Women's journey to safety – The Transtheoretical model in clinical practice when working with women experiencing Intimate Partner Violence: A scientific review and clinical guidance Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: Review the applicability of the Transtheoretical model and provide updated guidance for clinicians working with women experiencing intimate partner violence. METHODS: Critical review of related primary research conducted from 1990 to March 2013. RESULTS: Women's experiences of creating change within abusive relationships can be located within a stages of change continuum by identifying dominant behavioral clusters. The processes of change and constructs of decisional-balance and turning-points are evident in women's decision-making when they engage in change. CONCLUSION: Clinicians can use the stages of change to provide a means of assessing women's movement toward their nominated outcomes, and the processes of change, decisional-balance and turning-points, to enhance understanding of, and promote women's movement across stages in their journey to safety. PRACTICE IMPLICATIONS: Clinicians should assess women individually for immediate and ongoing safety and well-being, and identify their overarching stage of change. Clinicians can support women in identifying and implementing their personal objectives to enhance self-efficacy and create positive change movement across stages. The three primary objectives identified for clinician support are: 1. Minimizing harm and promoting well-being within an abusive relationship, 2. Achieving safety and well-being within the relationship; halting the abuse, or 3. Achieving safety by ending/leaving intimate relationships.

publication date

  • December 2013