1st Edition

Fathers and Violence A Program to Change Behavior, Improve Parenting, and Heal Relationships

By Carla Smith Stover Copyright 2023

    This highly accessible book presents a new approach to treating men who use violence against their partners and/or children. The Fathers for Change (F4C) program has a unique focus on fostering fathers' accountability and reflective functioning, and repairing father–child relationships. Grounded in theory and research, it addresses a key need for parents who want to stay together or coparent successfully in the aftermath of violence, while prioritizing all family members' safety. Clinicians learn how to implement each component of F4C, from assessment to individual-focused work to coparent and family sessions, if appropriate. Illustrative case vignettes are featured throughout. An appendix provides 32 reproducible forms, worksheets, and handouts that can be downloaded (many in a fillable format) and printed as needed.

    Foreword, Linda C. Mayes
    1. Family Violence: Theories and Intervention Approaches for Men
    2. Parenting by Men Who Have Caused Harm
    3. Needs of Children Following Violence and Research on Fathers for Change
    4. Theoretical Rationale for the Fathers for Change Intervention
    5. Assessment for Case Selection and Treatment Planning
    6. Phase 1: Engagement and Motivational Enhancement
    7. Phase 2: Reflective Functioning and Skills Building
    8. Phase 3: Coparenting Communication
    9. Phase 4: Father–Child Restorative Parenting
    10. Ending Treatment and Other Considerations
    Appendix A. F4C Forms, Worksheets, and Handouts
    Appendix B. Suggested Readings and Resources


    Carla Smith Stover, PhD, is Director of the Fathers for Change Program at the Yale University School of Medicine Child Study Center. Dr. Stover received a Career Award from the National Institute on Drug Abuse that initiated her research on interventions for fathers with intimate partner violence (IPV) behaviors. She developed Fathers for Change and has continued to conduct studies of the intervention. She has published widely on the topics of trauma, IPV, and substance misuse, and has presented trainings internationally on the topics of family conflict, healthy relationships, family violence, engaging and treating fathers, and interventions for childhood trauma. Dr. Stover serves on the editorial board of the journal Advances in Dual Diagnosis.

    "Stover provides clear, definitive guidance for working with fathers who have engaged in violent behavior and who seek to heal their relationships with their children. Complex concepts are made more approachable by helpful, varied case examples, as well as worksheets and homework prompts. In addition to describing core aspects of assessment and treatment, Stover provides a foundational review of the literature on family violence, long-term effects of child maltreatment, and the importance of fathers in children's lives. Thoughtful discussions of legal and safety concerns and aftercare considerations are included. This book presents an inclusive and sensitive approach to the important issue of healing following family violence."--Jill D. Stinson, PhD, Department of Psychology, East Tennessee State University

    "The book includes a detailed description of the F4C program, helpful examples of therapist–client dialogue, and multiple case studies. It provides a roadmap of the knowledge, skills, and strategies that mental health service providers need for critical conversations with fathers who have used violence in their families."--Katreena Scott, PhD, CPsych, Professor and Academic Director, Center for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada

    "Stover presents a much-needed, encouraging clinical approach that contrasts with more stigmatizing traditional interventions. Using careful screening and continuous monitoring to exclude individuals who pose a continuing risk of violence, F4C offers tailored interventions for those men who demonstrate a strong desire to be nurturing, successful parents. The book walks clinicians through phases of intervention focused on taking responsibility, motivation for change, understanding children’s needs, empathy, emotion regulation, making amends, and positive father–child and coparent interactions. Rich case examples, sample scripts for introducing interventions, and client handouts make this an invaluable guide for graduate classes and internship training settings, as well as for experienced clinicians."--Norman B. Epstein, PhD, Department of Family Science (Emeritus), School of Public Health, University of Maryland, College Park

    "This well-written book comprehensively presents the F4C program, integrating research evidence with extensive, richly evocative clinical case studies and dozens of program tools and handouts. Stover effectively engages both scholars and practitioners in the field. She succinctly describes the history of interventions that address intimate partner abuse and family violence, and compellingly argues for the value of incorporating men’s identities and roles as fathers into these interventions."--Eric Mankowski, PhD, Department of Psychology, Portland State University-