For the past 7 years I have run men’s psychotherapeutic groups. They have been process-oriented groups, which specifically deal with issues common to men. Men who come to these groups are often suffering with a variety of mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and/or anger. These difficulties are often borne out of stress and a sense of being alone with their problems. In a society where men are unable to show vulnerability for fear of being deemed weak, it is no surprise men have a sense of isolation where their emotional needs are concerned.
A Men’s group aims to provide a safe, caring and validating environment where sharing feelings is encouraged. As members begin to realise they are not alone in their struggles, they gain a sense of belonging and usefulness, which often results in a decrease in anxiety, and an increase in self-esteem. Furthermore, a men’s group is an ideal place to discuss the myths of being a man, and to explore the limitations and challenges that being defined in the masculine role brings. The aim of this is to allow men to explore, evaluate and contrast the way in which the traditional roles of provider, protector and performer have impacted on their lives and help group members define where they are and where they want to be.