Men’s Group is a bi-monthly meeting where men of all ages and backgrounds meet to express their emotions, explore life's challenges and support one other in their journeys of personal growth and development.
What is the value of joining men’s group?
Men’s group is a rare environment where men explore their vulnerability and honesty share their feelings. In the regular world, men do not have a lot of places to do this. It’s hard to talk about our weaknesses and struggles, especially in a sober context. Participants in men’s group feel accepted and really cared for by the other men in group. It's hard for many men to talk about their weaknesses and struggles. Men’s group is a place where men support and challenge each other, hold one another accountable and help each other clearly express their goals, feelings, and thoughts. Most of the men in group find this a powerful and healing environment to define and resolve their issues and become “better versions of themselves.”
The four pillars of men’s group?
Support: Everyone starts by simply showing up and listening. As stories, thoughts and feelings flow around the circle, a certain magic occurs when men relate to what they are hearing. For many, it’s the first time they haven’t felt alone in the world. That is support; speaking and hearing truth and feeling accepted by your brothers.
Clarity: Many men express distress and confusion as they attempt to find clarity about their feelings, thoughts and desires. The first goal, for many, is clarity. Some men know: “something is wrong”, but they don’t know exactly what it is. Some don’t feel right, but they can’t put their finger on it. They don’t know what they feel. Sorting this out can be difficult so the men in group help one another:
define their feelings.
express their emotions.
clarify their thoughts.
define their goals.
manage their behaviors.
resolve their issues.
fulfill their goals and dreams.
Challenge: Men often join group when faced with challenges in their lives. Participants often welcome challenge from other members creating and environment that fosters growth and discomfort to stretch the bounds of possibility. Many men transform their lives in ways they never before imagined by offering and accepting challenges.
Accountability: Making and keeping promises is a foundational pillar in men’s group. It takes more than words to transform your life. Everyone in men’s group knows that if you make a commitment to do something you must report your progress at the next meeting. When we speak of integrity, it doesn’t always mean following through with your promise. Sometimes it means telling everyone that your weren’t able to follow through and you need help redefining your goal. Being accountable means not hiding, not forgetting, and not making excuses. Group members hold themselves and each other accountable to keep agreements or bring light to the difficulties they face.
Men’s group is a place where men can benefit from these four pillars.
How do you combine it with other therapies?
This group environment can certainly be augmented by use of one-on-one sessions where you can more deeply explore the challenges you’re facing. You may benefit from Mindfulness Therapy, or perhaps Narrative Therapy to better achieve your goals.
What are some examples of this in practice?
Let’s say for example you are having trouble with your job. It is not fulfilling anymore and you don’t see a path for growth. You would start by describing the problem. What about this job is unfulfilling? Is this a new feeling or has this persisted during your career? What emotions do you feel towards this scenario? Answering these questions can help you articulate your feelings. Once we begin to share our feelings we can begin to connect to one another.
Perhaps another person hearing your story begins to remember and feel emotions from a time in his life. We call this “the red thread”; when hearing a story evokes memories and feelings in us. Strong cohesion and bonding between group members as they share red thread stories. Through this process painful memories and experiences are softened and put into a graceful context.
How often do you meet and for how long?
We meet on the first and third Monday of every month from 7:15 to 9:15pm
How large is the group?
I typically try and keep the group to about 8 people because I find that with so much to say and do, you want a group large enough to feel like you have plenty of support but not so large that you feel you’ll never get a turn to talk. Eight seems to be that sweet spot.
How long should I stay in this group?
Members get to sample group one time before joining. Joining the group means committing to membership for 6 months. It is a time-frame that is often needed to make significant shifts or to accomplish major goals in your life. Once you've been in group for six months, your can declare that you would like to graduate at any time, giving one months noticed to move on. That allows for proper closure including a final session to celebrate your success.
Who is allowed to join?
Men of all ages, circumstances and backgrounds are encouraged to join.