I provide domestic violence solutions to male perpatrators in my domestic violence education program.
I firmly believe that change is possible, because I have done it, and I have seen many, many others do it as well.
So the first thing that I do for the men who come to my program is to indicate to them that I expect change to happen, that I expect them to move from their current set of values, which may be based on experiences from their own childhood, and may have provided a kind of internal and external safety for decades.
I make this demand more nonverbally than verbally actually.
Men respond to this because they will look for tools which can make them more effective providers.
And then I and my facilitators begin the process of confrontation and education.
The men in my groups will respond to a group process that has some energy in it, even if the confrontation is about them.
Confrontation needs to be done cleanly, without judgement involved, so the men do not go shame bound.
We provide tools from many different resources, not the least of which is our personal stories, because each participant has a little different manifestation of power and control.
I use my personal story to illustrate the change process, as do my facilitators.
The basic solution is to learn how to offer choice rather than power and control.
Learning how to offer choice about money, sex, other relationships, parenting, careers, ect. will certainly involve learning how to listen to self and other, and to be prepared for my partner picking a choice which is not my preference.
We are very eclectic in our inventory of tools, using REBT, CBT, videos, attachment, parenting, grief stages, the 12 steps, codependency, FLOW, buddhism, relaxation, biofeedback, John Gottman's materials from the Art and Science of Love, male initiation, aikido as a model for conflict, which means you fight to protect, forgiveness and reconciliation stages, assertive communication, the listening process, karpman drama triangle, teachings about life mission and vision, relaxation, nutrition, stress management, and I am sure there are some I have forgotten.
Did you know that the 12th step of AA is actually an excellent model for offering choice?
Did you know that there is a tremendous connection between hypoglycemia and violence?
Sometimes we link men to literacy resources or online resources for jobs.
Part of the solution to domestic violence and beliefs about violence to anyone, other men, or children, actually is the installation of hope. Men who do not have access to information are still trying to get along as if they were in an industrial society, particularly in our town with its rich industrial heritage, and those jobs are very limited now, leaving men hopeless about being effective providers.
One of the most effective confrontations we have involves the love fathers have for their daughters. We ask what kind of man does she deserve to have?
These days I offer information about brain fitness as part of the change process.
The Posit Science Brain Fitness folks have created a brain fitness program for Senior Drivers that help them prepare for the 1/45 second that they have to react to changing road conditions.
I use that information and the information from Paul Ekman that says we react to facial expressions in 1/25th second, or from Csikszentmihalyi's FLOW that says we process sensory data in packages of 7 bits at a time and the shortest amount of data between the sets of bits is 1/18th second to indicate that life changes fast, and you better be prepared to access your new choice behaviors fast, or the old habits will overwhelm you, because under stress we regress.
As men begin to build some trust in the safety of our container, a tremendous amount of grief emerges.
Often times what holds power and control in place is a betrayal of trust from childhood or early adult life, which was totally unfair, and was never processed so that trusting relationships could once again be built.
Hopefully you get a taste for the solutions which our clients have brought to us in the forms of problems.
When we begin to deal with their lives, and listen respectfully, which may never have happened to them prior to our program, they open up to the opportunities for them when they develop relationships which offer choice.
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