The Duluth Model can be characterized as a gender-based cognitive behavioral approach to counseling and/or educating men arrested for domestic violence and mandated by the courts to domestic violence programs.

The curriculum first helps expose the behaviors associated with a constellation of abuse and violence in what is referred to as the “Power and Control Wheel.”  It logically attempts to challenge the denial or minimization associated with abusive behavior that is particularly prevalent among court-ordered men, and typical in alcohol treatment programs as well.

It also attempts to teach and develop alternative skills to avoid abuse and violence, and promote so-called “cognitive restructuring” of attitudes and beliefs that reinforce that behavior.

The counseling is, however, embedded in a larger system of intervention that includes arrests for domestic violence, sanctions against non-compliance to court orders, support and safety planning for victims and referral to other agencies with collaborative approaches (e.g., family court, child protection services, alcohol and drug treatment, mental health treatment).

For more information about the Duluth Model, visit the Domestic Abuse Intervention Program’s website.

Source: Gondolf, EW. Theoretical and Research Support for the Duluth Model. Aggression and Violent Behavior 12 (2007) 644–657.