The basic structure of this meeting is the same as Meeting 1.1 - refer back for more information.
Some issues may have come up during check-in that the group may wish to spend more time on rather than moving straight into the 'focus'; or perhaps some issue is still to be dealt with from the previous week. When it is appropriate the leader moves the group into the main focus for this meeting.
The focus for this meeting is to explore 'relationships'
During this meeting we will reflect on any new understanding we may have of what makes relationships work, and any growth we've experienced or changes that we've been able to create in the relationships in our lives.
- Has group process helped you with understanding your relationships outside group?
- If it has, reflect on what you thought before, as opposed to what you think now?
- If it hasn't, what do you think are the relationship challenges you face?
- Are you in an intimate relationship right now? (Or reflect on a past relationship.)
- How did it develop?
- Was that a 'healthy' process?
- How would you change that process if you could?
- To what degree do you 'relate consciously' with your partner?
- What would you change if you could?
Who 'needs' to change? Your partner? Or you?
'What' are you trying to change? How?
- Where do you see that relationship going?
Are you happy to have that experience?
Are you learning from each other?
- Has the loss of an intimate relationship motivated you in any way to join a men's group?
- If yes - Why? - What needs are being met in group? - is there any correspondence to needs met in intimate relationships?
- If yes - is it working for you? - what do you think that means?
- Has the inability to be in an intimate relationship motivated you to join a men's group?
- Were you judging yourself in any way?
- How do you feel about yourself now?
- If you were asked to share your wisdom on relationships to a young man, what would you say?
- Have you learned anything in group that you are applying to your relationships outside group?
- Is it 'working'?
- How do you feel about it?
- Is it something you've discussed with your partner?
- If yes - How did they feel about it? - Are they using it too?
- If no - What is your/their resistance about?
- Explore the idea that 'We manipulate others (our environment) in order to get our needs met'.
- Do you think this is true? Inevitable?
- Would it help to make our motivations and actions conscious to our partner?
- To what extent must I/do I hide this from them? - from myself? Why?
Notes for meeting 4-5
One of the most frequent motivators for men to join men's groups is the loss of a partner and the intimacy shared in the relationship - this can be devastating for anybody, especially a person who has no other opportunity' to get their intimacy needs met. Group offers the chance to explore healthier and more appropriate ways to get intimacy needs met - and the more conscious we are - the fewer surprises there'll be.