UpFront Counselling and Anger Management 

and Anger Management 

Did you know that...

  • in the Greater Toronto Area in 2013, there were 11,352 criminal cases involving violence against a person; and
  • 89.2% of crimes against a person are resolved by means other than a trial (i.e.: counselling then joint guilty plea, withdrawal, etc.)?

Quick Facts about Domestic Violence and Substance Abuse

  • Regular alcohol abuse is one of the leading risk factors for domestic violence; 
  • approximately half of the men in domestic abuse programs have substance abuse issues and are eight times more likely to batter on a day in which they have been drinking;
  • approximately half of partnered men entering substance abuse treatment have battered in the past year and are 11 times as likely to batter on a day in which they have been drinking;
  • treatment for substance abuse alone does not treat abusive behaviour; and 
  • most domestic violence treatment programs do not address substance abuse. 

Why our Programs Work
UpFront Counselling and Anger Management is the ONLY organization in the Canada to use an innovative dual-treatment approach developed at the Yale School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry by Professor Caroline Easton. Empirical evidence of the approach shows a statistical reduction in recidivism rates in male offenders with substance abuse issues. The program combines Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviewing to improve coping skills, anger controls and conflict resolution skills resulting in a decrease of both violent and addictive behaviours. Evidence-based CBT has identifiable and measurable outcomes that literature has shown can be achieved within a 12-week timeframe. By targeting reduction of substance use and increasing conflict resolution skills, UpFront Counselling and Anger Management expects to lower rates of recidivism and conserve judicial and penal systems resources. 

UpFront Counselling and Anger Management integrates treatment for aggressive behaviour AND substance abuse into one comprehensive program. SADV is designed for men charged with violence while using substances. By addressing BOTH clinical issues together, the program has been proven to reduce recidivism and negate the need for two separate programs. Research shows that two separate clinical programs are not as effective as one integrated program. 

UpFront Counselling and Anger Management is the only organization in the GTA to offer SADV 

The Evidence

Our SADV is a manualized approach that integrates two modalities: CBT and MI, both of which have been found empirically to be effective treatment protocols. SADV targets both reducing substance use and incidents of domestic and inter-partner violence, as well as the interaction between the two. Easton, et al. (2007) found the following:
  • of the 75 male participants in the Substance Abuse and Domestic Violence (SADV) group, 82% attended the full 12-sessions;
  • the SADV group reported significantly higher percent days of abstinence from alcohol use (mean of 90.2 days as compared to the control group which reported 79.8 days;
  • participants in SADV reported a decrease in physical violence, both during treatment and post-treatment; and
  • at a six-month follow-up, the SADV group showed fewer episodes (1.0 episode) of violence/month as compared to the control group (2.4 episodes).


Oberleitner, L.M., D.L. Mandel, & C.J. Easton. Treatment of Co-occurring Alcohol Dependence and Perpetration of Intimate Partner Violence: The Role of Anger Expression. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment

Easton, Caroline J. Co-Occurring Mental Health Problems Among Substance Dependent Offenders of Intimate Partner Violence. Advances in Dual Diagnosis 5. 2 (2012): 86-93.

Easton, C.J., Mandel, D.L., Hunkele, K.A., Nich, C., Rounsaville, B.J. & Carroll, K.M. (2007). A cognitive behavioral therapy for alcohol-dependent domestic violence offenders: An integrated substance abuse-domestic violence treatment approach (SADV). American Journal on Addictions, 16 (1), 24-31.

Easton, C.J., Swan, S., & Sinha, R. (1999). Motivation to change substance use among offenders of domestic violence. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment , 19 (1), 1-5.

Bennett L, Lawson M. Barriers to cooperation between domestic violence and substance-abuse programs. Families in Society: The Journal of  Contemporary Human Services. 1994:244–286.

Chermack, S.T., Fuller, B.E., & Blow, F.C. (2000). Predictors of expressed partner and non-partner violence among patients in substance abuse treatment, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 58 (1-2) , 43-54.

Fals-Stewart W. (2003). The occurrence of partner physical aggression on days of alcohol consumption: A longitudinal diary study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 71 (1), 41-52.

Gondolf, E.W. (1999). Characteristics of court-mandated batterers in four cities: Diversity and dichotomies.Violence Against Women, 5 (11), 1277-1293.

Schumacher JA, Fals-Stewart W, & Leonard KE. Domestic violence treatment referrals for men seeking alcohol treatment. J Subst Abuse Treat. 2003;24:279–283.



*Full articles available upon request