Empowering young people who experienced domestic violence and abuse: The development of a group therapy intervention

Lisa C. Fellin, Jane E.M. Callaghan, Joanne H. Alexander, Claire Harrison-Breed, Stavroula Mavrou, Maria Papathanasiou

Research output: Contribution to Specialist PublicationArticle


This article describes the development of a group-based therapeutic intervention for young people (YP) who have lived with domestic violence and abuse. The intervention was informed by interviews with 107 YP, focused on their experiences of coping, resilience and agency. The intervention draws on resources from systemic, creative and narrative approaches to group work, and aims to facilitate YP's expression of distress in a way that recognizes that it is embodied, contextual and relational. The intervention also explores YP's existing strategies for coping and maintaining a sense of agency, and works to harness, enhance and further develop those skills. We report on the pilot of this intervention, and its development and application across four European countries (the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy and Spain). We outline the goals, strengths and limitations of this group intervention, as well as the main challenges, hindrances and ethical dilemmas experienced by the research and intervention team. Implications for therapeutic practice and training are addressed.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationClinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry
PublisherSAGE Publications Ltd
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • Family violence
  • children and young people
  • children exposed to domestic violence
  • domestic abuse
  • group intervention
  • intimate partner violence
  • mental health intervention
  • resilience
  • therapeutic intervention
  • trauma

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