A study conducted by Kistenmacher and Robert Weiss investigated the use of motivational interviewing on men who batter. It was found that the treatment improved changes compared to the control group, which did not receive any type of motivational interviewing.
The stage of change model was used to identify if the participants recognised that they were hurting their partner. The study stated that most battering men don't believe in hitting women, however their behaviour states otherwise. Therefore in treatment, denial would have to be recognised and addressed. Moreover, when abusers are in the pre contemplation stage of change they usually blame their partners for the abuse, don't understand the benefits of changing and won't end their abusive and/or violent behaviour.
It was discussed in the literature that there is no "one best fit treatment" for abusive and violent people, however matching the best treatment plan to suit individual needs will produce the best outcome. For example, when using cognitive behaviour therapy, there is a suggestion from the therapist that the client is in action stage, when in fact he or she may not even recognise the harm he or she is doing to others. Therefore motivational interviewing may be necessary before any action is taken. Using this approach will help the client become aware of the benefits of change and the harm they are causing. Therefore the client is the one suggesting "why" to change, which in turn starts the process of motivation to change.
The study suggested that motivational interviewing should be paired with other treatment plans to increase potential for positive change and end the violent and/or abusive behaviour.
Source: Kistenmacher, B. R., & Weiss, R. L. (2008). Motivational interviewing as a mechanism for change in meant who batter: A randomised controlled trial. Journal of Violence and Victims, 23 (5), 558-570.
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