Danish Stalking Centre’s intervention centre offers professional psychosocial counselling, some casework with contact to professional groups such as the police or caseworkers in the municipality, across sectors and authorities.
Men and women victimised by stalking and their children can receive psychological treatment, both individually and in groups.
The intervention centre offers individual psychological treatment to perpetrators of stalking as well if they are motivated for changing.
Furthermore, the centre offers counselling to people in the victims’ social network, and to professionals working in any way with victims of stalking or stalkers.
All activity in the intervention centre seeks to support victims of stalking in obtaining a life free from stalking.
Therapy, counselling and some light casework for victims of stalking
Victims of stalking live a life filled with anxiety and uncertainty. Many have to live with being stalked for years and try to maintain as normal an everyday life as possible in spite of threats, monitoring and perhaps physical violence. When the stalking has stopped, it can take a long time before the sense of security is back. Many victims experience reactions such as stress, anxiety, depression or PTSD afterwards.
The aim of our work is to support victims of stalking to be the least limited as possible in their day-to-day life, and to strengthen the cooperation with the police and other authorities in stopping the stalking. Together, we examine the situation of the victim and give advice on precautionary measures and documentation of the stalking among other things. Generally, we use resource focused therapy for the purpose of boosting the sense of having power and control over one’s own life, reduce the negative reactions afterwards, and to find and make use of possible actions.
When the stalking has stopped, the focus is moved to processing of the experience and treatment of the specific reactions and symptoms present.
We offer individual therapy of up to 10-15 sessions and group therapy.
Children of parents victimised by stalking
Children of parents victimised by stalking are effected by their parents’ crisis. Even though, the parents try to spare the children to the best of their ability, the children can feel the uncertainty and alertness affecting the parents. At the same time, the children’s daily life can be affected by precautionary measures necessary for creating security.
Sometimes, it is even the children’s mother or father who is the one stalking the other parent. Of course, it is extra hard on the children when one parent is afraid of the other, and it influences the cooperation between the parents and possible time together a great deal. The children are caught in the middle. In some cases, violence and tremendous conflicts have characterised the family before the divorce. All this affect the well-being and development of the children.
In Danish Stalking Centre, we wish to strengthen the well-being of the children and prevent a negative influence on their development. Among other things, we offer the children help through individual therapy and group therapy. Here, we offer them a safe space where it is possible to ask all the difficult questions and to express all the confusing, conflicting and difficult emotions they may be experiencing. Perhaps the emotions and thoughts they otherwise hide from their victimised parents. We invite the parents to join our sessions when it is relevant. The aim of this is to strengthen the relationship between the parents and the children in a turbulent time of crisis.
When it is not possible for the children to come to the centre, we can work with a children’s perspective in the sessions with the parents. We will focus on the children’s experiences and on how the victim’s and the stalker’s parenting competencies can be strengthened in order for them to be able to create a safe environment for the children. We will help these parents to explain the situation to the children in the best possible way and to seek help from the authorities, for instance.
Psychological treatment to the perpetrator of stalking
Danish Stalking Centre offers therapy to perpetrators of stalking, who wish to strengthen their impulse control and change their behavioural pattern. In the beginning, the motivation can change. If this is the case, our first focus will be motivation for behavioural changes.
The therapy consists of individual sessions focusing on emotional control and fixed patterns of thought and behaviour.
Research indicates that the best form of intervention regarding stalkers is a combination of psychological treatment and efforts of the police. The treatment is targeted at the underlying issues feeding the stalking behaviour. For some, it is about difficult psychological disorders which need psychiatric treatment; to others, it is relevant offering therapy with the abovementioned focus.
(Cupach, W.R. & Spitzberg, B.H., The Dark Side of Relationship Pursuit, 2014)
Together with relevant professional partners, both national and international, Danish Stalking Centre will develop models of intervention focusing on the stalker.
The volunteer helpline
The volunteer helpline supplements the professional counselling. All volunteers are either studying or have finished studying law, psychology, social work or psychotherapy, and they are managed by the professional intervention centre.