Alcohol-Dependent Domestic Violence

A Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Alcohol-Dependent Domestic Violence Offenders: An Integrated Substance Abuse–Domestic Violence Treatment Approach (SADV)


This pilot study evaluated the efficacy of a twelve-session cognitive behavioral group therapy for alcohol-dependent males with co-occurring interpersonal violence (IPV). Participants were 85 alcohol-dependent males who were arrested for domestic violence within the past year. Seventy-eight male adults were randomized to either a cognitive behavioral Substance Abuse Domestic Violence (SADV) group (N = 40) or a Twelve-Step Facilitation (TSF) Group (N = 38). There was no significant difference between SADV versus TSF in the number of sessions attended. Regarding substance use, the group assigned to SADV reported using alcohol significantly fewer days (eg, 90 days of abstinence across the 12 weeks of treatment) as compared to the TSF group. Regarding physical violence, there was a trend for participants in the SADV condition to achieve a greater reduction in the frequency of violent episodes across time compared to individuals in the TSF group. These data suggest the promise of the SADV group therapy approach for alcohol-dependent males with a history of IPV who present for substance abuse treatment.
Caroline J. Easton PhD, Dolores L. Mandel LCSW, Karen A. Hunkele BA, Charla Nich MS, Bruce J. Rounsaville MD, Kathleen M. Carroll PhD
The American Journal on Addictions
Volume 16, Issue 1, pages 24–31, January-February 2007

"An approach to the treatment of offenders which emphasizes the role of altering thinking patterns in bringing about change in an offender's life."