What do dads most like about DIDs?

In our 2020 Dad survey, we asked several hundred users of our support services what they most liked about it. Here’s what they told us. We took the comments and put them into a word cloud, which you can see above. That gives you a general sense of the feedback. We also conducted a careful ‘thematic analysis’ of all comments and noted several clear and recurring themes. In no particular order these were:

  • Empathy / Being heard
  • Honesty / Feedback
  • Real / Genuine / Respectful
  • Welcoming / Acceptance
  • Unconditional / No requirements
  • Life saving – mine / others
  • Peers not experts / Dads together
  • Safe / Confidential
  • Shared Wisdom / Insights
  • Get help / Give help
  • Mateship / Family / Connection
  • Positivity / Uplifting
For those not in the know, our support methodology is loosely based on Carl Rogers ‘Person-Centred Therapy’ which requires that certain conditions are met to allow a person in distress to develop ways to positively address their challenges without needing an external expert to tell them how to do it. It works really well with men in distress and fits the peer support model beautifully. To this end, it was comforting to see confirmation that these conditions were not only met but noticed and listed by the dads. These were outlined in bold orange above.
A selection of verbatim comments provides deeper insight.
  • Honesty. Sharing. Compassion
  • I wasn’t alone, the chance to be heard, the acceptance and support.
  • The facilitators do a great job keeping the meetings positive and child-focused. Unlike other dads support groups they are not dismissive of mothers.
  • I wasn’t judged. I was given proper care and I was listened to as a victim of domestic violence.
  • Peers not do gooders, academics and professionals. I wanted and found men just like me, which is a life saver.
  • Just knowing that I wasn’t on my own. There were other people in the same boat as me and they were willing to try to help me without even knowing me.
  • Hearing the stories & challenge toward personal growth.
  • The respect and privacy of what is said in the meeting stays in the meeting unless someone’s life is in danger.
  • It’s a safe place where you are not judged and can be yourself. We are all hurting.
  • It’s available to me in the NT!
  • Being amongst peers that just get it. Only place I’ve been ‘heard’ and understood. Only place I am not judged.
  • No one that hasn’t experienced the horror will ever understand what men like me have gone through.
  • DiDs got me, understood me and what I was going through, because they were Dads, who’d walked it themselves, and survived. DiDs is real, not scripted
  • It gave me support and a lifeline that I don’t actually have. It made me realise that I’m not alone. I could also contribute and help other Dads. Saved my life.
  • The wisdom in how to handle the situation I found myself in was instrumental in making sure I got to parent our daughter.
  • I liked the background experience of the facilitators. The understanding advice and compassion was outstanding and very supportive.
  • Feeling instantly welcomed and safe to share my feelings and story .
  • Very real feedback. It was good to chat and discuss the issues in a male oriented manner.
  • The ability to talk to other separating Dads in a respectful and supportive environment where we can be ourselves, including shedding a tear if we need to.
  • Very welcoming, whatever background or circumstances, no judgement, good banter (uplifting) and to be amongst other Dads going through similar experiences.
  • Being understood. That was a lonely isolated part of my life which nobody else could grasp.
  • Other places just wanted to stop the crying and make sure there was no threat of self harm. DIDS offered real help and were able to help me take action instead.
  • Supportive, informational, relevant discussion points and confidential
  • My favourite thing about DIDs is the confidential interaction with other dads.
  • The unique support model and genuine empathy shown by all others
  • Group members had a lot more experience and could offer support and suggestions that could not be accessed any other way.
  • Information and support is facilitated by people who understand the complexity of separation.
  • Confidential online forum / message boards
  • I got advice that had led me to get more time with my children
  • The bloke I spoke to was [helpline operator name], he had solid knowledge of the process in front of me
  • That I could access support from other dads like me from inside my home.
Thanks to all the separated dads that took part in our 2020 Dad Survey. Results and a more detailed report are being published Fathers Day, 6th Sept 2020, at www.fathersday.report.