There are two Blueprint programs, one for women another for men. Blueprint is an intervention program, for use where individuals of either gender are displaying abusive behaviours in the family setting. These abusive behaviours could be physical, mental or emotional in nature.
We focus on ‘abusive behaviours’, rather than someone being an ‘abuser’, for a couple of reasons. This shift in focus acknowledges that the issue is with these abusive behaviours, and the underpinning belief and attitudes, as much as the abuse per se.
Also if we define a person as ‘abusive’, with the inference of it being at best a character trait and at worse a gender or genetic trait e.g. abusive male, then experience has shown that there is far less engagement with professionals. This helps no one. Whereas while still holding the person fully accountable and responsible for their abusive behaviours, we can begin to separate the behaviour from the person and with help and support, this behaviour can be changed.
This leads to a fuller and more genuine engagement, which increases safety for everyone involved, and is in fact, far closer to the reality of the dynamics of abusive behaviour within the family setting. By shifting the focus from the abuser/victim dichotomy, Blueprint flows into a more Restorative Approach to abusive behaviour, and works much more organically with dynamics of the family setting.
The male program has been successfully facilitated for several years in the Vale of Glamorgan, Cardiff and Llanelli for Parc Prison, Flying Start, Social Services. Some feedback from those attending includes:
“He says it changed his life.”
“It helped massively,” he says. “It inspired me to change. I was an angry person and the course has made me a whole lot more positive. It was a light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time I realised I can change. I don’t have to always be like this.”
“I have been in prison five times. This is an opportunity. I’ve gone along to a group voluntarily and it has changed me. I was heading in the direction where I thought I would spend the rest of my life in and out of custody. I spent so many years messing up and finally this is an opportunity to do something about it, I want this to be my life.”
Blueprint will run in Cardiff for 16 weeks, the male group running on Mondays beginning on the 30th January and the female group running on Fridays beginning on the 3rd February. Professionals can refer individuals they work with to the programme or ask for more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Heroes Training is run by Tammi Owen and Max Chadwick.
Everybody has a story. As cheesy as it sounds, everybody has had some form of journey. No one wakes up angry. No child is born angry, screaming ‘get the f*** out of here’. The more you work with people, the more you realise, often they have not had a role model. If you don’t have a male role model, you might look to a footballer – but they have loads of money, may have affairs, sleep with their mate’s wife and so on. Some of the role models the young women we work with identify with are just as bad.
Max and I make a good team. After a while, the people we work with don’t see gender. The men might try sexist comments but when I don’t respond they are very respectful and don’t swear in front of me.
I am an ex social worker, I am a qualified psychotherapist and a hypnotherapist. With my therapeutic background, I can see that some more traditional courses might stop certain behaviour but they are very prescriptive and don’t look at the person’s own feelings and what has happened in their lives.
We are not the experts. If you are here to be told what to do, you’re in the wrong place. You know why you are there and your own behaviour. We can enlighten you to a new way of thinking. We don’t hide behind anything. Sometimes courses have an agenda to get to where you have to. We look at the individuals and what is underlying.
Most of our beliefs are not our beliefs. We have inherited them from our family or our peers. If we unpick our habits, we often find they have developed because something has happened to us.
Tammi Owen has been employed by Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership since October 2014 as an Advanced Practitioner for serious and complex cases, Project Manager, and specialist trainer. She has worked via WRAP as a Project Manager in partnership with Victim Support and Restorative Solutions for a Pre-Sentence Restorative Justice Pathfinder pilot for Cardiff Crown Court. Tammi also co-worked as part of a team in partnership with Cardiff and the Vale Integrated Family Support Service, in delivering a whole family domestic abuse restorative approaches intervention called Choices for Change. Tammi has been trained and is experienced in a range of restorative models and interventions, beginning with a Restorative Victim Awareness programme in Cardiff prison in 2007.
Tammi Owen has spent the last 28 years working in a wide range of helping professions. Initially she qualified and worked as a Mental Health Social Worker, then became trained as an Addictions and Substance Misuse Counsellor. Tammi became a qualified psychotherapist in 2005, and a complicated grief therapist for Cruse Bereavement Care Team, and is also a trained hypnotherapist.
In 2006 Tammi was employed by the Safer Vale Partnership as an Independent Domestic Violence Advocate, acting as the ‘voice of the victim’ through the criminal justice system. During her time working in the Vale and working with Atal Y Fro (previously Women’s Aid in the Vale), Tammi worked in partnership with the Probation Service to deliver the Integrated Domestic Abuse Programme for male perpetrators in the community. In the same period, Tammi helped design and deliver specific sessions and gave survivors of domestic abuse ongoing support on a Domestic Abuse perpetrator Victim Awareness Course with serious offenders in Cardiff prison. With the help with her colleague Max Chadwick, Tammi co-wrote, delivered and accredited a Men’s Group Programme, as well as developing a Train the Trainer programme that was NVQ level 3 accredited with the Royal College of Teachers.
Max Chadwick is co-founder of Heroes Training
Heroes training developed and facilitates the Blueprint programmes and Pattern Changing programmes. The two Pattern Changing programs, one for men another for women, are intervention programs where either gender are living with abuse in the family setting, and offer support, guidance and coaching.
Max has front line experience in the area of ‘domestic abuse’, having worked with Probation, Social Services and Women’s Aid as a facilitator of the Integrated Domestic Abuse Program (IDAP), where he received his training from Probation in 2011. Max was also the Operations Manager for community IDAP, with a case load of participants who were part of the 9 month IDAP program as self-referrers. IDAP is a Probation program that is offered to men displaying abusive behaviours as an alternative to a custodial sentence where this is deemed appropriate.
Through his work with Prison Advice and Care Trust (PACT), Max has vast experience of delivering programmes in the prison setting. Currently delivering programs in prisons throughout the UK, working with men, women and young males. Max has also delivered his own programs in HMP Parc and HMP Usk.
He also works for MIND, having developed a therapeutic coaching approach which has proven successful at helping young people 14-18 with issues of depression, psychosis, anxiety and self-harming.
Max recently became a trainer for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA). MHFA is the help provided to a person who is developing a mental health problem or in a mental health-related crisis.
Max is a freelance trainer and Life Coach and has a private Life Coaching practice based in Cardiff.
Max volunteers for Cardiff FNF Both Parents Matter Cymru, where he coaches individually and in groups, offering emotional support and guidance.