Working with emotions rather than just doing 'Anger Management'
Domestic violence abusers are often "sent" for "anger management". Feminsists deplore the idea that Domestic abuse is about "anger management", or rage, believing it to be all about "power and control" and "coercive control".
Recognised statistics (Prof Michael P Johnson's) say 7 per thousand men are coercive controllers before separation and 5 per thousand women. After separation these figures jump to 22% for men and 5% for women. Obviously this raises the dangers enormously upon separation, for women, and even more so for children. So, at one level, the separation policies advocated by hard-line feminsists exacerbate situations they claim to be trying to alleviate, a paradoxical outcome? Maybe.
But the vast majority of domestic abusers are those that indulge in "common couple violence" - 74% of all violence according to Kevan-Graham and Archer 2003, or violent retaliation, or mutual couple violence. These 3 groups and some of the intimate terrorists need help to regulate their emotions. - other intimate terrorists are really safer behind bars. Is anger the main emotion to be attempting to regulate? Well that is a much more complex question.
Our experience says that very many abusers need help to regulate their fear, rather than their anger, still others need help to regulate their hurt and their grief and a sizable proportion need help to manage the emotion which is most heavily related to attachment theory, and to their attachment. Now which emotion would that be? Curiously you will not find it on any of the recognised lists so you are going to have to put your thinking caps on or you are going to have to indulge in a little sleuthing into emotions to find out.
What of the British radical feminists? Well their ideas of power and control were upset in 1999 when Ellen Pence, credited with the development of the notion, recognised in her book that the vast majority of the men she later worked with had no sense of trying to achieve power and control over her partner. Either the feminist haven't read that yet, or more likely it is not "on message", so therefore they will not acknowledge that.
Their Duluth Abuser programme, their main vehicle for addressing the problems over 30 odd weeks , is really a penny farthing which everybody falls off between the 3rd and 6th week! The completers 35 of 230 men! of whom 70 % are deemed to have made effective use of the work would come at a cost of virtually 10k per head.
Why would you recognise that there were problems with that programme?
Related articles from our experts
- LGBT mental health
Justin Lee Slaughter. MBACP (Reg)1st February, 2017
- The difficulties of leaving an abusive relationship
Angela Dierks, BA (Hons), MStud (Oxon), MA Integrative Counselling, MBACP (Acc)30th January, 2017
- Inner child therapy
Allswell Counselling - Joy Christopher Reg.MBACP. MIC. LLHAY.cert.6th December, 2016
- How trying to be calm can make you angrier
Mark Redwood, BA (Hons) Counselling8th February, 2017
- We can’t let go of what we don’t fully own
Sophie Coutand-Marin, MBACP, ACTO2nd February, 2017
- Anger gets a bad rap
James L Smith Dip. Psych, UKCP22nd January, 2017
Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.