By: Charlie Donaldson, MA LLP LPC CAAC
Format: PDF. Digital Download Only. 75-page manual with 22 hands-on activities and worksheets.
Use this manual, filled with activities and worksheets for domestic violence groups, to increase your effectiveness as a therapist working with abusive men.
Working with abusive men is rewarding. It is simply remarkable how much progress they can make when engaged in a batterer intervention group. They begin the group acting out and blaming their partners but by the end, many have made significant changes: increased accountability, more compassion and empathy, enhanced management of feelings, and most of all, avoidance of abusive behavior.
Facilitating batterer groups is also difficult work.
It’s difficult because you must challenge men entrenched in grandiosity and dominance to honestly assess themselves, identify, and incorporate new behaviors. It’s risky because the men you work with have usually already been violent and may be violent again. If you are careless in the way you speak to them, it may encourage them to further violence. If you don’t observe them closely, you may miss signals that they are at increasing risk to harm their partners again.
- You must be careful
- You don’t want to see women hurt or killed
- You don’t want your clients to recidivate, and
- You don’t want to be legally liable
To help your clients and to minimize risk, the key is to work smart. You can use trial and error to figure out how to do that on your own, or you can take advantage of the work others have done before you.
The purpose of Interventions is to provide approaches and materials to augment your own knowledge, thereby increasing your effectiveness in working with abusive men. Specifically, you’ll learn how to better assess the level of risk and how to be accountable in running domestic abuse groups.
The book is divided into two sections: The Manual, which is a compendium of theory, advice and tips on running groups for abusive men, and an Activities section which includes 19 hands-on activities and worksheets with accompanying instructions.
The Manual introduces and explains five keys to smart and effective batterer group facilitation:
- The ability to balance affirmation with confrontation while providing safety for the victim
- An understanding of batterers and why they are violent
- The establishment of clear and articulated goals for men and the group in general
- Structured and regular assessment of clients’ risk for violence to protect partners, to help avoid recidivism, and to decrease your liability exposure
- The use of structured activities that engage your clients, propel them to be accountable, and lead them to change
It also suggests practical tactics for running abusive men’s groups that your clients can enjoy while learning about domestic violence and becoming more accountable.
The activities and worksheets for running domestic violence psychoeducational groups cover these essential areas:
- Accountability. Five activities to make clients more aware of what responsibility means and how accountable they are.
- Male socialization. Two activities that help clients understand the sociological underpinnings of their abusive behavior and how to change their thinking and that behavior. The Man-in-the-Box exercise, developed by Paul Kivel, is augmented by an inventory, Four Great Lies that Ruin Men’s Lives.
- Control and abuse. Men need to understand that domestic violence is always a product of power and control and that the key is found in ending controlling behavior. Here are five proven activities that help men change themselves.
- Healthy relationships. Five activities to help clients recognize that it’s not enough just to avoid being abusive; they also need to reach out positively to create a healthy relationship.
- Negative and distorted thinking. Men in domestic abuse treatment groups often have poor attitudes and little awareness of how their negative thinking gets them in trouble. These two worksheets help clients identify poor thinking habits and choose more positive attitudes that contribute to more respectful and egalitarian relationships.
About the Author of Worksheets for Abuse Groups
Charlie Donaldson has facilitated several batterer intervention groups each week for the past fifteen years and was instrumental in founding the groundbreaking Batterer Intervention Service Coalition of Michigan, in 1996. With his colleagues Randy Flood and Elaine Eldridge, he co-wrote the first book that’s both inviting and confrontational for men who may be or have been abusive: Stop Hurting the Woman You Love: Breaking the Cycle of Abusive Behavior.
Charlie also presents workshops to other therapists on the Psychology of Men Who Abuse Women and Counseling Men. It is these and other experiences that provide the background for this book.
Charlie is also the author of Substance Abuse Worksheets: Thinking to Stop Drinking.