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A number of years ago, George Taylor came out with Talking With Our Brothers, a book on men's groups and how to form and run one. That book, unfortunately, has been out of print for years. Now Nick Theophilou, and Australian, has jumped in to fill the gap with his video Inside a Men's Group: Sons of the Fathers. It's a welcome, and much-needed addition to Men's Work.
After a brief intro, the DVD opens with moving segment featuring a man talking from his heart about father issues, a predominant theme when men struggle with their personal issues. The father may seem absent when the man reaches adolescence and young adulthood, but he dies, it creates a void in the man's life. The next section features interviews with men who want to participate in the men's group featured on the DVD. They talk at a personal level, on the value they hope to get from involvement with the group.
The heart of the DVD, for me, was the men sharing their experiences with and feeling about their fathers. I was struck by the depth of the sharing, and how much of it was really from the heart. What struck me even more was the reactions of the other men as they listened. You could feel the compassion and understanding. For many, I suspect, this was maybe the first time they had been listened to, without interruption, and understood. And they did not have to have any "fear of being fixed." Nobody offered advice or suggestions: they just listened compassionately.
In the final clearing session the men made clear what impact their experience with the group has meant in their own lives. They raid they felt more grounded in their own lives, and were experiencing better relationships.
Not sure you could form or facilitate a men's group? It's not that difficult, once you have the courage to take the first step. Nick makes it easier with a 48-page step-by-step manual, Creating and Running Your Own Men's Group. There is also a two-page guide on using the DVD with your own men's group.