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“How to Identify an Abuser?” Focus Group for Domestic Abuse Prevention

What is a focus group?

A focus group is an event held live over the course of several weeks, gathering people with similar interests around a predefined topic. The current topic is domestic abuse. The group meets once every two weeks, totaling four sessions over two months. During these sessions, participants discuss personal experiences, ask questions related to the topic, and acquire practical skills in the specific field.

How does it differ from group counseling?

Group counseling is ongoing and lacks a specific theme. Besides, the goals of the two formats are different. The focus group aims to explore well-established facts from psychological science that may contribute to solving specific problems. Learning occurs through the personal experiences of each participant and the feedback received from other group members.

Why discuss abuse in partner relationships?

The behavior of an abuser can often be identified through early signs, which the partner frequently overlooks. When these signs are recognized, there is a tendency to delude oneself into believing that “things will improve” or that “he/she will change.” Domestic violence is not limited to cases that make headlines in the media due to their tragic outcomes; it is an integral part of the daily life of individuals in such relationships and encompasses various aspects beyond physical aggression.

What are its benefits?

The focus group provides practical skills for recognizing symptoms, conducting a realistic assessment of relationships, taking preventive actions, and seeking further support in cases of domestic violence. Participants will learn how to:

  • Recognize red flags in the early stages of relationships.
  • Identify the most common strategies used by abusers.
  • Set and assert boundaries in relationships.
  • Deal with fears of ending the relationship.
  • Find help in cases of domestic violence.

How does it work?

The focus group starts when we receive a minimum of six participation requests. The meeting day is determined during the application processing. Each meeting lasts for 80 minutes, and no preparation is required for participation.

Who is the facilitator?

Karina Byalkova is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Plovdiv. She is the first Bulgarian Certified Practitioner in Reality Therapy with the William Glasser Institute and serves as the secretary of the Bulgarian Association for Reality Therapy. She has been counseling in group format since 2018, using a cognitive-behavioral model with elements of schema therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy. Later, she developed focus groups as an alternative to group counseling, requiring a shorter commitment from participants and being more accessible.

How to sign up?

You can apply for participation by completing THIS FORM. You will receive a confirmation email at your provided address. Once the minimum number of participants (6) is gathered, you will receive banking details for a 40 BGN payment for the first session. All meetings are held in person in Plovdiv.


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