What is Temper?

London – our next courses:

Part 1: April 15,16   –  plus May 13,14   

Part 1: June   10th and 11th   plus  July    8th and 9th

Part 1 :July 29,30  plus   Aug 26,27   

There will be a course start in September

Part 1:  Nov 18,19   plus  Dec 16,17    

Birmingham our next courses :   

Part 1: June 3 & 4    plus July 1 & 2        

Part 1: Sep 23 & 24  plus Oct 21 & 22 

Breaking News and Politics: June 2022. Cafcass stopped referrals to “RESPECT ACCREDITED” DAPP’s (Domestic Abuser Perpetrator Programmes),  The RESPECT accredited programmes have utterly failed families, children and women by not recognising the wider dynamics of couple relationships.     This 2010 letter to Cafcass explains the problems.

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. 

The researched outcomes from The West Midlands police commissioner’s £1.050m investment in MyTime, a RESPECT accredited project, and along with DVIP in London a division of the bigger charity The Richmond Fellowship,   indicated that 1,074 men were referred to the MyTime programme, 256 were considered suitable for the programme, 196 started the programme and just 24 men completed it .   

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 27 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. WE have 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, which 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 implicitly being invited 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

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 have virtually all closed now because Cafcass has stopped funding men. 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 has been to funnell these “toxic” males into a one-size fits all programme. Outside of prisons there is no female abuser (perpetrator) group course programme other than ours because such a programme would contradict the underlying  frminist 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.