Frequently Asked Questions
If you’ve never attended a men’s group you may have questions about what it is like. Each one is unique and reflects the goals of the group, how it is facilitated and what members bring to it. The answers below should provide insight into how this group works.
Can I come to a meeting just to see if this is right for me?
Yes. Please feel free to come and participate for a meeting to see if this if the right group for you.
How often do you meet?
We meet every two weeks on Monday evening from 7:30pm-9:30pm.
Where are your meetings?
In Berkeley/Oakland of the San Francisco Bay Area – please contact us for the location of the meetings.
What is a typical meeting like?
Men being arriving around 7:15 and we begin at 7:30 with a couple of minutes of silence. We sit on the floor, on pillows, or lean up against a wall. Everyone has a chance to check in a share what is going on in their life. We then dive into the specific topic for that evening. Some participants may choose to just listen and observe, while others may spend some time sharing their experience or challenges. Others may offer their own experience or ask questions to help someone work through an issue. The facilitator will make sure everyone who has come has an opportunity to talk, respecting if someone doesn’t feel like sharing. Frequently laughter will be shared when someone has a humorous story, however the overall mood is one of patient support and acceptance. There is no cross-talk and respect is given to all points of view. We close the meetings with a few minutes of silence, and most men spend a few minutes packing up and saying goodby.
Are there other kinds of activities?
We have had meetings in different locations, and done outdoor meditative walks before meetings. We have performed rites of passage ceremonies as participants cross major thresholds like marriage, divorce, fatherhood, death of a loved one and leaving the group.
What are the participants like?
It is hard to describe those who attend in a short space, the best way to find out is to attend a meeting. There are usually between 5-9 men at a given meeting. Some have been coming for years, others have joined in the last six months. Some come every time, others come only occasionally. We have members who are as young as 25 and as old as 55. All are interested in personal development. All have realized they don’t have to figure out life all out on their own.
Are there fees for meetings?
No. We believe that mens groups are an integral part of social support. Our goal is to help men find community with each other. Some mens groups charge a fee to cover expenses like renting a space but we meet in a home this isn’t any cost. Other groups have men pay in order to make a deeper level of commitment. Our belief is that if the group is effective that the commitment will come out of your own desire to continue participating.
What kind of commitment do I need to make?
You get out of it what you bring to it. The men who show up help create and keep a safe container for you to explore your questions, struggles and the creation of new possibilities. There is support for your individual process, constant opportunities explore your edge and the diversity to provide wider perspectives. Some men come only a few times a year, others make a commitment to come to every meeting – whatever serves you.
Have another question?
We’d be happy to hear from you.