Exploring the client-worker relationship in men's behaviour change programs

Project Summary - PI.17.13

Perpetrator interventions strategic research priority 2.4: Effectively engaging and retaining perpetrators in interventions

The project will explore the perceptions of multiple stakeholders about how the client/ worker relationship influences each man’s change in attitude and behaviour and retention in programs. This qualitative study will utilise case study research techniques through in-depth interviews with men's behaviour change (MBC) program participants (n=30), their workers (n=30), workers, workers supervisor (n=30) and partners/ex partners (n=15)in three sites (Lismore, Tweed Heads and Burleigh Heads). The project aims to engage male participants who have prematurely disengaged from the MBC programs.  

Proposed Outcomes

This project will provide better understanding of how the worker/client relationship impacts on the effectiveness of interventions and its intersection with other factors that may influence men’s attrition in MBC programs.  

Other anticipated outcomes for this project include:  the identification of the strategies and techniques utilised by practitioners that balances the need to engage men in a working “alliance” to affect change whilst not “colluding” with the client; and the development practitioner practice principles, evidence informed and experiential training materials at the qualifying and post qualifying levels that support client/ worker relationships within MBC programs. 


Project Lead

Dr Elizabeth Reimer, Southern Cross University

Practitioner expertise

  1. Mr Luke Addinsall, Men and Family, Lismore NSW
  2. Mr Steven Dowker, Centacare, QLD

Project length

2 years