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660-259-3900 TCCT is moving to Odessa on July 15, 2018! Brand new office! Same services! We will continue to be here in Lexington until then.

domestic violence

Men Have Feelings Too–No, Really

One of my favorite parts of my practice is counseling men who have been court ordered to see me because they were convicted of domestic violence.  Some people can hardly believe I say this.  They cannot believe I would even consider helping these men especially being a domestic violence survivor myself.  “Why not?” I ask.  “Who else is going to?”  They usually aren’t in jail and most of the time they are back home with the victim.  I explain I would much rather educate, motivate, counsel, and help men become better men, better spouses and partners, better parents, better friends, better co-workers.

I have found treating these men with dignity, respect and kindness has actually made a difference.  Most of the men who have been ordered to see me are likeable, hard working, smart, decent people.  Most of them were taught how to interact with women and others by their parents and caregivers.  It is generational like most things.  You might also note our society tends to teach men it is ok to be angry or happy, but certainly not sad.  And for godsake DON’T CRY!  They have pushed feelings down and internalized their sadness, disappointment, and shame.  They have used this as an excuse to harm their partners and others.

Let me make myself perfectly clear.  Domestic violence is not ok.  Hitting people and calling names and controlling people is not ok.  These men are asked to be accountable for their own behaviors and not blame their victims.  I help them learn to realize that no matter what someone does to them, they are still responsible for their own behaviors.

Our curriculum is based on the Duluth Model.  We discuss power and control they use towards partners and children and how it has affected everyone in their lives.  I educate them on ways to manage emotions and use them properly.  I give them an opportunity and encourage them to tell their story without judgment in a safe environment with other men who have behaved the same way.  It is fascinating and, many times, amazing to see them help one another through situations.

We give these men a place to come if they ever need to return before they abuse again.  Many times they ask for couples counseling, individual counseling and even counseling for their children when they complete their court ordered domestic violence group counseling.  It is a true joy when they realize it is a good thing to have feelings, discuss them and heal from their past.  I call this a win.

Not everyone can be rehabilitated, but I would not be a therapist if I did not believe people can change with the right tools, someone to trust in their process, and make a personal choice to do so.

 

Learning New Things

Being a graduate intern at the Center for Counseling and Training has opened my eyes to many new experiences. For example, working with domestic violence offenders is something that I have never done before. So far, I enjoy the batterers’ intervention program and am looking forward to leaning more about it.

In very little time with The Center for Counseling and Training, I have seen growth in some of the members that belong to the group. At first, I thought I might feel out of place. To my surprise, I do enjoy the group and I enjoy even more watching the members interact and apply information they hear about with other members that are working toward a common goal. The men in the program have accepted me as part of their group process. Topics we discuss include trust, respect, and parenting.  I believe that one of the reasons these groups are so effective is because everyone involved usually has a lot in common because they are there for similar reasons,  feel supported by one another and by the professionals who facilitate the program.

The therapists at TCCT use the Duluth Model in sessions which has been around for over 30 years and strives to end domestic violence. If you are interested in learning more about The Duluth Model, you can visit their website at http://theduluthmodel.org/index.htm

Theresa Dotson Alexander, MS, LPC, NCC and Founder

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Theresa received her Bachelor of Science degree from Central Missouri State University and completed her Master of Science in Psychology degree there as well. Theresa moved to Lafayette County in 2006 where she worked as a therapist for Rodgers-Lafayette Health & Dental Center in Lexington, Missouri. In 2008, she started The Center for Counseling & Training. She has worked in many different settings and with all demographics throughout her career. She has been trained in working with offenders of domestic violence, teen issues, family and relationship matters, PTSD, victims of domestic violence, depression, anxiety, and many other areas. Theresa is a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors . She has over 20 years of experience in the mental health and social services field.

Theresa’s approach is strength-based and positive. She enjoys working with all ages of clients and often uses humor as a way to help them manage stress. She is available for individual, couples, family, and group counseling as well as court-ordered and court-related matters.

She started the Batterers Intervention Program in Lafayette County.  She enjoys working with domestic violence offenders, educating them on their behavior and making better choices.

Theresa is married with a son and two adult step-daughters.