Men’s Group Work

image by Simon Wijers

Men’s Group-work – 8 Sept 2018

What is there to say about being male? Is it true what Thoreau wrote that: 

“all men lead lives of quiet desperation.”

Well – most importantly – is this true for you? – and if so – what to do about it?

Being Male is many things. Each of us is unique and individual and each of us shares similarities.

In my personal experience and in reading about male psychology, I see that we share many patterns in common. 

I see how many men suffer silently. And many of those suffer because they do not feel confident to share openly and honestly with others. 

There seems to be a kind of defensiveness and lack of trust in having others know what they are thinking. For whatever the cause, there seems to be a lack of confidence to be true to oneself and to enjoy being fully who we are.

In ‘A Men’s Group’ I encourage open and honest sharing, where each man learns to listen to others, as well as to share their own thoughts – when it feels right. There is no pressure to participate other than any inner pressure you may feel to talk when the opportunity is there.

We use a talking stick, where whomever is holding the stick, gets to speak and be listened to.

Group aims include 

  • meeting with respect
  • keeping confidential whatever is shared, and 
  • to meet in harmlessness.

So far, these are the three main principles we work with. 

  • Respect for the other men while learning to have resect for yourself. 
  • To agree to keeping confidential whatever is shared, to create a safe and supportive space for all. 
  • And to meet in harmlessness which includes being free to participate or to remain silent and just be present, to the degree that feels right for you.

The sessions run for 2 hours with an opportunity to have informal chats with the others, before and after we start the formal session. When it feels right we include a 5 or 10 minute break within the formal session.

The sessions are generally relaxed, beginning with a guided process of “going within.” 

In the guided process we spend 5 or so minutes relaxing, using the practice of mindfulness and creative visualisation. Within the relaxation the group takes time out from normal busyness, to simply be present with where one is at in truth. For example – to be present with how busy the mind is – to allow it to settle – to feel any tension in the physical – any disturbances in the emotional – etc etc. Just 5 minutes to be aware of what is happening for you and reset yourself to a peaceful state of being.

After this, we simply share what is happening in our lives that anyone in the group feels to share. 

Sometimes there is silence. Sometimes we have explored more outspoken sessions. Most of the time, each man enjoys relaxing and being together with other men in a respectful, safe and supportive space.

And there is something deeply supportive, enjoyable, and healing, in that.

Feel free to contact me if you are interested in such a group, at community level, in your organisation, and/or for individual counselling work.

(c) 2018. Greg Govinda (aka Arjuna)