Catherine Hodes, MSW, LICSW, Intake Coordinator for the Northampton Center for Couples Therapy (NCCT), was published in the Clinical Social Work Journal earlier this year.

The article, titled Is it Conflict or Abuse?”, explores the need for a more complex and less binary approach to understanding the differences between conflict and abuse, and proposes a shift in thinking that highlights several possible power dynamics in couples.

After spending decades as a domestic violence advocate, Hodes discerned a distinction between escalated conflict and intimate abuse in relationships. In the article, Hodes differentiates these patterns to provide a deeper understanding of power and control dynamics in a relational context.


Carefully examining the differentiating factors between escalated conflict and abuse, Hodes enters new territory in the realm of working with couples and provides an avenue for discussing these often conflated scenarios in relationships. Her end goal is to facilitate more effective responses to both abuse survivors and those experiencing a heightened state of conflict with their intimates.

By analyzing the subtle differences between power-sharing, power-struggling and powering-over, Hodes offers a researched-based view on power dynamics in relationships.

Click here to access the complete paper and click hereto learn more about Catherine, her background, experience and areas of expertise.

About Catherine

In addition to her work at NCCT, Catherine Hodesis the former Director of the Safe Homes Project in Brooklyn, NY and an adjunct professor at both Smith College School for Social Work and the New York University Silver School of Social Work.

She has 25 years of experience in working with individuals in challenging relationships and is an experienced trainer and educator with a specialty in domestic/intimate partner violence. Additionally, Catherine is a certified self-defense teacher and a mediator, with a deep interest in restorative practices that can aid healing in diverse relationships.

About the Northampton Center for Couples Therapy

The Northampton Center for Couples Therapy is the only practice in New England that specializes exclusively in treating couples. Their clients come from as far away as NYC, Boston, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and the Berkshires. Using some of the most well-researched, effective, and evidence-based models, they offer their clients care in stabilizing their relationships and having healthier families.

NCCT offers private, intensive 2-Day and 3-Day couples retreats, marriage retreats and weekly couples therapy sessions. Every process starts with a Gottman Assessment, based on the Gottman Method by John M. Gottman. Then, as therapy progresses, each therapist will employ strategies from EFT, emotionally focused therapy, the PACT Method by Stan Tatkin and more.

You can reach the center by phone at (413) 586-2300 or visit them online at


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