Author(s): Alan Jenkins
This book is a practical guide for counsellors and therapists who work in the field of interventions with men who have engaged in violence or sexual abuse towards partners and family members. The book argues that intervention practices must move beyond attempts to coerce, confront or educate a seemingly unwilling or unmotivated man. Instead, it offers respectful intervention practices, necessitating a parallel journey by the therapist, which: assist men in finding an ethical basis and the means to cease abusive behaviour and to develop new ways of relating; are informed by political, rather than psychological, metaphors of explanation and understanding, seeing intervention in terms of power relations and practices within families and communities, and within the institutional, statutory and therapeutic settings in which men participate; move to a restorative project which promotes - the cessation of violence and abuse; the restitution for harm done to individuals, community and culture; and a reclamation of a sense of integrity for the person who has abused. Becoming Ethical builds on the invitational model, introduced by Alan Jenkins in his book Invitations to Responsibility (Dulwich, 1990). This updated guide documents recent developments in invitational thinking and practice. It addresses the challenges, contradictions and practical dilemmas that invitational intervention poses. It stresses the importance of an ongoing engagement with these dilemmas, to allow practitioners to develop their own ethical, respectful and just ways of relating to their clients. The most significant development in invitational theory and practice is the emphasis on the workers' parallel journey to becoming ethical. The book argues that such a parallel journey: acknowledges the political nature of the intervention; shifts the emphasis of the intervention away from a 'gus and them' attitude; and has a far more substantial impact, in assisting their clients to challenge abusive behaviour, than any other practice methods or techniques for intervention. The book is organised in five parts, with four case studies being revisited throughout the book, from initial engagement through to restitution and couple or family restoration. Part One details invitational theory concerning the nature and politics of violence, resistance and restorative practice. Part Two outlines the paradigm for invitational practice, including practices for addressing restraints, establishing an ethical foundation, and addressing abusive practices. Part Three presents a map with guidelines for an ethical journey, and practices for facilitating this journey in the context of a restorative project. Part Four concerns invitational context within a relationship and family context. Part Five outlines a collaborative invitational process for evaluation of goal attainment by men who have abused.