The following is a summary of what a typical male batterers intervention program (BIP) might look like and how it might work.  The example below is for informational purposes only and it contains hypothetical scenarios.  It may be useful information for male batterers who are seeking group treatment options to get an idea of how BIP models function and what to expect.  The following is based primarily on the Duluth Model framework for male batterers. This type of intervention would not be considered an appropriate model of care for women who are batterers, LGBTQ who are batterers and it would not be appropriate for anyone who is a victim of domestic violence (whether as a victim you are a male or a female).   

 

For additional information regarding individual treatment options related to the varying populations who are both batterers and victims in domestic violence (regardless of your gender or your sexuality) please consider alternative intervention and treatment summary options as discussed here

 

Prototypic Group: Male Batterers—for heterosexual men who batter and who prefer group counseling formats based on a power, control and an inequality model of care.

 

Synopsis:  The six men who are in attendance are court ordered, or they face jail sentences.  All of the men were randomly assigned to this particular group after attending a larger countywide Male Batterers Orientation a week ago.  The orientation was the initial step, prior to beginning Male Batterers Treatment; this group is meeting for its first time.  Several topics were addressed in the orientation that will be revisited in the group today:

 

1) Batterers can stop battering and do so permanently.

2) Batterers are fully responsible for their own behavior (not their spouses, not the judge, not drugs/alcohol, not their anger problem, etc. etc.); they can expect to hear this theme repeatedly.

3) Sexist, homophobic, or threatening comments are not allowed in group; if members persistently use such language termination from the group may become necessary.  Members must come to group sober, and not be under the influence of other drugs.

4) Men who batter face two primary issues that underlie their abusive patterns: power and control; equality appreciation will be critical to ending batterer behavior. 

5) Weekly contacts are made by the counselors with abused partners; what the partners disclose to the counselors, may/may not be disclosed to the batterers.

6) The batterers and their partners may not participate in couples/family counseling during the course of the Male Batterers Treatment program; if they are currently involved in this kind of therapy, it must be stopped prior to beginning treatment.

7) Battering during the course of treatment is not permitted; in the event the men do batter, they will be terminated from the program.

8) Participation is voluntary (the batterers may choose to come, or not), however if they do not finish treatment (and abide by the program guidelines) their probation officers (and abused partners) will be notified.

9) Meetings begin promptly at 7:00 pm; at 7:05 pm the door will be locked and members will not be able to attend group for the week that they are/were late.

10) The program is 24 weeks long; the men may miss up to three sessions, at which time they will be terminated from the group.  Any missed sessions must be made up.

 

Group Criteria:  The six men are court ordered and range in age from 18 to 39.  There are 24 groups, meeting weekly for 1.5 hours; the group is closed.  Two of the men are African American and four are Caucasian. 

 

Overall Goal(s) of the Group:  To empower the members to take responsibility for their abusive behaviors, and appreciate the impact that their behavior has upon their partners, their children, and other family and friends.  The primary goal is to prevent future battering. 

 

Specific Goal for today's Group:  To introduce the group facilitators, the group members, and to discuss concerns or comments from the orientation attended last week.

 

SOURCE:  The above treatment design was derived from Florida's Batterer's Intervention Program (BIP; www.myflorida.com) and is based upon the Duluth Model for treating male batterers (www.duluth-model.org).

 

<< Appendix B - Batterer Roles >>

 

Male Batterer #1

 

NOTE:  Since you are going to play the role of a male batterer, it is important to remember that you have a history of beating your partner whenever you fight (you may decide if it's a long history or you may decide if this is the first time it's ever happened).  You are jealous of how your partner spends time when away from you; you try to control your partner's spending; you try to control your partner's friendships; virtually everything your partner does is not good enough for you.  And, if you're not hitting your partner, you yell, you hit walls, you throw things, you threaten to hurt your partner; you threaten to take the kids (if you decide in your role you have kids); you threaten to not pay the bills (if you decide that you're a breadwinner).  In the final analysis, as far as you're concerned, whatever you want your partner to do, whenever you want your partner to do it, you think that it should happen that way - and if you suddenly change your mind, your partner should comply. 

 

Remember that if you fail at this group, you are going to go to jail; maybe you will go for a short time or for a long time (you decide).  You also could be faced with losing your job (if you have one), or maybe your partner has said that they are leaving you if you don't succeed at this (are you married? Is this your girlfriend?).

 

*************

 

Your general attitude for this group is "I DON'T LIKE THE RULES."  You are going to make a few comments about the rules of the program, which were highlighted in last week's countywide orientation.  Things you might dislike specifically are: having to be here and be on time each week, or get kicked out; having to attend 24 sessions; stopping counseling with your partner.

 

The main points you want to make in this group:

 

"Orientation sucked"

"There are too damn many rules in this program"

"I'm a grown man, and I can make my own decisions"

 

Theme:  I DON'T LIKE THE RULES

 

Male Batterer #2

 

NOTE:  Since you are going to play the role of a male batterer, it is important to remember that you have a history of beating your partner whenever you fight (you may decide if it's a long history or you may decide if this is the first time it's ever happened).  You are jealous of how your partner spends time when away from you; you try to control your partner's spending; you try to control your partner's friendships; virtually everything your partner does is not good enough for you.  And, if you're not hitting your partner, you yell, you hit walls, you throw things, you threaten to hurt your partner; you threaten to take the kids (if you decide in your role you have kids); you threaten to not pay the bills (if you decide that you're a breadwinner).  In the final analysis, as far as you're concerned, whatever you want your partner to do, whenever you want your partner to do it, you think that it should happen that way - and if you suddenly change your mind, your partner should comply. 

 

*************

 

Your general attitude for this group is "IT'S ALL HER FAULT."  You are going to make comments about how every time you hit your partner, she did something to cause it to happen; you are almost unable to see that you have done anything wrong, and during those times when you think you might have done something wrong (after you realize that you have hurt your partner or when you realize your partner is going to call the police), you continue to blame it on your partner.  You tell your partner you're sorry whenever you hit her and even buy gifts to show her how much you care for her; you also have made repeated promises to stop the violence and have been unable to do so for the many years you've been together.

 

You are to be persistent in your arguments in the group - you may decide to back down at some point, but then again, you may not.  Whatever you decide, you should know that you have been charged many times for domestic violence, but this is the first time your partner has decided to NOT drop the charges against you.  You've been in front of the judge, and you will go to jail for up to five years if you do not complete this program. 

<< Appendix B - Batterer Roles (continued) >>

 

Some comments you want to make in this group are:

 

"Why would you want to call that bitch every week and talk to her?"

"I wouldn't be in this stupid group if it weren't for her"

"If she'd do what I tell her, our marriage would be just fine"

 

Theme:  IT'S ALL HER FAULT

 

Male Batterer #3

 

NOTE:  Since you are going to play the role of a male batterer, it is important to remember that you have a history of beating your partner whenever you fight (you may decide if it's a long history or you may decide if this is the first time it's ever happened).  You are jealous of how your partner spends time when away from you; you try to control your partner's spending; you try to control your partner's friendships; virtually everything your partner does is not good enough for you.  And, if you're not hitting your partner, you yell, you hit walls, you throw things, you threaten to hurt your partner; you threaten to take the kids (if you decide in your role you have kids); you threaten to not pay the bills (if you decide that you're a breadwinner).  In the final analysis, as far as you're concerned, whatever you want your partner to do, whenever you want your partner to do it, you think that it should happen that way - and if you suddenly change your mind, your partner should comply. 

 

Remember that if you fail at this group, you are going to go to jail; maybe you will go for a short time or for a long time (you decide).  You also could be faced with losing your job (if you have one), or maybe your partner has said that they are leaving you if you don't succeed at this (are you married? Is this your girlfriend?).

 

*************

 

Your general attitude for this group is "I CAN'T WORK WITH A LADY COUNSELOR."  You are going to make comments to the male counselor (or other batterers) as often as you can; you are trying to avoid talking with the female counselor as much as possible.  You don't feel like you need to answer to women, and you don't believe that women can be in positions of authority (and if they are in positions of authority you question how that is possible).  It is important, in your role, to remember that you generally feel that because you are male you are an authority over women.

 

Some comments you want to make in this group are [trying not to address the female counselor]:

 

"Why do we have to have a lady in our group?" 

"I don't think this is a good place for a lady to be."

"I cannot work with a lady counselor."  (The equality stuff they talked about at orientation is crap)

"Why should I talk to 'what's her name'?"

 

Theme:  I CAN'T WORK WITH A LADY COUNSELOR

 

Male Batterer #4

 

NOTE:  Since you are going to play the role of a male batterer, it is important to remember that you have a history of beating your partner whenever you fight (you may decide if it's a long history or you may decide if this is the first time it's ever happened).  You are jealous of how your partner spends time when away from you; you try to control your partner's spending; you try to control your partner's friendships; virtually everything your partner does is not good enough for you.  And, if you're not hitting your partner, you yell, you hit walls, you throw things, you threaten to hurt your partner; you threaten to take the kids (if you decide in your role you have kids); you threaten to not pay the bills (if you decide that you're a breadwinner).  In the final analysis, as far as you're concerned, whatever you want your partner to do, whenever you want your partner to do it, you think that it should happen that way - and if you suddenly change your mind, your partner should comply. 

 

Remember that if you fail at this group, you are going to go to jail; maybe you will go for a short time or for a long time (you decide).  You also could be faced with losing your job (if you have one), or maybe your partner has said that they are leaving you if you don't succeed at this (are you married? Is this your girlfriend?).

 

*************

 

Your general attitude for this group is "I'M ONLY HERE BECAUSE OF THE JUDGE."  You are angry about being forced to attend group.  You do not agree with the statement during orientation that says attendance is voluntary.  You are facing a jail sentence and you believe that this is also the judge's fault (and if not the fault of the judge, then it's your partners fault). 

 

Some comments you might want to make in this group are:

 

"How can they say this is voluntary when I'm ordered by a judge to be here?"

"I wouldn't be in this mess if it weren't for the Judge!" 

"That stupid cop had no business arresting me."

"I could kill that cop/judge." 

 

Theme:  I'M ONLY HERE BECAUSE OF THE JUDGE

 

Male Batterer #5

 

NOTE:  Since you are going to play the role of a male batterer, it is important to remember that you have a history of beating your partner whenever you fight (you may decide if it's a long history or you may decide if this is the first time it's ever happened).  You are jealous of how your partner spends time when away from you; you try to control your partner's spending; you try to control your partner's friendships; virtually everything your partner does is not good enough for you.  And, if you're not hitting your partner, you yell, you hit walls, you throw things, you threaten to hurt your partner; you threaten to take the kids (if you decide in your role you have kids); you threaten to not pay the bills (if you decide that you're a breadwinner).  In the final analysis, as far as you're concerned, whatever you want your partner to do, whenever you want your partner to do it, you think that it should happen that way - and if you suddenly change your mind, your partner should comply. 

 

Remember that if you fail at this group, you are going to go to jail; maybe you will go for a short time or for a long time (you decide).  You also could be faced with losing your job (if you have one), or maybe your partner has said that they are leaving you if you don't succeed at this (are you married? Is this your girlfriend?).

 

*************

 

Your general attitude for this group is "MY ANGER/MY DRINKING CAUSED IT ALL."  You are sure that if you could get into some kind of anger control class you could be cured. And if it's not anger management problems, then it must be because you are usually drunk/high every time you hit your partner.  You are struggling with the orientation idea that you are responsible for your own behavior.

 

Some comments you might want to make in this group are:

 

"If I could get help for my anger, I wouldn't be here." 

"I've got such a bad temper, that's all it is."

"Okay, well maybe it's not anger that's the problem; it must be the beer." 

 

Theme:  MY ANGER/MY DRINKING CAUSED IT ALL

 

Male Batterer #6

 

NOTE:  Since you are going to play the role of a male batterer, it is important to remember that you have a history of beating your partner whenever you fight (you may decide if it's a long history or you may decide if this is the first time it's ever happened).  You are jealous of how your partner spends time when away from you; you try to control your partner's spending; you try to control your partner's friendships; virtually everything your partner does is not good enough for you.  And, if you're not hitting your partner, you yell, you hit walls, you throw things, you threaten to hurt your partner; you threaten to take the kids (if you decide in your role you have kids); you threaten to not pay the bills (if you decide that you're a breadwinner).  In the final analysis, as far as you're concerned, whatever you want your partner to do, whenever you want your partner to do it, you think that it should happen that way - and if you suddenly change your mind, your partner should comply. 

 

Remember that if you fail at this group, you are going to go to jail; maybe you will go for a short time or for a long time (you decide).  You also could be faced with losing your job (if you have one), or maybe your partner has said that they are leaving you if you don't succeed at this (are you married? Is this your girlfriend?).

 

*************

 

<< Appendix B - Batterer Roles (continued) >>

 

You are the most well adjusted, compared to your peers.  Your general attitude for this group is "I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS."  While you still have many of the beliefs and thoughts that were mentioned in the above "note" you are quickly coming to terms with the fact that you are responsible for what happened, and you are responsible for what will happen.  You agree there are a lot of rules but you don't believe that anything, other than you, caused you to hit your partner.  You're not so sure that you believe what all the other guys of the group are saying.  You believe what the counselor's are saying and you want to do whatever you need to do so this doesn't happen again. 

 

Some comments you might want to make in this group are:

 

"I realize now that what I did was wrong." 

"I am the one that caused me to be here."

"She didn't make me do anything; I did this to my wife - no one else."

"She didn't deserve this; I should have thought about what this would do to her and the kids." 

 

Theme:  I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS

 

 

<< Appendix C - Prototypic Group Handout >>

 

ORIENTATION HIGHLIGHTS

MALE BATTERERS INTERVENTION PROGRAM

 

o You can stop battering and do so permanently.

 

o You are responsible for your behavior.

 

o Sexist, homophobic, or threatening comments are not allowed; come to group clean/sober.

 

o Men who batter face two issues: power and control; equality must be accepted.

 

o Weekly contacts are made with abused partners; what the partners disclose is confidential.

 

o You and your partner may not participate in couples/family counseling.

 

o If you batter while in this program, you will be terminated from the program.

 

o Participation is voluntary; if you do not finish treatment probation officers will be notified.

 

o Meetings begin at 7:00 pm; at 7:05 pm the door will be locked.

 

o The program lasts 24 weeks; missing three sessions will cause termination from the group.

 

For More Information on Batterer Intervention Programs search the web using keywords

“Certified Batterers Intervention Programs” 

 

The practice at TalkifUwant treats all male, female and LGBTQ batterers as well as all male, female and LGBTQ victims of domestic violence in an outpatient setting.  If you wish to be seen

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