Natti Ronel

I would like to introduce myself.

38 years old, married and a father to two charming little children.

Work as a clinical criminologist with male-batterrers.

I sit at the head of a local organization called: The Men Oppose ViolencE

Movement. Our activity is mostly at the public awareness level. We speak

regulary in the radio, we help our parliament committee dealing with

the issue of domestic violence, etc.

 

I am lecturing in the school of social work in the fields of addiction

and self-help groups.

 

My current interset is in non-violence as a human trait. I do see a

connection between violence at the personal level, at the social level

and at the international level.

 

As far as I see it, violence is rooted in the value system. Thus any

solution to violence must be addressed into the value system of the

individuals as well as of the society and prevailing culture. for me it

can be achieved while adopting spiritual way of life. Real spirituality

has non-violence as an integral part of it. I found the 12-Step Program

of AA to be a very good aid in this mission

with individuals. To exemplify this, I will share with you arecent work

of mine. By the way, I hope my English is undestandable, and my

linguistic mistakes are funny enough...

 

Natti Ronel, Ph.D.

Bob Shapell School of Social Work

Tel Aviv University

Ramat Aviv, 69978 Tel Aviv

I S R A E L

fax: 972-3-6409182

 

USE OF THE 12-STEP PROGRAM

AS AN APPROACH FOR VIOLENCE INTERVENTION

 

Dr. Natti Ronel

Bob Shapell School of Social Work

Tel Aviv University

Ramat Aviv, 69978 Tel Aviv

ISRAEL

 

The 12-Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous has been applied in

the treatment of male batterers, in group and individual therapies. Its

application is based on several assumptions: a. Similarly to

substance-dependents, male-batterers find themselves powerless

over their violence, a situation which causes constant suffering

to

themselves and those around them; b. Recognition of their

powelessness and personal suffering can serve as an initial

motivation for entering therapy; c. The behavioral violence (physical

and verbal) is symptomatic of a deeper "dis-ease" of violence; d.

Three levels of the violence dis-ease are definable - physical, mental

and spiritual; e. Since the 12-Step program relates to those three

levels of the dis-ease, it can be implemented in the treatment of

battering.

Three modular goals were determined for the treatment, in

parallel to the three leveled dis-ease: a. Defusing any violent

manifestation before it reaches the powerlessness stage; b.

Diverting the attitudes, expectations and emotions of the

batterer

away from stimulants to violence; c. Totally transforming the

individual by impacting on his belief system, morality, attitudes

and

affect to attain non-violence. The transformation remains binding as

long as the practice is adhered to. Men who attained this final goal

discover the ability to display unconditional love, achieve

serenity

and abstain from violent even in violence-provoking conditions. This

transformation process is beyond limits of the therapeutic

intervention and should be carried over into the individual's way of

life.

After a two-year implementation of this program, several

beneficial effects were noted: a. It provides the individual with a

structured value-system which supports him in the face of social

norms which enable violence, and assists him in situational

frustrations; b. Since the program is totally voluntary, it helps the

individual assume responsibility for his behavior, and releases him

from feelings of guilt, shame and victimization; c. The program's

spiritual approach offers a solution to the present-day existential

emptiness; d. Its modular structure enables the approach to be

applied flexibly; e. In accord with the 12-Step wisdom, the

combination of newcomers to the group with veterans to it, benefits

both.

For substance-dependent clients, the 12-Step self-help groups

can serve as a community-based extension of the intervention. For

other violent clients it is advisory to establish 12-Step self-help

groups focusing on the suppression of violence.

 

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