What is Temper?

Update January 25.  Following the latest lockdown requirements our next two course dates are postponed    until at the earliest the middle of March  2021. New free pre-course support via Zoom is available. Temper is a registered charity 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 to help them understand why they behave in such ways and to help them bring about changes in their behaviours. Our Facebook site is here. 

Zoom – pre-course support. – Is free of charge. Is on Tuesday evenings from 8.00 p.m – 9.00 p.m – may run on and or on Sunday mornings from 9.00 a.m – 10.00 a.m. and may run on. To register please email stating your preference for a Tuesday evening or a Sunday morning. Pre-course support does not oblige you to attend a course. The email address is temperdv@gmail.com

Temper was devised in 1994/5 and improvements are continuously being made to the programme in the light of the experience of more than 1,100 clients who have completed the work, both men and women, and the availability of much greater research into what works and what doesn’t. This has also been brought about by an explosion of knowledge through  neuroscience.

We work on the basis that in the vast majority of relationships emotions drive behaviour, not a desire for “power and control”.
“Anger management” is often what is deemed to be needed by the authorities and this was where we started. But emotions drive behaviour. It is much more likely that an individual will need to learn how to “regulate” his or her emotions.  Anger may well be one of them, but some cases are really much more about their other primary emotions of fear, or disgust, or trust and other secondary, discrete emotions, rage, 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 the problems which Cafcass inherits with its proxy Accreditor, RESPECT, in this letter:

Dr H, a clinical psychologist and risk assessor in an assessment  wrote to Cafcass: Therapeutic approaches based on Duluth domestic violence education programmes for men are often recommended for male perpetrators of domestic violence. The Duluth model is an educational approach that is programme centred, challenging, confrontational and rigid. These programmes are based on an educational approach in which the perpetrator will often suppress their abusive behaviours during treatment. (Jewel and Wormith 2010). Meta-analytic studies of Duluth type educational approaches have consistently found that domestic violence education programmes for men that are based on Duluth pro-feminist model result in no long-term reduction in intimate partner violence (Slabber 2012). Approaches that appear to have more positive outcomes to the Duluth model  identify individual criminal criminogenic risk factors, target dynamic need and risk factors, target multiple needs, promote behavioural change and develop social and communication skills. More therapeutic approaches are client centred, empathic, engage the client, are responsive  to a client’s needs, and result in a reduction of IPV. The research literature clearly indicates that an effective approach for male perpetrators of IPV is to provide therapeutic treatment that focuses on the perpetrator’s own traumatic history and other individual difficulties (Vlais, 2014). It has been found that courses involving more than 36 hours of education and therapy do not have any better outcomes than courses involving less than 36 hours of intervention work (Paulin, 2014). The group based course offered by Temper does address IPV issues and a number of local authorities refer clients to the organisation. A client was concerned that Cafcass had informed him that the course run by Temper is not a recognised course for domestic violence perpetrators. I would assume that this reflects that the course run by Temper is not accredited by RESPECT — a self appointed organisation in the UK that accredits domestic violence perpetrator programmes that are primarily based upon The Duluth model.

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. You have about a 1 in 4 chance of completing their work. Even if you complete it you 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 6 months from your (ex)? wife/partner/children you will find yourself not one step closer to your assumed goal – that is 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.

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.

Each course 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. 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. A very small percentage of clients 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. There are a maximum of 8 places available per course.

We believe in early and effective intervention so we always try to engage with the client as quickly as possible because of the risks involved to all concerned.  Our target is to meet with clients within two weeks of their initial contact with us. Following an individual’s contact it usually takes about 10 days to 2 weeks 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 late arriving individual.  

Here you can here about some of the problems that individuals may face with Cafcass, and also what moved a Cafcass officer to revise her position.