From doubt to trust: Swedish mothers’ and counsellors’ experience testing a parenting programme for mothers exposed to intimate partner violence whose children have developed behavioural problems

Helena Draxler, Renée McDonald, Fredrik Hjärthag, Kjerstin Almqvist - Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry


Many countries seek evidence-based interventions for children who have been exposed to domestic violence, and they frequently turn to interventions developed in the US and disseminated to Europe as a solution. Societal and cultural differences may, however, pose barriers to successful implementation. Project Support (PS), piloted in this study through social services agencies in Sweden, has shown positive effects in the US for families with children who have been exposed to intimate partner violence (IPV). The aim of this study was to investigate counselors’ and caregivers’ experiences when giving/receiving PS in Sweden.

The study was based on interviews conducted with 11 mothers and 13 counselors with experience in the programme. A thematic analysis showed three themes (Initial doubts, Confidence from positive change, and Flexibility- challenge for the organization) and the study adds information about obstacles for implementation of PS in Sweden. Cultural and organizational differences between Sweden and the US in practice and child-rearing attitudes are highlighted, as well as the importance of making adjustments while maintaining treatment fidelity, and promoting the dissemination of the approach.