Colorado Criminal Domestic Violence Laws – Couple’s or Martial Counseling NOT Allowed in Domestic Violence Treatment Programs
Often I am asked – usually by the victim of domestic violence – usually a wife or girlfriend – if they could “just get into” marriage or couple’s therapy – they could work through these issues together. This web page addresses the reality that Colorado Domestic Violence Treatment Standards prohibit “Couple’s Counseling” in Standard 5.10.
Here is the Standard – 5.10
Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Management Board Standards For Treatment With Court Ordered Domestic Violence Offenders – 5.10 Couple’s Counseling
I. Couple’s counseling is not a component of domestic violence treatment. The offender is the client in offender treatment, not the couple, and not the relationship. Therefore, couple’s counseling is not permitted during domestic violence offender treatment.
II. The offender is prohibited from participating in any couples counseling while in offender treatment. This includes any joint counseling that involves the offender and the victim.
Because of the potential therapeutic challenges of concurrent treatment along with dangers and risk to victim safety, this standard further clarifies that offenders will not participate in marriage or couple’s counseling of any kind with anyone with the victim outside of offender treatment.
The Levels of Treatment – and Number of Plan Reviews
Level A (low anti anxiety intensity) Psycho-education treatment plan based on core competencies, risk factors, and evaluation – A minimum of two required Treatment Plan Reviews and additional reviews as deemed necessary by the MTT.
Level B (moderate intensity) Psycho-education and therapy treatment plan based on core and additional competencies, risk factors, and evaluation – A minimum of three required Treatment Plan Reviews and additional reviews as deemed necessary by the MTT.
Level C (high intensity) Crisis management, cognitive skills treatment plan based on risk factors, core and additional competencies – A minimum of three required Treatment Plan Reviews and additional reviews as deemed necessary by the MTT.
Offender competencies are used as one way to measure offender progress at Treatment Plan Reviews and throughout treatment.
Risk factors shall be reviewed at Treatment Plan Reviews and at any point in time during treatment when additional information becomes available.
Offender level of intensity of treatment may be increased at any time with consensus of the MTT.
Offender level of treatment may only be decreased from Level C to B at a Treatment Plan Review with consensus of the MTT.
Eligibility for discharge shall not occur until all Treatment Plan Reviews have been completed AND competencies have been demonstrated by the offender AND there is MTT consensus for discharge.