The About Blokes Group
This men's group is for men of all ages who seek a greater understanding of themselves; want to improve their management of issues
around relationships, parenting and families; are looking to improve their self-care around health and wellbeing; and to learn more about
how we function, maintain ourselves and strive for fulfilment in the 21st Century.
The topics that are handled are defined by the needs of members, and are tackled from both a mutual help forum of sharing and
developing together, and also group processes and change strategies facilitated by Geoff.
Wednesday nights, 6.30 to 9.00 pm - cost is $60 for 5 sessions pre-paid.
* Rebates may be available from some private health insurance providers or Medicare (with a suitable referral from a GP).
C The group covers topics that are important to participants from time to time. Therefore, there are no formal start and end periods,
and members can join a group at any time to begin their exploration of themselves and masculinity in general.
C Various empowerment and group therapy methods are used in sessions - always solution oriented to those issues on which
participants seek skills and guidance.
C Confidentiality is required from all participants to ensure that trust and the emotional safety of everyone is maintained.
C Geoff’s professional practice follows guidelines and principles from organisations such as the Australian Psychological Society and
the the Psychologists Board of Australia (for more information on these professional requirements click here).
Contact Geoff to register your interest and reserve a place. Group size is limited to ensure quality participation for all
Some principles that guide us
The group provides an opportunity for men seeking such things as personal understanding of themself; insight into feelings that arise
around their families and relationships; exploration of their beliefs about work, recreation and pleasure; and perhaps comparison of their
processes and attitudes with those of other men. The topics covered are flexible, depending on the needs and ideas generated by the
group. These will generally fall into the realm of 'manhood', and be explored through confidential sharing, challenge and empathy.
Activities within sessions are based on mutual respect among members; integrity in contributing to any man’s exploration of his situations;
honesty in the giving and receiving of information; and absolute confidentiality of any matter shared between group members.
The overarching purpose of the group is to find knowledge, answers and solutions, not to position blame or seek victory in any man Vs
woman or sexual orientation debate. Sessions are conducted in a semi-formal way that allows the values of men of all types to be
expressed and assimilated into our understanding and day to day processes.
The goal is for us to know ourselves and each other better to enhance our lives in the future.
These principles establish a space where men can feel safe to examine their ‘self’. In this, the group facilitates exploration and potential for
change through the chance to:
C visit emotions and other personal experiences
C examine why certain things are present in our day to day lives
C to disclose and examine deeply held attitudes, secrets and perhaps shame
C celebrate maleness in all of its forms and manifestations
In this light, the outcomes we seek can be therapeutic in helping us grow and be more functional. However, this is not a deliberately
‘facilitated’ process in most men’s groups and any skills in this area are available in whatever form and usefulness they arise.
From time to time your personal experiences in the group may be intense, confronting or worrying. Advise us if you’re unsure about
your readiness to leave the group situation when a session is finishing. Debriefing and social support are very important parts of
successful therapy outcomes, so it’s quite normal for you to want comfort and validation before you move beyond the group’s supporting
Some background to successful men’s groups (adapted from the MensWork Project)
You do not need to have a "problem" to join a men's group. All that is required is a desire and a willingness to explore the basics of your
masculinity and how current notions of male culture impact your life. Quite simply, we believe that men have a genuine hunger for
authentic male contact and men’s groups provide this.
Men's support groups in WA have been around since the late 70's, but currently there would be less than twenty known and active groups.
These can consist of ten or more men, or even as small as two or three blokes who meet informally to share their life journey. Some
groups are free-range discussion, while others may have a religious or theme focus.
The basic process of a men's support group is to provide a safe container where men can tell their story. This process involves
confidentiality, a no shaming or ridiculing ethos, acquiring new skills around listening and sharing, not having to solve the problems of
others, respect for yourself and others, a willingness to self-disclose, and a desire to move beyond the constraints of your male
conditioning. A place where men can safely wrestle with the most difficult questions of what it means to be a male, and be supported and
encouraged as they attend to the needs that they face in their everyday lives.
Men's Group Guidelines
We meet to explore and share what it is to be a man. We exclude nothing - and in so doing examine the relationship we have with our self
and with the other men, women and children in our lives.
These guidelines are designed to help us develop a better understanding of the mysteries, possibilities, responsibilities and the beauty of
BE PRESENT IN THE MOMENT - The "here and now" is the only place where awareness can grow and personal change can be chosen
- so share your thoughts and feelings as they are "right now".
CHALLENGE YOURSELF - Reach for your true goodness and greatness. To be whole you need to face and challenge that part of you
that holds you to conditioned thoughts and ways. You need also to accept your true beauty, pleasure and ecstasy as being normal parts of
COMMITMENT - Commit to regularly attend and be an active part of the group - to accept, challenge and be open in the quest for your true
‘self’. Make a commitment not to harm yourself, others or the environment in either a physical, mental or verbal way.
CONFIDENTIALITY - What happens and is said in the group must stay in the group. Without confidentiality there is little trust or intimacy,
and ultimately little personal growth.
DO WHAT'S RIGHT FOR YOU - Make sure you are getting what you want from the group. You are the only one who has the "inner
knowing" to take full responsibility for your personal journey in search of your own truth.
DON'T BLAME OR SHAME - Criticism of yourself or others is hurtful and dumping on others is not acceptable. Take responsibility for the
health and effectiveness of the group so that relationships can flourish and be nurtured. We are invited to treat each other with complete
acceptance and respect.
GIVE AND RECEIVE - Freely ask for what you want and fearlessly respond to the call of others - often what you feel is missing from
what’s happening at any time is what you alone can provide or lead us into.
GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO MAKE MISTAKES - Feel free to laugh at yourself - laughter is great medicine. Know the difference
between guilt (I made a mistake) and shame (I am a mistake) and forgive yourself and others freely for the mistakes that will happen in a
HONOUR YOURSELF AS A MAN - Honour your masculine heritage that arises from both your male and female lineage. Treat others as
equals regardless of gender, age, race, sexual preference or spiritual practice.
OWN YOUR FEELINGS - Don’t blame others for how you are feeling - you alone are responsible for your internal experience of joy or pain
at any time. Avoid taking responsibility for the feelings of others.
RESPECT THE SHARING SPACE - acknowledge and reinforce others' time by staying in the circle while someone is telling their story
unless absolutely unavoidable. And interruptions such as farting are not useful in a sharing situation.
SPEAK YOUR TRUTH FROM THE HEART - Make "I" statements, not generalisations or "we" and "you" statements. Talk about
immediate experiences (e.g., “I am hurt by…..”) rather than personalities (“you are hurtful….”)
STAY AROUND WHEN TIMES GET TOUGH - This is the moment for insight and personal growth. Sit with your discomfort in order to
better understand your process - accepting, not avoiding, deep or unfamiliar feelings. Also, another man might find that the use of relevant
strong language and other potentially inflammatory terms might be necessary in the telling of a story. If this annoys you, persist and
discuss rather than criticise, withdraw or compromise your own beliefs and standards.
TALK LESS AND LISTEN MORE - Learn from periods of silence and the spaces between words and actions. If you don't wish to speak,
you may pass. Use active listening skills - "hear" what the other is saying and "feel" what's happening in them - but it's not about fixing or
solving others' problems.