What is Temper?

Our recently revised course dates are below.

Breaking News and Politics: Cafcass has stopped referrals to “RESPECT ACCREDITED” DAPP’s (Domestic Abuser Perpetrator Programmes), the pathway mentioned in the video clip below is closed.  My warning letter to Cafcass in 2010 is here. A letter to the head of commissioning 12.4.21 is here and another to the new CEO Jackie |Tiotto is here. Clips discussing the problems are here and here RESPECT ‘s “accredited programmes” have been referred to as “best practice”. Elsewhere they have been referred to as: “The gold standard”.  The accredited programmes have utterly failed. RESPECT failed to address the facts, and sought to obscure them, here for example when being questioned by a Home Office select committee,   that probably fewer than 25% of the men ever completed them.  That “gold standard” turns out to have been iron pyrites, more commonly called “fools gold”.  In one year CAFCASS  funded 909 places at a cost of £1.2m- but they cannot even tell you how many men completed the programme.  Self referrers to those programmes will face a bill of about £105 per week or about £3,000 to complete a programme.

Mediation is being up-rated with 10,000 gov’t funded  spaces available. The hope and expectation will be to reduce pressures on Cafcass and the Family Courts. 

IDAP and BBR, probation service examples have experienced very similar difficulties. The inspectorate’s report is here.  The DRIVE project has been associated with the MARAC process so this following clip would be important for police commissioners. (My video clip on the subject is linked here.)   A detailed breakdown of the outcomes is here. 

Temper is a registered charity (1081139) focused mainly on working with people whose behaviour in their intimate relationships is a cause for concern.  We work closely with violent, aggressive, abusive people facilitating their understanding of what they use their abusive behaviours for  and in such ways as to help them bring about changes in their behaviours.

Ours is a 26 year experience of supporting face-to-face males and females who exhibit abusive behaviours and their female or male partners.  Our headline work is with the abusive person. We have completed 36 hours of therapeutically informed work with more than 1100 men and more than 120 women, and extensively supported about 200 partners, about 120 females and 80 males for very varied periods of time. 

What is needed we assert is: 1) emotional regulation – which might well include some anger management 2) impulse control training, learning to respond rather than react 3) a much better understanding of intimate couple relationships, coupled with an understanding of primary declarative emotions, 4) New skills for communication need to be learnt and practised.  The work is about behaviours and emotions, not attitudes 5) a focus needs to be maintained on each and every individual in his or her individual circumstances  6) the process is to facilitate learning by raising curiosity and interest.  It’s for that reason front line workers are called facilitators 7) the process needs to be carried out to an ethos which involves “active listening”, “non-judgement”, be “non-punitive”  and raise “curiosity”. Work needs to avoid engaging the fight/flight/freeze reponses in individuals which cause a cessation in or inhibit learning. Whenever possible the client’s “social engagement system” needs to be harnessed to facilitate learning. 8)  An attachment based model for working is likely to be the most productive model and fundamentals of which can be found here, along with reasons for the need for a much greater focus on sadness and grief.  9) Children are frequently the witnesses of and victims of the outcomes of very disturbing adult  behaviours. Worked at via experiential methods, work needs to be included which directly brings the individual participant into the “experienced world” of a child or children of the family, enabling insights into the ways in which children are invited by the situations in which they find themselves to choose between parents and often to “split” themselves between parents. 

Our Facebook site is here.

Some sobering thoughts for potential funders, MP’s, councils, local councillors, Police Commissioners, Mayors and others are here

Developments in the recognitions of “what works” The West Midlands police commissioner recently published outcomes from his investments here.  Here are the relevant 3/4 pages which confirm what I told his predecessor in 2016. MYTIME, now a sub division of the charity the  Richmond Fellowship, a so-called accredited project, was granted a chunk of money which according to this statement on pages 2 and 3 , from 1162 referrals over 3 years just 219 men completed at least 1 session (of a 28-32 week programme).   On the same pages, paragraphs 58 and 59 suggest the reduction in the length of the “DRIVE” programme for high risk, largely convicted perpetrators,  to 18 sessions, plus, for those that need it, 6 sessions of “motivational interviewing”. 

In the Magistrates’ and Family Courts judges are still advised by Cafcass,  the Child and Family Court Advisory and Support Service. Judges  are advised that males with alleged abusive behaviours are to go on a “DAPP” – a Domestic Abuser Perpetrator programme.  A list of the the RESPECT those “accredited programmes” was linked here. THose programmes are likely to have all closed because Cafcass has stopped forwarding people. We are increasingly being asked to explain our focus and content: this talk for a conference in Manchester explains a great deal. The clip is about 46 minutes long. 

Duluth / Duluth hybrids,  DAPPS focus ideologically on “male power and control” – The real aim is to funnell these “toxic” males into a one-size fits all. Outside of prisons there is no female abuser (perpetrator) group course programme other than ours because such a programme would contradict the underlying  ideology!  Our tag line would be “emotional regulation”. Duluth  blames “all men” for their “toxic masculinity”. This raises an individual’s feelings of SHAME which results in men not engaging or disengaging.  As Dr Nicola Graham-Kevan states here violence towards women is socially unacceptable to the vast majority of men. TEMPER’s programme focusses on each individual’s problems, which generally fascinates the individual, raising their curiosity, and encouraging them, him or her, to do something about their “personal” problems, rather than fix the “problems of all men”. 

Our Heart of England programme was originally devised in 1994/5. More than 1,100 men and more than 120 women have completed the work,  100%.  The content has been improved with the experiences and an explosion of knowledge about emotions brought about by  neuroscience. David and Terry White discuss some of the problems with the accredited DAPP programmes here.

Emotions drive behaviour, not a desire for “power and control” in the vast majority of couple relationships, although, of course, when “invited” to fight for their children’s ongoing contact with them, parents’ behaviours in the arena of the adversarial system of the family courts very quickly become “competitive” and often the individuals are motivated by strong feelings of grief and loss, or feelings of injustice or even revenge.  The individual much more frequently becomes driven by efforts to achieve “power and control”, effectively invited to do this by the adversarial nature of the family courts! “Attachment theory” plays a large role in some, even many cases. You can understand something about the impact on children from this link, and you can follow this professor’s seminar via this link

“Anger management” was originally thought to be what was needed.  In 1996  Dr Joseph LeDoux, neuro-scientist,  clearly established that emotions drive behaviours. Individuals need to learn how to “regulate” their emotions.  Anger may well be one of them, but many cases are  more about other primary, declarative  emotions, fear, grief or disgust, or trust and other secondary, discrete emotions,  shame, jealousy, envy and others.   The guts of a risk assessment by a clinical psychologist outlining the problems of his client and the need not for the “accredited work”   but for therapeutically informed work is here.  Another clinical psychologist summarised problems with which Cafcass still struggles, the problems of their proxy accreditor, RESPECT.  (Dr LeDoux later recognised he had been mistaken about the role of the amydala.)

You can read about Dr H’s clinical psychology assessment of what one man needed in the Professionals page.  

CAUTION: Here you can hear about of some of the problems with the so-called “accredited work”, that of the DVIP in London, for example and Mytime in the Midlands and here you can read about it. Men who attend those courses have about a 1 in 4 chance of completing the “accredited” work. Even if they complete it they may well find that a hostile facilitator will report: “In my professional opinion Mr X did not make enough progress to be considered safe.”   Very largely separated for at least 6 months from their (ex)? wife/partner/children the man will then find himself not one step closer to his assumed goal – that happens by design, not by chance!

Temper’s intensive, therapeutically informed course was designed to help bring about changes in the behaviours associated with domestic violence. The focus may be on all or any of the following: physical violence,  verbal abuse, aggression, emotional abuse, financial abuse, sexual abuse and coercive control.

Before participants can be accepted onto the programme an initial assessment meeting lasting between 1 and 2 hours is required. Historically  this meeting was face-to-face in the client’s own home or near to where the client lived. As this has become much less possible, even impossible, then a Zoom, WhatsApp or telephone interview replaces it.

There are a maximum of 8 places available per course. Each of our courses runs as a closed group. To complete the course takes two weekends, usually one month apart.  The total course time is 36 hours over the two weekends, 16 x 2 hour sessions. The intervening time allows what has been learnt in the first half to be practised and processed and developed in the second half. Both halves of the work must be completed in the same group. After the course a small percentage of clients may require more extensive work. This may then be offered by Temper or by referrals to or suggestions made as to other, more specific, sources of help. For those that wish for it post course support is available via Zoom once a week, or some groups maintain contact via their own Whats Ap group.

Safety for all concerned comes, we believe, in early and effective intervention. We always try to engage with the client as quickly as possible because of the potential risks involved to all concerned, children, mothers and fathers.  Our target was to meet face-to-face with clients within 10 days of their initial contact with us.  Via Zoom and What’s Ap these meetings now usually  happen very soon after an individual’s first contact.  About 10 days are needed to complete all the initial processes prior to taking part in a group course. Our experience is that last-minute arrivals can be impulsive and then either not join a group or settle into the work. But, if there is a space available, we will always do our best to engage with the late arriving individual.