What Works with Domestic Violence Offenders: ACT As Evidence-Based Practice



General Information

Title: What Works with Domestic Violence Offenders: ACT As Evidence-Based Practice

Presented By: Amie Zarling, Ph.D.

Live Webinar Date:  Thursday,  July 2, 2020  

Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm eastern (New York)

Recording Available Until: 7/12/20

Recording Closes at 11:59 pm eastern (New York)


Domestic violence is a major public health concern in the United States, and has been identified as a significant human rights issue. Treating domestic violence has remained difficult, and traditional programs have only a modest impact on repeat violence. Researchers, practitioners, and the criminal justice system in the state of Iowa have developed a new intervention program for domestic violence offenders based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT; Hayes, Strosahl, & Wilson, 1999). Called Achieving Change Through Values-Based Behavior (ACTV – pronounced “ACTIVE”), this program was created specifically for the treatment of domestic violence for use in the correctional setting as part of criminal justice programming. Preliminary evidence indicates ACTV is effective at reducing domestic violence recidivism for men who complete the program (Zarling, Bannon, & Berta, 2017).

In this webinar, participants will learn about the treatment of domestic violence in general and evidence-based strategies shown to work with this population. Participants will learn about a promising new intervention based on ACT and how this perspective is different from traditional intervention programs. Participants will learn about the unique issues presented by justice-involved clients, as well as how to integrate this ACT-based program into already existing correctional programming.


Target Audience: Professionals for whom the topic is within their scope of practice. We welcome students and others who are also interested in the topic to join us.

Learning Objectives

1) Identify how to conceptualize domestic violence through an ACT lens.
2) Compare ACTV to traditional models of domestic violence treatment.
3) Identify how to work with justice-involved clients from an ACT perspective (e.g., how to address accountability).
4) Identify how to use of ACT-based programming with Core Correctional Practices and Risk-Needs-Responsivity Principles.


Presenter Bio and Disclosure Statement

Dr. Amie Zarling is a co-developer and author of the ACTV violence prevention/intervention program. She received her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Iowa in 2013. She completed her clinical internship at Duke University Medical Center with a specific focus on the treatment of relationship dysfunction and personality disorders. She has worked with the Department of Corrections in Iowa for 10 years, during which time she has worked on developing, training, disseminating, and evaluating the ACTV program. She facilitated the first ACTV pilot groups and has trained more than 300 people in the ACTV program. She continues to be involved in ongoing training, evaluation, and improvement of the ACTV program in the state of Iowa. Dr. Zarling is an assistant professor at Iowa State University in the Human Development and Family Studies program where she maintains an active research program focused on developing and testing evidence-based interventions.

Disclosure Statement

The presenter(s) and/or presenters’ family members do not have financial arrangement or affiliation with any of the products, organizations, or programs mentioned during this talk.



11:00 am: Introduction
11:05 am: Webinar begins
12:45 pm: Q&A session
1:00 pm: Evaluation, post-test and code submission forms

Credit Hour Information

Behavior Analysts: 2 CEUs (Learning)*
Psychologists: 2 Credit Hours*
Social Workers / Counselors: 2 Clinical/ 2 CEs

Professional Development Certificate also available for this webinar

You must pass the post-test with 80% or above and submit all attendance codes to receive a certificate

*CE for viewing Live or Recording
** CE only for viewing Live

For ABAC’s continuing education approvals statements please view our Continuing Education page