wheel of power and control,
  • the four horsemen,
  • the love languages, and
  • the sound relationship house.


The presenter will discuss how to identify and work through transference issues that are common in treating clients with dependent traits and he will engage you in thoughtful peer discussion of presented case vignettes. Recent research on treatment/symptom management for these clients will also be broken down into useful and practical counselling techniques. The seminar will include time for practicing skills so that you are confident to use them in your office immediately after you have done this course.

This training will provide participants clinical knowledge and tools to:

a). Define dependency and co-dependency.

b). Be able to explain the purpose of using roles in relationships.

c). Be able to identify at least five of the eight diagnostic criteria of Dependent Personality Disorder and one common impact of symptoms.

d). Be able to describe and use objectifiable measurements in unhealthy dependent emotional needs and behaviours.

e). Learner will be able to identify patterns in healthy relationships.

f). Learner will be able to name 5 family relationship styles as part of fostering dependent behaviour.

g). Learner will be able to implement at least one intervention for addressing feelings and behaviours of unhealthy dependency.


Target Audience:

Mental health counsellors, psychologists, social workers, drug and alcohol counsellors, marriage and family therapists, telehealth treatment professionals, and other clinical mental health professionals.

Leo DeBroeck is a Mental Health Practitioner and Child Mental Health Specialist in Washington State (USA). He is CBT Plus certified through the University of Washington and Harborview Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress Centre. He has completed his Masters of Science in Clinical Psychology at Eastern Washington University with his thesis on factors in suicide. He has experience working with children and adolescents at an intensive inpatient program in Spokane, Washington for several years.


Leo works full-time at a community health centre as a therapist with a team of  Marriage and Family Therapists,  Clinical Social Workers, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners, and Psychologists. He has worked in several different levels of care for mental health treatment including long-term inpatient care, WISE wraparound intensive services, school-based therapy services, and outpatient clinical settings. He also works as a quarterly faculty lecturer for Eastern Washington University’s satellite campus at Bellevue College. He teaches night classes to graduate and undergraduates in foundations of psychotherapy, trauma: assessment, management, and treatment, cognitive and behaviour change, and others. He has published peer-reviewed scientific research on young adults related to suicidality.


He has written several children’s therapy books, which are published on Amazon, for use in therapy settings addressing grief, addiction, neglect, abuse, and others. He is the president and founder of Counsellor’s Choice Award, LLC which reviews and promotes scientifically validated therapeutic tools and books.

This online workshop will give you instant access to 4 sessions of video content, accessible via streaming on our website, as well as downloadable PowerPoint slides (PDF). You can view the course content in your own time. You can view the course content in your own time, there is no time limit on access.


The duration of this workshop is 6 learning hours. A certificate of completion will be generated upon finishing the course and completing a short evaluation quiz. Please consult your professional organisation/association to confirm whether you are able to claim any CPD points/hours for this online workshop.