The FPI Approach

The Family Peace Initiative is committed to creating a culture of safety, emotional health, and cruelty-free accountability through the use of compassion, integrity, and expertise. 

The FPI Approach is built on Compassion, Integrity, and Expertise. This unique approach combines many trusted and evidence-based approaches to transformational change including (but not limited to) Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral concepts, Rational-Emotive Behavioral concepts, Internal-Focused Dialogue, Polyvagal Theory, and Mindfulness. 

Compassion: We bring compassion to this work at every step of the process. Some examples of this that are essential to the FPI Approach are that we...

  • Build Relationship and Connection with those we serve;
  • Acknowledge impacts of trauma;
  • Meet people where they are in their change process;
  • Let participants decide their pace of their change process; and
  • Hold reasonable expectations for participants, co-facilitators, and ourselves 

Integrity: We acknowledge that we can not teach people how to build trusting, healthy relationships if we are not willing to be trustworthy ourselves. Because of this, we...

  • Strive to do what we say we will do, and expect the same from participants
  • Take accountability when we fall short, and expect the same from participants
  • are Victim-centered, never losing sight of the tremendous impact of cruelty
  • Trust the Process. 
  • Lead by example.

Expertise: As facilitators, we understand it is our role to be highly knowledgeable in a number of areas in addition to curriculum-based information which include...

  • Teaching through role-modeling and storytelling;
  • The responsible pursuit of vulnerability; 
  • Understanding and ability to navigate the Funnel Process, which is an Internal-Focused Dialogue that includes emotional awareness, beliefs such as Shadow and Golden Shadow, and the power of the Enlightened Witness; 
  • Understanding and ability to apply the River of Cruelty Model
  • Understanding and ability to apply the Motivations of Battering; and
  • The ability to adapt and adjust as new research and/or practices become known.

New facilitators may achieve proficiency in this approach through a combination of training and in-the-field practice. This approach is intensive and often takes 1-3 years before facilitators consistently demonstrate this proficiency. 

This approach can be effective in many environments and with most curricula. It is particularly effective at inviting transformational change when used with the Family Peace Initiative suite of curriculums. 

Evidence of Effectiveness:

The Family Peace Initiative is continually evaluating the effectiveness of our BIP program. Findings of that evaluation, and evaluation by independent third parties are as follows:

Shawnee County, KS Coordinated Community Response Team Mayor’s Taskforce Against Domestic Violence 2021 STATISTICAL REPORT, page 4:

"In February 2022, members of the Mayor’s Taskforce against Domestic Violence submitted a press release highlighting the success of Shawnee County’s battering intervention programs. The following is an excerpt from this press release: “Longitudinal data collected across the past six years indicates that graduates of a Topeka-based battering intervention program are significantly less likely to re-offend. Data was evaluated by YWCA Northeast Kansas’ Center for Safety and Empowerment to determine rates of re-offense in graduates of the Family Peace Initiative’s battering intervention program. Examining across a six-year time span, 85% of Family Peace Initiative graduates from Shawnee County were not found to be subjects in police responses to new domestic violence calls in Topeka. A total of 15% were found to have had a new domestic call. ‘YWCA Northeast Kansas is proud to partner with Family Peace Initiative, as well as Washta’ge Peacemakers Men’s Project to hold domestic violence offenders accountable for their behavior and to ensure greater safety for victims and survivors of domestic violence,’ says Becca Spielman, program director for the Center for Safety and Empowerment. ‘We recognize the importance of these battering intervention programs, and their success rate demonstrates just how effective they are in eliminating the cycle of violence and creating a safer community for families within Shawnee County.’” 

Recidivism Rate of FPI Graduates in Shawnee County, Kansas:

Since 2010, the Shawnee County District Attorney’s office in Shawnee County, Kansas, has independently reviewed a list of individuals who have completed FPI BIP. They have established that graduates of FPI’s BIP have an overall recidivism rate of 21%. This percentage takes into account new arrests and new filings of PFA’s in Shawnee County, Kansas.  

While the evidence seems clear that change can happen at the Family Peace Initiative, victims and partners should never build a false hope that because an abusive partner is in a battering intervention program, change will occur.

AGs Report

What others are saying about the FPI Approach:

I am loving this program, I use it every week. It is moving people forward!

—Valerie Waterland, Relationship Counselor with Washington State Certified DVIT Provider


What an important program and source for everyone involved in this learning process. It was an eye-opening experience and I have a lot to learn to do justice in presenting it to our folks. With such a wise and experienced group of facilitators, I should take comfort in knowing I have some terrific teachers right here in this building, on this floor."

—Zach Stout, II, Program Consultant, Wichita Parole Office