Improving the lives of children

New Approach to Domestic Violence

September 23, 2014

It is no news that domestic violence is an unfortunate reality for many of our clients. A reality that has detrimental effects on families and children. Domestic violence touches families of all walks of life, and it is often concealed by these families. Part of the problem is that there aren’t many ways to help couples who want to stay together and work on their relationship.

More than a year ago our former colleague, Ratha Check, with the support of Mark Stevens, began working on finding a model for treatment for couples who experience violence. Ratha was looking for an approach that would give both partners an opportunity to work on their problem together. Ratha chose the model of Dr. Sandra Stith (Kanzas, USA) that involves conjoint treatment for couples who experience mild to moderate domestic violence.

In March this year, Dr. Stith was hosted by The Children’s Foundation. She taught a 2-day workshop to TCF staff and other community service agencies. The essential element of this approach is a determination of which clients are safe to participate in couples therapy. Having satisfied our concerns, the decision was made to add this conjoint couples treatment to our services (Family Preservation Program).

Today, we are proud to announce that this project is taking flight. In collaboration with MCFD, Options Community Resources and Family Services of Greater Vancouver, our Family Preservation counsellors (Karyna, Alfred, and Cindy) are preparing to launch a Mild to Moderate Conflict Couples Group. We have couples signed up, we have a team of facilitators, and we are excited to embark on this new adventure. We plan to start our group on October 16th.

If you have any clients that you think may benefit from this group, please contact Karyna at
- Karyna Matsyuk