Is it Conflict or Abuse? Assessing for Power and Control



ONLINE COURSE | Instructor: Catherine Hodes, M.S.W.
CEs: 1.5 | Level: Intermediate

Date of original webinar: September 25, 2019, noon - 1:30 p.m. ET

Conflict is a normal part of relationships and can lead to change, growth, and deeper connection. It can also lead to divergence, alienation, and endings. In some cases, escalating conflict can result in risk, even danger, but does that make it abuse? Understanding the differences between conflict and abuse involves understanding relational power dynamics, and looking beyond the “shortcuts” of behavior and gender to more complex and nuanced elements such as context, motive, impact, and pattern.

This workshop examines key ways in which abusive relationships are different from relationships where there is escalated conflict and volatility. Understanding complex power dynamics and exploring autonomy, entitlement, fear, and isolation can help deepen assessments. Comparing healthy, high-conflict, and abusive relationships in several key areas helps to promote safety, trauma-reduction, and best practice. Specific assessment questions and a case scenario will be presented.

Target Audience:

Social workers and other social service providers 

Course Delivery Method and Format:

Recorded webinar, self study. All courses are hosted on SmithOnline. Login information will be emailed immediately after registration to the email address entered during registration.

System Requirements:

Attendees will need access to a computer with internet and the capability to play recorded videos.

Fee and Deadline:

$35 (one time registration fee of $5) | Ongoing 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Describe the differences between an abusive relationship and a conflictual one.
  2. Explain how to assess for abuse considering such elements as context, motive, impact, and agency.
  3. Define differential power dynamics such as power-sharing, power-struggling, and power-over.

Instructor Biography:

Catherine Hodes, M.S.W., LICSW is currently the director of Community Programs at Safe Passage in Northampton, MA, where she oversees the provision of services, including crisis intervention, counseling, safety planning, and advocacy for diverse survivors of partner abuse. Hodes was the director of the Safe Homes Project in Brooklyn, NY from 1994-2017. She has also been an instructor and faculty field advisor at New York University and Smith College Schools of Social Work, and served as the director of Survivor Supports at Hampshire College.

Completion Requirements for Recorded webinars and online courses.

To receive a CE certificate, you must complete the entirety of the recorded webinar or recorded video presentation. Partial credit will not be awarded to those who attend only a portion of the class. For recorded webinars and online courses, participants must complete an evaluation and a post test, noting the length of time to complete the course. Participants must earn a minimum score of 80 percent on the post test in order to earn CEs. Retesting is allowed up to five (5) times. If a passing score is not achieved, CEs will not be awarded. Links to the evaluation and post test are available in SmithOnline. Participants must also complete an attestation of completion for each fully completed course. A copy of the attestation is available in SmithOnline. It is attendee’s responsibility to contact their state licensing board/certification boards to determine eligibility to meet continuing education requirements.

How Will a CE Certificate Be Awarded?

Upon completing the course evaluation and successfully passing the post test, participants will be emailed their online certificate​ within 30 days of course completion​. ​Participants should save and/or print ​the certificate upon receipt for ​their records. Receiving the CE certificate is contingent on submitting attestion, completion of the evaluation and passing the post test.

Continuing Education Credits and Accreditation

Social Work CE Credit: The Smith College School for Social Work, provider #1755, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. The Smith College School for Social Work maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 11/19/2020-11/19-2021. Social workers completing this course receive 1.5 continuing education credits. 

The Smith College School for Social Work is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education and is therefore authorized to provide CEs as a postsecondary institution accredited by CSWE in many states. Courses offered through the School's Program of Professional Education are awarded continuing education credits in accordance with Continuing Education Regulation 258, CMR, 31.00 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Smith College School for Social Work, Office of Professional Education SW OPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0169. If outside these states, please contact your licensing board for accreditation information regarding your state. Association of Social Work Boards database of social work licensure requirements.

Psychology CE Credit: Co-sponsored training events for psychology CE credit with Smith College School for Social Work. Amego Prepare​ is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Amego Prepare maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Due to changes in continuing education requirements for NY licensed psychologists, APA CE Sponsor credits may not be accepted for re-licensure at this time. Please check the NY Psychology Board regulations for CE requirements currently in effect.

Further information on policies and CE accreditation can be found here.

Mary Curtin | Manager of Professional Education

Lilly Hall, 23 West Street, Northampton MA 01062 | 413.585.7970