become the man you want to be
What exactly do men talk about in men’s groups?
What do we get up to? Rolled up trouser-legs and funny handshakes? Dares, dangers and devilish deeds? Or the boisterous banter of bars and changing rooms revisited? Is it a gay, religious, misogynist, or anti-anything thing?
Nope, it’s all about hanging out and getting real with whatever the men bring into the room.
Men show up with who we really are, beyond past restriction. We laugh, listen and grow together in self-awareness. We are accepting, accountable and we want more out of life.
We don’t tell each other what to do or how to be. There is no pressure. It’s safe to share what’s up, question, comment or just say “Pass” when it’s your turn to speak.
Here’s a story of one man’s experience of his first MenSpeak men’s group, which turned into the ‘Man Whisperer‘ chapter in a recent ‘Newsweek’ ebook. Here’s my response article, which explores the format of our Open Groups and the thinking behind it all.
We share our experiences, thoughts and feelings as we learn to respectfully challenge one another to be better men. We test-drive who we are in the room and we take the best of ourselves out into the world.
Life doesn’t need to be tough to come to a men’s group. It’s a place to check-in and share experience and full-on laughter, consciously change and grow with our highs and lows, listening and talking with authentic depth.
MenSpeak men’s groups have been successfully serving men for over a dozen years. We’re growing from strength to strength, with international media coverage and the lives of many men – and those around us – sustainably changing for the better.
“Eight years ago I was looking for a space to be with other men. I had found my world becoming increasingly female dominated working in a team comprised almost all of females and with a female partner and daughter at home. That’s when I came across Kenny’s MenSpeak Men’s Groups on the internet and barring a six month break, I have been attending a monthly open or closed group since. I am almost always touched by and engaged with the authenticity, acceptance and challenge that men bring to the groups. Its not all deep and meaningful stuff – there’s plenty of humour and irreverence too. As a psychologist and therapist for many years, I have plenty of experience of therapy and I reckon Kenny is a great mentor – a guy who walks his talk and have witnessed him guiding many men through their journey in his own unique way.“TB, 49
Want to try a Closed Group?
The same group of men sit together for six (renewable) monthly meetings, so no intro’s as we get to know each other well. Prospective new closed group men join us in October 2015 and April 2016 to see if it fits. New terms begin in November 2015 and May 2016. Each closed group has a very different personality, so you might wish to visit them all – if they have the space for a new man – and feel your way.
Bespoke Personal Development Consulting
Mixed Groups for Organisations
Private facilitation for individuals and professional / social teams and groups. Get in touch with your needs.
I work with individuals, departments, board members and teams ripe for fruition. I share tools and techniques for communication and sustainable success.
The strengths of every individual are brought out and built upon. Roles and responsibilities clarified, owned and actioned. Contractors and staff are sourced to build tight teams hungry to deliver juicy results.
Personal issues may play out, providing opportunity for us to meet this ‘shadow feedback’ with awareness and responsibility, so it can ultimately fuel the people and project in hand. We work consciously, with what’s really going on.
I help uncover what’s brewing in the room. What needs to be named and brought to the table. From facilitating new ideas, to bringing resolution to the old. From mind maps on a whiteboard to grounded action, to the best business buzz that I love to share!
“I had been doing some private work with Kenny and regularly attending 12-step meetings, so I was comfortable with groups, though apprehensive about exclusively men in the group. I know how many of my male friends find it hard to open up and share and I feel this kind of group is going to be massively helpful to men in general. I wish I had found this years ago.
It should be offered as an essential service for occupational health in the workplace, as so much stress derives from maladjustment of men with their competitive / isolationist tendencies. I felt connected and listened to and have seen others benefit during a group, when it dawns on them that some of their thinking is not as well-adjusted as they thought it was, and the ready listening of other men and encouragement has been like gold-dust. Not even a talk with a trusted GP or mate could get near to this kind of bond.”AW, 51
Want to run your own group?
My group facilitation handbook: “How to run a men’s group” will be out this year with full training programmes to follow. Contact me to stay in the loop and receive free chapters, updates, special offers, exclusive invitations, video tutorials, demonstrations and blogs for a better life. I’d be happy to design a bespoke facilitation training programme for your organisation so I can pass my simple skills on to you.
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“For more than 10 years Kenny has anchored an ongoing open men’s group in London called “MenSpeak”. I discovered this group when first arriving in London late in 2011, simply by googling ‘men’s group London’. MenSpeak came up on the first page. Then I met Kenny face to face at the UK’s first Conference for Men and Boys, felt his passion around men’s issues, and went to his next group. I’ve been a member since then, and so have seen first hand seven key aspects of the consistent positive energy Kenny brings to this group:
- His energy at the group seems to so effortlessly flow out of him. It is clear that he thrives on the group – which is an example of a man finding his passion and living it.
- His attention, insight and experience come together in his skilled contributions to each man’s story as he shares in the group – benefiting each individual man attending.
- He has an ability to flow from uproarious laughter to deeply still, open-hearted attention and back again – modeling a balanced emotional fluidity.
- He brings forward his own ‘stuff’ when it is up: he does not hold himself separate from the group. – In this he models a leadership of integrity and authenticity.
- He frequently spends time with members outside of the group, offering not only support for personal issues but also support from his professional area of marketing and networking. – In this he models a generosity of spirit.
- He suggests men pursue their own growth through other groups and other therapeutic modalities which he considers appropriate to a man’s. – In this he models commitment to community beyond his own personal interests.
- He is able to be clear and light with setting boundaries for himself around commitments and relationships – modelling self-care and also care of others.
That he has held this space month after month, year after year, means that there is always a space available in London for any man in any situation to turn up, be deeply heard and be supported. Because of his own internal alignment and integrity, it appears he will be able to continue to hold this space for men in London for a very long time.
This, I believe, is a profound contribution to London as a city and to London men specifically, which deserves to be recognised beyond the bounds of Kenny’s MenSpeak work.“AB, 55
If you want to:
- Feel more of a lust for life.
- Be more able to calmly respond to life.
- Enjoy more success as you enjoy life’s riches.
- Carry less anxiety, overwhelm, fear and isolation.
- Bring true clarity to who you really are and how to authentically be.
- Experience better relationships all ‘round: at work, home and play.
…then you’re welcome to sit in our circle of men and see if MenSpeak is a community for you.
They key is knowing when to ask the right questions, often responding to hidden invitations that shine between the lines of what’s actually said.
The object of the exercise is to find out who you no longer need to be in the world and let it go. This makes space for who you really are to emerge and you can give him a good test-drive amongst other men.
Its about building a bridge from the best of who you are into daily life, rather than the group being a safe haven away from the big bad world.Kenny Mammarella-D'Cruz
Following my wife separating from me I read Steve Biddulph’s ‘Manhood’, which introduced me to possibilities of growth in men’s groups. Through Kenny’s groups I have changed a great deal for the better: my relationship with my ex-wife is very good, I am a lot more relaxed father to my son, I’m more authentic in my life, I have close friendships with other MenSpeak men, I have reduced the dose of my psychoactive medication by 25% over a moderated period (after taking it since my 20s), I have moved from my stale, draining job to an exciting and meaningful one and I am enjoying my social life because I am no longer pretending to be what I am not. The groups have been enormously powerful for me compared to the one-to-one work that I did with a psychiatrist / psychologist – which proved unaffordable. By hearing other men’s, often deep, personal stories, I have realised that I am not so different from other people: other men do stupid things, get scared, get angry and are vulnerable. As vulnerable as women.NJ, 45
Don’t worry, we are nothing like this…
This is not a therapy group, not an encounter group, not a w*nk group or a place to pick up men for sex, not a group for or against men or women, not a religious or spiritual group, not a political group, not a group of anything apart from whatever the men present make it. Such boundaries are designed to keep our circle clean and free of expectation and ulterior motives.
Disclaimer: All activities are undertaken entirely at the participant’s own risk. No responsibility will be taken and no compensation discussed for loss or injury. By taking part, each participant accepts full responsibility for his own safety and well-being. (If in doubt, please seek professional advice before participating). May the force be with you!