If you’re a man and thinking of engaging in counselling or psychotherapy, a men’s therapy group can be an excellent place to start. Men join therapy groups for many reasons, to work on all kinds of experiences and themes, as they do in starting individual therapy.
These can include things like the experiences that we call anxiety and depression; anger in all its forms; commitment; lack of direction in life; stress and burnout; loneliness; lack of confidence; our relationships with others; sex and sexuality; self-criticism or self-doubt; shame; change and transitions.
Often underpinning all of this is the question of identity — who are we as men?
While group therapy costs less than one-to-one therapy it can be just as effective, plus it offers a different multi-relational dimension. Working in a men’s therapy group we grow and learn about ourselves and others by doing our own work (intra-personal work) through witnessing and engaging with others doing theirs, and working on what comes up between us in the process (inter-personal work).
A group offers us a space to practice the skills of relationship: through the sharing of our feelings and expressing ourselves; listening; being curious about ourselves and each other; asking questions.
The group provides a social experience that’s different to regular social situations. It’s an opportunity to move beyond usual stereotyped social conventions to the personal level.
We do this by talking about ourselves and sharing who we are at a deeper level, including what is happening in us in real-time, or coming back to something that previously happened in the group. In doing this work we can become the men we are rather than the men we think we should be.
Men Supporting men might sound a bit strange to some of you, but ultimately, the rewards are worth the change of mindset and commitment.
How I work (and starting a new men’s therapy group)
My name is Rob Francis (he/him) and in my work as a psychotherapist, I am interested in a person’s relationship with themselves – what I consider to be our primary relationship in life, whether we’re single or in a committed relationship.
It was a revelation to me when I realised that I could have a meaningful relationship with myself, and when I really started to act upon that. All other relationships stem from and are affected by this relationship.
In working with people on developing their relationship with themselves we often focus on their behaviour and how it impacts them. The body is central to my way of working – I pay attention to and support a person to notice, get familiar with, and work with their physical structure and behaviour.
In the process, they can make the connection between how they are present in their body, their emotional and mental experience, and how they are in relationships with others.
I am starting Meeting Ourselves, a new ongoing therapy group for men, in January 2023. Each term we will meet on six evenings on a Tuesday, 18:00-20:30, plus one full Saturday, 10.00-17:00, at Homa in central London.
I have a particular interest in the theme of sons and fathers, and we will explore this as part of the work we do in establishing the group in the first term.
If you think you would like to join the group, please email me ([email protected]) to arrange an initial meeting, to explore what you would like for yourself in joining, and to discuss the practicalities.
I am an experienced, accredited humanistic psychotherapist who works a lot with men. My training was a rich, experiential process of learning and growth.
Since starting my practice, I have continued to develop my work in ongoing professional groups over many years.
If you are still curious about what I offer clients find out more about me on my website.
Come join us on this adventure.