Podcast: Breaking The Pattern of Domestic Violence with Carl Mangold, LCSW

Disclaimer: The materials and content within this podcast are intended as general information only and are not to be considered a substitute for professional legal advice or a consultation with a lawyer.

1. The Family Law Tip of the Week (:48)

Once you file paperwork in any court, you have to give the other party notice that a lawsuit has been filed by serving them. Because of Hollywood, many people think that serving someone involves a big, burly process server slapping the responding party with papers while shouting “you’ve been served!”

 

Note to self: that can be expensive, and you don’t have to do it that way.

 

If you and the other party are on amicable terms, you can simply give the respondent the paperwork along with an “Acceptance of Service” form for them to sign in front of a notary public. By doing this, you can assure the court that the other party has received notice that a lawsuit has been filed against him or her. The best part about having the other party execute an acceptance of service though, is that it is FREE.

 

Click here for the Acceptance of Service form for Arizona.

2. Carl Mangold, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, on Breaking the Pattern of Domestic Violence (1:42)

Carl’s Background in Domestic Violence

 

In addition to being a licensed clinical social worker, Carl is also an independent licensed substance abuse counselor in the state of Arizona. Not only that, but he is a retired Lutheran pastor, too. Carl has been working in the area of domestic violence for almost 40 years.

 

(2:52) During his career, Carl has done the following:

 

  • counseled both domestic violence victims and offenders
  • served on coalition boards
  • served on shelter boards
  • worked in counseling programs that are a part of domestic violence sheltering organizations
  • dealt with following up on sexual harassment and sexual abuse

 

(3:39) Carl has run domestic violence classes in the state of Arizona and treated over 3,500 men who were court ordered to complete the programs. In most of these cases, the men were ordered to complete the classes as a result of being convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense.

 

(4:17) Carl didn’t choose this line of work–it chose him. He was on his pastoral internship during the academic year of 1973-1974. In September of 1973, it became clear to Carl that the vice-president of the congregation was a practicing alcoholic who was abusing his wife. The best practice in that day meant that the pastor counseled the couple. As the assistant, Carl counseled the children.

 

Types of Domestic Violence Programming

 

(5:18) Since that time, the practice has changed, and marital counseling is no longer considered an appropriate response to domestic violence. FYI-marital counseling is usually an attempt to save the marriage. What Carl finds about marital counseling (in domestic violence situations) is that the abuser takes what is said in counseling and turns it around and uses it against the spouse or partner. According to Carl, most people who end up in marital counseling have waited far too long to save their marriages.

 

(6:21) Now, we have moved into a different type of programming. Back in the late 70s, it was the beginning of the shelter movement. Back then, having abusive men in a counseling program was very process oriented. In other words, they sat around and talked. As you can imagine, the conversation evolved into sports talk, etc.

 

(6:50) The second wave of domestic violence programming got into the psycho-educational programming. This came out of the “Duluth Program” in Duluth, Minnesota and the “Emerge” program out of Colorado and Boston. They became the major curriculums that are psycho-educational in nature. The intent was to get people to re-think their faulty thought patterns.

 

(7:45) It can be natural to have a “bad” response to something that rubs a person the wrong way. When Wendy comments that she has to think about how she is going to change her default reactions, Carl observes that that is one of the things that offenders would find very interesting. They began to realize the longer they are in programming that every couple has the same challenges, they just choose to deal with them differently.

 

(8:26) This is an opportunity for people to begin to realize that EVERY couple has arguments. Every couple has differences about how they spend money. It is how we deal with things and whether we are using manipulation, lying, and power and control tactics that we could step into a different line.

 

When Does Something Become Domestic Violence?

 

(9:00) Wendy asks Carl at what point something becomes domestic violence. The thing that makes the difference is that there has to be a power differential. If two parties are of roughly equal power (in terms of jobs, money, etc.), if there is no major differential, than something is usually just an argument.

 

(10:44) The power differential often happens when someone earns a lot of money, lives in a wealthy community, wife has given birth two or three times, wife is exhausted, and the husband is feeling like the gals at the office are more interesting…then we get into abuse. It is not just lower income people.

 

(12:03) A power imbalance can also happen because of academics or age.

 

(12:47) A significant number of kids who are raised in domestically violent homes end up replicating that. Not all of them. There are children who have grown up in violent homes who have ended up not being violent. There are children who have not grown up in violent homes who end up acting out in an abusive fashion.

 

(13:16) There is no mega theory that explains what causes domestic violence. What we have is 9 or 10 theories that may be the sole determiner of domestic violence in one case, but there also may be an interaction of several of them.

 

Domestic Violence Perspectives

 

(13:46) From the feminist point of view, it is the patriarchal system that causes domestic violence. Although women have made great strides in society, there is still something called the “male privilege.” The feminist movement defines that for us.

 

Personally, for Carl, he sees the male privilege at work in his own marriage when his wife says to him “I want you to make this call. They aren’t listening to me.” When Carl makes the call, all of a sudden, someone listens. Interestingly, this phenomenon happens with BOTH women and men giving more deference when a man is doing the acting/talking (as opposed to a woman).

 

(14:52) However, if the feminist theory was right, ALL men would be abusers. There are valid points to this theory. We owe the founding of the domestic violence movement to the feminists, and we need to appreciate this background.

 

(16:00) Social learning is the next theory. This says that if “I watch something being done, I will evenutally do that myself.” Modeling is the most effective form of education there is.

 

(16:20) A subset of social learning is “the process of violentization.” We owe this to Lonnie Athens who says there are 4 stages of development that a person will go through to become violent.

 

(16:45) The first stage is having a violent coach. The violent coach could not only be a parent, but could be an older sibling or a sports coach.

 

(17:17) The second stage is where the person is resenting the violence s/he is being put through, but s/he is not tough enough to confront the coach. At that point/ s/he takes on the peer group and periodically acts out. S/he doesn’t percieve himself/herself as someone who does violence regularly, only as someone doing it when they think it is necessary. They wear the white hat and protect the innocent whether it is someone else or themselves.

 

(17:48) After a while, they begin to realize this works, and they mistake fear for respect. This is the third stage. They have a reputation, and you don’t want to cross this person. This happens in children of very young ages (as young as 6 in Carl’s experience).

 

(18:35) The fourth and final stage is the most serious –long-term criminal behavior where people enjoy harming others. They do it just for the sake of enjoyment.

 

(19:07) Carl doesn’t necessarily believe people think out becoming domestically violent. It is more experientially developed. According to Lonnie Athens, the further down this road you go, the more difficult it is to back your way out.

 

(19:24) When we talk about breaking the cycle, we need to break it early, rather than later.

 

(19:32) However, there is still another theory called attachment. We attribute this to John Bowlby who says if children learn to attach well, they will have mature relationships. One of the things we do when we assess violent children is examine whether they experienced an arrangement of primary caregivers that switched frequently (foster care, etc.). If kids are constantly being reintroduced into new situations, they don’t know how to attach.

 

(20:28) The interaction of substance abuse and behavioral mental health issues can contribute to domestically violent relationships, as well. One researcher has indicated that if we define substance abuse as wanting to get high, being high at the time of the offense, or being hungover from being high, 80% of all domestic violence cases involve substance abuse. Alcohol is the most prevalent substance.

 

(23:35) In most abusive people, there is not a lot of insight as far as what is going on in their relationships. Sometimes, abusive people do have insight recognition. Normally, we don’t have the conscious level, but some abusers do know what they are doing is wrong.

 

(24:46) This comes from the dual message with which men are socialized. Because they are men, they think they are supposed to be better (win the race against the girl at school, for example). At the same time, however, men are told you shouldn’t hit girls. Yet, the person giving the message (father) could be hitting mom, and the child is confused.

 

Where to Focus In Breaking the Pattern of Domestic Violence

 

(26:27) In breaking the pattern of domestic violence, we focus a lot on the victims. Carl thinks we need to look more at who is committing the acts of abuse; one of the things we do know is that the victim will eventually understand that nothing in this society will help him or her.  As a result, the victim might start to use similar tactics to fight back (yelling, hitting, etc.) This escalates things.

 

(27:54) Carl thinks that sometimes the only way the abuser is going to change is if society holds him or her accountable. That could be by getting arrested. Although Carl thinks there are other ways to get the abuser to change, societal accountability (the law, clergy, teachers) is the primary way.

 

(29:35) The victims need to get support from programs, family, and/or employers.

 

(30:00) The key for Carl is whether you are victim or offender, if you are going to experience the healing, you need to take responsibility for the things you are responsible for and stop taking responsibility for the things you are not responsible for. Victims are told they are responsible for the abuser’s behavior, but they’re not. It takes two to argue, but only one to fight.

 

(30:43) Lundy Bancroft calls abusers “magicians” because they distract you while they pull flowers out from under their armpits, and they stink.

 

(31:00) When children are in these situations, it is touchy. It is most important for school personnel, religious support groups, etc. to realize these kids are being impacted. The kids sometimes fall through the cracks.

 

(32:02) The Mesa, AZ police department has a neat program for kids who are victims of domestic violence that Carl describes during the show. Kids who suffer domestic violence are prone to dropping out, getting bad grades, acting out sexually, smoking early, using drugs, etc. Boys tend to act out against others, and girls tend to internalize and disassociate.

 

If you want more information on breaking the pattern of domestic violence, contact Carl by calling him at 602-999-3221. He has a private practice in the Scottsdale, Arizona area.

3. Thoughts From the Life Coach (33:51)

Your limitations are more mental than anything else. Your own personal limitations determine whether you are going to succeed or not. If we retreat to our limitations boundaries, we won’t ever take control of our lives. The moment we decide what our limitations are not, we take control. We only need to commit and conquer!

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