ADVIP Round Table Meeting-April 2023-Video available
Hi all…here is the video for our April quarterly roundtable meeting. It’s divided into chapters based on the discussion points of the PPT. Message me at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Apr 29, 2023 @ 03:39:54
Nada and John, thank you for a great presentation! It is refreshing to know that others are thinking about different approaches to batterer intervention.
I had a couple thoughts that I didn’t get to share, so I am posting them here.
First, I appreciated the discussion about finding other ways to measure success/change than arrest rates. As discussed, arrest does not mean that violence isn’t happening. Additionally, not all types of violence are even arrestable offenses. Arrest also often depends (I suspect) as much on local policy and officer-related factors as it does on whatever happened. But, even if arrest records were a good indicator of change, they tell us nothing about the mechanism of change. Was change because of BIPP or because of the significant life disruption, shame, and expense of arrest and all that follows? While these might not factor into those who are generally violent or exhibit psychopathology, I suspect they are part of the change process for family-only, situation violence. Finally, usually less than half the men in my BIPP are in a relationship. This means that the rest are less likely to be arrested for intimate partner violence due to their circumstances and not necessarily to change.
Thus, I agree that we should be looking beyond arrest as an indicator of change. Further, I think we should move away from a universal measure. The only benefit of a universal measure is to aid meta-analysis. Others might argue that universal measures are good for program comparison. However, common factors research suggests that “all roads lead to Rome” meaning that, in general, all programs create change, likely due to a set of common factors, and there isn’t much utility in trying to show that one program is better than another at creating change. However, there is utility in a program being able to show how it creates change as other programs can then target that mechanism of change if they choose.
As such, it seems to me that programs should be evaluating the targets of change identified in their curriculum. So a feminist-based model would likely measure patriarchal attitudes and beliefs. A CBT-based program would likely measure cognitive distortions or value-based living. If a program hopes to move participants from pre-contemplative to action, then that’s what they measure. If they target empathy, then they would measure empathy. Arrest or reports of violence can still be used and compared with data from other measures to answer questions like “did empathy increase in those who avoided arrest versus those who didn’t?” to show that changes in empathy (or whatever the variable) actually have a real-life impact. This is where I would also argue that we also need more third-party, behavioral measures (as opposed to self-report or attitudinal measures). Basically, we need to be moving away from simply showing that programs work to showing how they work and that they affect day-to-day actions and choices.
A big caveat: I talk a big game, but I AM NOT ACTUALLY DOING THIS IN MY BIPP! Sometimes the gap between theory and practice is wide! *sigh*
Last thought: I also wonder if programs should move away from structured curriculum and toward session targets. Nada said something similar to this in her presentation. I have found that my interns lead class better when I say “this is what we are targeting this session, you have the curriculum, and you’ve seen me lead, now make it your own.” It is really cool because they bring in ideas and activities that I often end up incorporating into the curriculum and making my own. In other words, the process becomes reciprocally generative. Additionally, I doubt that 100% curriculum fidelity exists, so why not empower facilitators to select activities that suit their way of leading while still reaching the goals of the curriculum?
Anywho, thank you again for a thought-provoking conversation. I look forward to the next roundtable.
May 09, 2023 @ 04:53:38
Thank you Lisa…you bring up some very good points and ideas to think about. John’s point about the RNR model is well taken. We can learn alot from the research in the criminal justice field as to “what works” to change thoughts, beliefs, behaviors and reduce recidivism.
It’s in this research field that the structured curriculum has gained traction for producing reliable and consistent results. When I wrote my curriculum I created objectives for each lesson and materials consistent with reaching those objectives–the client “take-aways” if you will. There is guidance for the facilitator, but as you have found–they have to “make it their own”.
This year I have developed a fidelity training series to help empower the facilitators to understand the design of the curriculum and then to know how to modify or change as the group needs dictate. I find myself moving into different lessons (out of order) based on the group needs–and refreshing previous lessons to reinforce concepts/teachings.
Your idea of evaluating the targets of change is important. Why measure what you don’t teach/focus on? I developed a client satisfaction survey which asks about the behaviors I wanted to impact. I provide it in Word for other programs because they may not be measuring the same issues that I do–although many will be the same!
Well…thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas and I hope to connect again.
Apr 30, 2023 @ 18:04:39
These are very thoughtful comments and questions. I always go back to the Risk Needs Responsivity model. I do think that a solid, evidence-based curriculum is important, and while there are many ways it can be taught, addressing those common risk factors (the need principle) is crucial in helpjng our clients overcome their violence. At a minimum, the curriculum should include emotion management and relationship building skills, as well as CBT techniques for identifying and changing disfunctional thinking. Beyond that, as you say, it’s important that clients are put in groups where they feel they belong, and where they will be sufficiently engaged and motivated to learn and apply that learning outside of group (the responsivity principle). The group’s philosophy matters if there is too strong a mismatch (e.g., a feminist/equalitarian man in a Duluth type of group). I do like the idea of measuring success based on the goals of a specific program, but of course only if the program is helping clients to overcome or at least reduce their violence.