Topic: Violence and abuse

The ATVT project: A study of processes and outcomes of therapy of men who seek help for their use of violence

The Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (NKVTS) in collaboration with Alternatives to Violence (ATV) will carry out a study aimed at investigating the degree to which treatment (group and individual) given by ATV leads to a positive change in perpetrators of violence.

2009 This project has been completed 2023

Project Manager

Project Members

The overall objective for the project is to assess the effect of the treatment given at ATV to clients who seek treatment for violence-related problems
The study will be a naturalistic, prospective and exploratory study of process and outcomes. It will be conducted at five ATV offices located in different parts of Norway. All men who meet the criteria for participation will receive an invitation to participate in the study. Measurements will be taken before, during and after treatment, as well as a follow-up one and a half years later. Data collection will comprise questionnaires, clinical interviews and sound recordings of every single hour. The content in the collected data will cover general outcome measurements, specific outcome measurements for the group of clients in question, as well as process measurements such as therapeutic alliance, group climate and session assessments. The study will include 100-150 people.
The issues to be investigated are linked to three areas:

The client group:

  • Background, social affiliation, pre-history of violence, substance abuse, psychological stress factors and personality traits.


  • Do changes occur in the client himself, his relations to others, in relation to violence?
  • What effects does treatment have on other, more general symptoms?
  • Do any changes remain stable over time?
  • Are there any differences between group and individual treatment in terms of general effect?
  • Are there differences in the effect of treatment for sub-groups of clients?


  • How do the client and therapist perceive the relationship they have to one another; what contributes to a good relationship?
  • How do the client and therapist evaluate each conversation; what seems to contribute to a positive or negative evaluation?
  • Are there any identifiable characteristic traits in the therapeutic process that appear to contribute to change?
  • What characterizes the process/outcomes for those who respectively attend individual therapy sessions, group therapy or who drop out of treatment?
  • What factors predict dropout?


Askeland, I. R., Birkeland, M. S., Lømo, B., & Tjersland, O. A. (2021). Changes in Violence and Clinical Distress Among Men in Individual Psychotherapy for Violence Against Their Female Partner: An Explorative Study. Frontiers in Psychology, 12. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.710294

Lømo, B., Haavind, H., & Tjersland, O. A. (2019). Finding a common ground: Therapist responsiveness to male clients who have acted violently against their female partner. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 36(17-18), NP9930-NP9958. doi:10.1177/0886260519862271

Todd-Kvam, M., & Ørvik, K. (2019). Bevegelser mot ansvar: Endrings­skapende dialoger i to terapier med menn som utøver vold i nære relasjoner. Scandinavian Psychologist. doi:10.15714/scandpsychol.6.e13

Todd-Kvam, M., Todd-Kvam, M., Lømo, B., & Tjersland, O. A. (2019). Braving the elements: Ambivalence as opportunities for change in individual psychotherapy with men using intimate partner violence. Frontiers in Psychology, 10(JULY), 1-15. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01693

Lømo, B. (2018). Alliance formation and change in psychotherapy with men perpetrating violence against their female partners. (Dissertation).

Lømo, B., Haavind, H., & Tjersland, O. A. (2018). From Resistance to Invitations: How Men Voluntarily in Therapy for Intimate Partner Violence May Contribute to the Development of a Working Alliance. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 33(16), 2579-2601. doi:10.1177/0886260516628290

Strandmoen, J. F., Askeland, I. R., Tjersland, O. A., Wentzel-Larsen, T., & Heir, T. (2016). Intimate Partner Violence in Men Voluntarily Attending Treatment: A Study of Couple Agreement. Violence and Victims, 31(1), 124-134. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-13-00193

Askeland, I. R. (2015). Men voluntarily in treatment for violent behavior aginst a female partner: Who are they? : Violent behavior, childhood exposure to violence, mental health and treatment dropout. (Dissertation).

Askeland, I. R., & Lømo, B. 2015. Behandling av menn som utøver vold mot partner og egne barn. Alliansearbeid og endring. Oslo: Nasjonalt kunnskapssenter om vold og traumatisk stress. (Film, frokostseminar 10.11.2015, 53:26 minutter).

Askeland, I. R., & Heir, T. (2014). Psychiatric disorders among men voluntarily in treatment for violent behaviour: a cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 4(4). doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-004485

Askeland, I. R., & Heir, T. (2013). Early dropout in men voluntarily undergoing treatment for intimate partner violence in Norway. Violence and Victims, 28(5), 822-831. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-12-00137

Askeland, I. R., Lømo, B., Strandmoen, J. F., Heir, T., & Tjersland, O. A. (2012). Kjennetegn hos menn som har oppsøkt Alternativ til Vold (ATV) for vold i nære relasjoner [Characteristics of men in treatment at Alternative to Violence (ATV) for violent behavior within a close relationship.] Norwegian only.

Askeland, I. R., Evang, A., & Heir, T. (2011). Association of violence against partner and former victim experiences: A sample of clients voluntarily attending therapy. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 26(6), 1095-1110. doi:10.1177/0886260510368152