#WhyIStayed, #WhyILeft, and the Power and Control Wheel

In addition to a lot of social media being dedicated to Suicide Prevention Awareness week. The above hash-tags also appeared in relation to domestic violence. This triggered (in a good way) me to remember the power and control wheel.


This applies specifically to domestic violence but also can be helpful when doing any assessment. Remembering this can just be another tool in your belt as a clinician. Think about any individual or family that is going through power struggles and these dynamics may apply. This can provide you with a way measure or conceptualize these problems more fully.

For instance a couple presents to your office and they are clearly at odds with one and other. They continue to come to session and argue. As the therapist you continue to attempt to problem solve this, however you start to notice how one person in the relationship is not working and the other is.  I am not saying this automatically means they are in a domestic violence relationship but their may be an element of economic control. Power and Control Wheel reminds us this dynamic may exist. Some might be OK with this but one may wonder if this part of the problem.

It is these non-violent acts of coercion that are often minimized and missed. They can make ourselves and our clients feel like they are not making progress. The Power and Control Wheel identifies potential barriers.


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