Structure of this Handbook

This Handbook is organised into various sections called 'Levels'. This is partly to give it some kind of organisation, and partly to reflect the different phases that a men's group might go through.

In addition, each level is broken down into several 'Meetings', wherein a topic is presented that a men's group might profitably discuss and work with. These 'Meetings' could be followed as they appear in the handbook, but it is not required. In fact a men's group will find its own issues, and would better follow its own energy rather than adhere to an imposed structure - in which case it may find itself dipping into the handbook for insights as required.

The idea of 'Levels' is to reflect the fact that your men's group will not always 'feel' the same. Over time attitudes and motivations will change; the deeper we go into our issues the 'hotter' it will get and the more volatile our reactions may be. We may not even be aware it's happening - but as we can name it and make this stuff conscious we have a better chance of dealing with it and ultimately finding the 'connection' that brings us to group in the first place.

Groups will cycle through these 'Levels' in their own time eg when first forming, or when a conflict arises, or when a new man joins the group and some old ground needs to be recovered and reworked. A group may jump from one level to another very quickly, eg as an issue comes up, or perhaps at the request or invitation or need of one man. If you can see what's happening you may get a sense of the 'process' involved, why it's happening, where the group has come from and where it's heading - your insight may help understanding and group process.

Level 1 Getting to Know You Finding out where you fit in-are you included? Can you work with these guys? Feels ok? Motivation: Desire for company of men
Level 2 Exploring Issues Getting down to own inner work and witnessing other men's journeys Motivation: Deeper self-knowledge; intimacy
Level 3 Whose Rules Are We Using and Why? Questioning how things are done Motivation: Want say on how it impacts you
Level 4 Celebrating When it's good - it's really good! Motivation: Exploring positive masculinity
Level 5 Conflict Discovering that we want different things Motivation: Getting wants/needs met…
Level 6 Stuckness Low energy; needs something, no insights Motivation: Can't chose 'next door' to go thru; or fear of what's behind it?
Level 7 Taking A Dive Facing fears & going into an unknown place Motivation: Do it - or walk away…
Level 8 Renewed Commitment Re-establishing basis for group relationships Motivation: Lets go for it! - again.
And back to Level 1 again (or any other)…