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For NBCC Counselor (NCC), click here: NCC CE Requirements.

Patterns in Abusive Relationships

$ – For pricing details, see our Pricing page.  **Make sure you are logged in prior to taking any exam or purchasing units.**

You will need to purchase 1 unit for every 1 hour of coursework to gain access to the certificate of completion.

You will receive a certificate of completion after passing the exam, completing the course evaluation, and purchasing the appropriate number of units.  The certificate of completion will then be accessible on your myCourses page in the Your Course History section under the tab “Aspira Courses I’ve Passed”.  There will be a “Download” button under the “Certificate” column that you will be able to click on to pull up your certificate once all requirements listed above have been met.

To access the course document, click on the “View Coursework” button below (you may need to scroll down on the page). If the course is a video course the button will read “View Webinar” or “View Video”.  If the course is a Book course the button will display “Buy Book”.

Patterns in Abusive Relationships (recorded webinar) – Online CE Course

Patterns in Abusive Relationships Course Description, Objectives, and Outline:

Course Description:

Abusive relationships tend to follow patterns for behaviors, underlying emotional needs, and cognitive distortions related to those patterns. Important topics and skills for helping clinicians and their clients identify these patterns and their underlying causes will be reviewed. This comprehensive course will review the evidence and breakthroughs provided by research as well as undoing past misconceptions and errors in past research on codependency.

Areas of focus for the course will include the development and use of codependency, understanding Dependent Personality Disorder, attachment styles, and using tools with clients. Practice on using specifically the wheel of power and control, the four horsemen, the love languages, and the sound relationship house will be completed. Identifying common problems with problems with transference with those with dependent traits will be discussed as well as peer discussion of case vignettes. Steps for recent research on treatment/symptom management will be broken down into obtainable steps with time to discuss complications.

This course will complete an overview of the most common questions to use for clients to be able to help you better directly address the underlying problems by using the therapeutic alliance rather than at its cost. In digestible and simple terms, ways of approaching the subject with analogy and exploring values through pointed questions will be reviewed as well. The seminar will be presented through zoom and will include time for questions, practicing skills, and interacting with others in the course.

Course Objectives:

  1. Describe the definition of dependency and codependency
  2. Explain the purpose of using roles in relationships as part of patterns in relationships
  3. Identify at least five of the eight diagnostic criteria of DPD and one common impact of symptoms
  4. Describe objectifiable measurements in unhealthy dependent emotional needs and behaviors
  5. Identify patterns in healthy relationships
  6. Describe 5 family relationship styles as part of fostering dependent behavior
  7. Explain at least one intervention for addressing feelings and behaviors of unhealthy dependency

Course Outline:

  1. History (Objective 1 and 2)
    1. Early History
      1. Models of evaluation
      2. Using definitions in research and the field
    2. Mid 20th Century
    3. Late 20th Century
      1. Toxic personalities
      2. Unhelpful labeling and positive understandings
      3. Misconceptions
    4. The difference between Codependency and Dependent Personality Disorder
    5. The Takeaway
    6. Discussion: Why do roles exist?
  2. DSM diagnosis (Objective 3 and 4)
    1. Definitions
    2. Introducing the DSM
    3. What is Dependent Personality Disorder (DPD)
    4. What is Codependency
    5. DSM criteria for DPD
      1. Quick notes about diagnosis
      2. Todd Grande a comprehensive review
    6.  Measurement
      1. The Dependent Personality Questionnaire (DPQ) (Tyrer et al., 2004)
      2. The Holyoake Codependency Index (HCI) (Dear & Roberts, 2000)
      3. Spann-Fischer Codependency Scale (SF CDS; Spann, Fischer, & Crawford, 1991; α = .80).
    7. Causes (Nature or Nurture)
    8. The Takeaway
    9. Discussion: The Terminally Ill Patient
  3. Understanding Relationships Styles/Attitudes (Objectives 5 and 6)
    1. Identifying healthy vs unhealthy (the blurry line)
    2. Attachment styles
      1. Model of self and others
      2. Love Attitudes Scale
      3. “Perfect” relationships
    3. Codependency and misdiagnosis/labeling
    4. Unhealth Relationships
      1. Wheel of Power and Control
      2. Cycle of Abuse
      3. Four Horsemen
    5. Healthy Relationships
      1. Love Languages
      2. Sound Relationship House
    6. What is Love?
    7. Family Styles
      1. The Enabler
      2. The Hero
      3. The Scapegoat
      4. The Lost Child
      5. The Mascot
    8. The Takeaway
    9. Discussion: Possessiveness, interdependence vs codependence?
  4. Leaving the Lab: Addiction, DPD, and Codependency (Objective 7)
    1. Definitions
    2. The Cycle/Problems
    3. Identifying codependency
    4.  Treatment
      1. Pro-dependence
      2. Professional help
      3. The tarp roof
    5. ASK documentary and discussion questions
    6. The Takeaway
    7. Discussion: What will you remember?
    8. Further readings
  5. Questions and Answers

Instructors: Leo DeBroeck, MS, LMHC, CMHS, MHP

Author: Leo DeBroeck, MS, LMHC, CMHS, MHP

Leo DeBroeck is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Child Mental Health Specialist in Washington State. Leo DeBroeck is CBT Plus certified through the University of Washington and Harborview Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress Center. He has completed his Master’s of Science in Clinical Psychology. In addition, he has worked in several different levels of care for mental health treatment including long-term inpatient care, wraparound intensive services (WISe), school-based therapy services, and outpatient clinical settings.


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