What is Temper?

Our recently revised course dates are below.

Breaking News and Politics: We are not quite sure of the accuracy of the following. Please advise if you know better and have “evidence” of what you are correcting. Cafcass have stopped (or are planning to stop) the funding of the “best practice”,  i.e. “RESPECT ACCREDITED” DAPP’s (Domestic Abuser Perpetrator Programmes).  Alledgedly this is for “re-training” although I am unsure how they can re-train their “best practice”! But maybe they listened to the academics who pointed out these things resulting from the very near total lack of “additonal benefits” from the DRIVE project which was assoiated with the MARAC process. (My video clip on the subject is linked here.) There will be inevitable consequences from the new situation unless the funding for places is picked up by Probation – or the Home Office direct. In one year CAFCASS  funded 909 places at a cost of £1.2m- but they cannot tell you how many men completed the programme. The likely result of this new situation is that the DAPP’s, all of which work on a “rolling programme” with new people joining every 4-6 weeks (replacing those who have dropped out rather than those who have completed), will almost inevitably become uneconomic within about 8 – 18 weeks.  That means the men who are enrolled are very unlikely to be able to complete the programme and consequently will not be able to “reduce the risk they pose ” to their partner, former partner or children.  Theoretically that will mean that the separations will continue of children from their father, imposed by the Family and Magistrates courts, as advised by Cafcass workers.    

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 emotions in individuals which cause a cessation in learning and 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

For people recently involved with Cafcass this news of May 12th 2021 might be important  Here you can hear about some of the problems that individuals may face with Cafcass, and also what moved an individual Cafcass officer to revise her position.

Our re-start in Birmingham began in September 2021. Our second course  was in January and February. 

Revised course dates as mentioned above: London  May: 14,15 plus May 28,29.  Aug 13,14 plus Sept 10,11.  Dec 3,4    plus January 7th and 8th 

Birmingham: June 18,19 plus July 16,17.  Oct 15,16 plus Nov 12,13 

Zoom – pre-course support. –  (a result of longer waits caused by the virus and a surge in referrals) 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.

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 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. Beware! As above, 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. 

Duluth / Duluth hybrids,  DAPPS focus ideologically on “male power and control” – There is no female abuser (perpetrator) 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 they 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  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. 

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.