Use of the kawa model: Understanding women's recovery from intimate partner violence

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Book Chapter

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Partner Violence: Risk Factors, Therapeutic Interventions and Psychological Impact

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The Kawa Model, created by Dr. Michael Iwama and occupational therapy colleagues, honors the integrated lives and personal perspectives of individuals as they describe current life circumstances (Iwama, 2006). Specific information gleaned from completed metaphorical river drawings allows for greater understanding of client strengths, resources, and needs, all of which contribute to client-centered intervention. The Kawa Model was utilized as the framework for in-depth interviews with three cohorts of women receiving services in a three-month crisis intervention program (Humbert, Bess, Mowery, 2013; Humbert, Engleman, Lang). The Kawa Model provided an avenue for clients to identify challenges, strengths, barriers and hope in recovery from intimate partner violence (IPV). From the results of the study, we have identified how the women made meaning of their recovery and what they anticipated for the future. The results of the comprehensive study highlight the supports and internal motivations that women rely on for recovery, their perspectives of motherhood, and their needs for the immediate future.

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