We are a dedicated groups of therapist who have come together to help people decrease anger in their lives. We developed a very effective curriculum which we constantly monitor to ensure that it is meeting the needs of the people we serve.
I began my work leading men’s groups in 1999, focusing the work on anger management. Gradually, the emphasis of the groups became broader as my understanding of male psychology deepened. First and foremost, men need a place to be real with each other. To do this they need an environment that by-passes the automatic habits of top-dog competition, over-reliance on sports talk to connect, trying to impress women and distancing from feelings through intellectualization and cynicism. Once these behaviors are named, appreciated and set aside for the moment, it is refreshing how supportive, vulnerable and genuine men can become with each other.
As a therapist and a facilitator, I build an environment for authentic contact by honoring each man for the person he already is, confronting his defenses, and making room for his strengths and leadership to emerge in the group. Central to this is developing a good eye to know the difference between talking about feelings and being in them.
Skillfulness in the realm of emotion and communication is an essential life skill. An important building block of emotional intelligence is linear, left-brain tracking of inter-personal reality. This means recalling what was said and done by you and the other person and what you were thinking about it while it was occurring. The left-brain understands phenomena through concepts and verbalization. In the group, it is developed through the skills of recognizing feelings and needs in oneself and others and through journaling.
Just as important for emotional intelligence is the ability to read people, trusting the gut impression, intuition and empathy. This is the domain of the right brain that experiences phenomena through imagery, body language, vocal tone and body sensations. These skills are developed in group through sharing gut impressions, allowing for vulnerability and guided personal imagery exercises.Finally, the capacity to self soothe is essential to emotional intelligence. Keeping one’s composure and staying in connection when tension rises, relies on an internal reservoir of calm, expressed metaphorically as “the lake.” In group this skilled is acquired through guided relaxation, breath meditation and use of the EmWave biofeedback tool.