What is Temper?

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.

To Patrick, Cafcass officer,  who was seeking information about the content of our work and whose email address is blocked to me and who has, as yet, not responded to my 3 text messages advising him of that fact. This is also for any other Cafcass officer who needs to know of our course content in line with the Cafcass “backlog information”  For people recently involved with Cafcass this news of May 12th 2021 might be important 

In September, catching us up with a backlog of clients post lockdown we have moved September’s course in BIrmingham back by a week. It now starts Sept 25th and 26th and part 2 is as advertised before, Oct  16th and 17th. 

Zoom – pre-course support. –  Is on Tuesday evenings from 8.00 p.m – 9.00 p.m – may run on. To register please email stating your interest. Pre-course support does not oblige you to attend a course. The email address is temperdv@gmail.com.

In the Family Courts judges are 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 “accredited programmes” is linked here. But beware! Historically less than 25% of men have completed those programmes.  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. 

Feminist inspired, Duluth / Duluth hybrids,  DAPPS focus ideologically on “male power and control” –  one part of the reason they cannot produce a female abuser (perpetrator) programme: it contradicts their ideology.  Our tag line would be “emotional regulation”. The former blames “all men” for their “toxic masculinity”.  The notion is foreign to the vast majority of men. The latter focusses on each individual’s problems which generally fascinates each individual and encourages them to do something about their “personal” problems, rather than the “problems of all men”. 

Our 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 courts very quickly become “competitive” and often motivated by grief and loss or feelings of revenge they much more frequently become driven by efforts to achieve “power and control.”
“Anger management” was originally thought to be what was needed.  In 1996  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 the problems with which Cafcass colludes  through their proxy accreditor, RESPECT. 

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. 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.  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.  

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