Support Groups

(jump to list of groups)

SUPPORT GROUP MISSION

A Support Group is a safe place for people who need support and healing and who may be in personal crisis; to share and be heard when telling about experiences, feelings, and perceptions; in a chemically free atmosphere of mutual respect, confidentiality, and self responsibility. The group will be conducted within the guidelines of the following mission statement:

"The mission of the Men's Center Support Groups is to create a safe place, in times of personal and social challenge, for any men and women to receive and to give support to one another. Attendees share feelings and experiences which facilitate SELF-ACCEPTANCE and PERSONAL GROWTH."

SUPPORT GROUP FACILITATION

A support group will be hosted by a Facilitator. A Facilitator will be an individual who volunteers after previous participation in Men’s Center Support groups, who desires to contribute their time and skills after appropriate training as a host of these groups. Although each group has a specific focus, all groups are open to general issues that concern individuals in their personal growth. The sessions are primarily for support; they are not therapy groups.

Facilitators must be approved by the TCMC Board, and are required to attend an annual training session.

Norm Petrik (612-822-5892) is the Support Group Coordinator, and any issues relative to groups or to becoming a facilitator should be addressed to him.

LOCATION & DETAILS

All Support Groups meet at:
Twin Cities Men's Center
3249 Hennepin Ave. So, Suite 55
Minneapolis, MN 55408 USA

(unless noted differently below)

Support groups begin promptly, so arrive early such that you can browse the many resources and library materials. A donation of $3 to $9 helps keep TMC operational. Liquid refreshments are available at a separate donation rate. All groups are men only, except where listed for women and men.

DISCLAIMER
NO events or groups at the Men’s Center are to be considered an endorsement by the board or by the membership of the Men’s Center (TMC). TMC is not responsible for perceived undesirable outcomes or side effects for the participant in our events/groups. These are attended at your own risk.

Drop-in support groups are an official activity of the Men’s Center and as such we wish to hear any feedback you may have concerning these meetings. We encourage that you go:
1) Directly to the Facilitator involved
2) To the Support Group Coordinating committee
3) To the Grievance Committee of the Board of Directors if the above two do not resolve the problem situation.

We cannot take responsibility for the actions or words of individual participants but only for facilitators pursuing their tasks as volunteers. Though they are given training in group process, they are not acting as mental health professionals nor are they giving therapy. The Men’s Center is not classified by the state as a mandated reporter for child or other types of abuse. Nevertheless, some facilitators may be licensed professionals who are mandated by state law to make these types of reporting; and some facilitators may feel
bound by their ethics to take action when:
a) revelations of child abuse or neglect are discussed,
b) threats of immanent suicide are made,
c) threats of harm to anyone else in the group or outside of it are proposed.

Any reports as to the above situations made by group members MIGHT be actionable. Participants must consider these possibilities before revealing any potentially damaging information for which they might be held responsible.

SUPPORT GROUP MEETING GUIDELINES

IN PREPARATION FOR THE SUPPORT GROUP:
Support Groups begin promptly at 7:30 PM and will continue to 9:30 PM. Any late arrival is disrespectful to all group participants as is any early departures; please invest in the full two hours time. Note, early arrival will allow you to browse through our many community resource and library materials (these may be checked out if you are a member).

  • The Support Group is N O T a T H E R A P Y group. There is often a fine line between SUPPORT and THERAPY, but be aware that we are not here to change or “FIX” anyone. If you want to change (grow), we are here to support you in that effort.
  • The Support Group is to be a Chemically Free environment. It is important that we all come here with as clear a mind as possible. If you are under the influence of alcohol or nonprescription mood-altering drugs, we will request that you excuse yourself and come back at another time in the proper mind set.
  • Support Groups are to be smoke-free. If you need to smoke, please step outside the building to accomplish this need. Exiting and returning to the group should be in a nondisruptive/respectful manner.
  • The Support Group will be a Safe Place to talk with the utmost Confidentiality. We don’t carry away reports of who’s there or what is said. We require that no notes be taken. Carry away only your own growth material, in your heart and in your mind.
  • The Support Group will be Free from Sexual Harassment. If you engage in inappropriate remarks or behavior, we will request that you excuse yourself. Sexual fraternization is not allowed on the premises.
  • Judgmental statements that “bash” a group or individual are never appropriate in support groups because they destroy the trust that makes the group a safe place to discuss feelings.

CHECK-IN: At this time,

  • Give your Name; tell us a little about how you Feel and where you are at, keeping this reasonably short (2 minutes max). If you have an ISSUE to discuss, ASK FOR TIME. You may use you first name only if you wish to be anonymous.
  • Do not interrupt another participant during their check-in—this is their time only.

SUPPORT GROUP ISSUES DISCUSSION: During this extended time, be responsible for yourself as to:

  • Feelings which are neither good or bad; they just exist. Your feelings do not need to be logical...they’re your feelings and that is OKAY.
  • Staying on a feelings level as much as possible; your story is very important; your feelings are paramount.
  • Asking for the time you need, and seeing to it that you get it.
  • Trying not to theorize or philosophize; use “I” statements as much as possible.
  • Your right to disagree or challenge a position; be respectful, use appropriate non-judgemental language, and confront only when approved by the receiver.
  • Advice giving. We are not here to give advice. If you feel you have advice to give, always ask the recipient if he or she wants it. Exercise your own judgement when advice is received.

CHECK-OUT: at approximately 9:20 PM, is a time for closure to the evening group.

  • Again without interruption, you have about 1 minute to state how you how feel, whether or not your needs were met, and departing salutations.

CONTRIBUTIONS will be solicited during check-out and an attendance report will be passed (you do not need to put your real full name on this log). We use the attendance log to allocate resources between the different groups. We DO NOT report names or personal information to any other entity.

Please remember that the Men’s Center needs your financial support to continue our operation. It is suggested that a sliding scale of $3 to $7 be considered. No one will be turned away due to a lack of monetary funds.

CURRENT SUPPORT GROUPS

General Men's Issues / Relationship Issues
Open to Men Only
• Mondays, 12:30-2:30 pm
• Thursdays, 7:30 - 9:30 pm
Men can express feelings about the process of life's challenges and experiences, and what it means to be a man in our culture.

Divorce / Uncoupling
Open to Men Only
• Mondays, 12:30-2:30 pm
• Thursdays, 7:30 - 9:30 pm
Men express feelings about separation, divorce, breaking up with a lover, and topics such as child custody/legal hassles. Men can express what it means to be a man in our culture and other issues in their lives.

Gay Issues
Open to Men Only
• Tuesdays, 7:30 - 9:30 pm
Men express feelings about life's challenges and experiences, and what it means to be gay and male (you don't have to be gay to attend.) This is the Twin Cities longest running gay support group.

Choosing Healthy Sexual Boundaries-EAST
Open to Men Only
• Wednesdays 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Do you have concerns about your sexual behavior?
Are you receiving negative feedback about your sexual choices?
Worries about excessive, compulsive or obsessive sexual activities?
Too much pornography in your life?
Too many strip clubs?
Ever feel like a sex addict?
Feeling uncomfortable about inappropriate fantasies/thoughts/urges?
Hurting or disappointing someone you love?

This group is a safe, non-confrontational, non-judgmental place to talk with other men about healthy sexual boundaries. The group is open to all men, not just Project Pathfinder clients or former clients. If you are currently in primary treatment at Project Pathfinder, please consult with your therapist before attending this group.

Location:
Project Pathfinder
570 N. Asbury Street, Suite 300
St. Paul, MN 55104

Transitions
Open to All Genders
• Wednesdays, 7:30 - 9:30 pm
This group is intended to focus on the difficulties persons face when leaving a prison environment and reentering the community, where a former prisoner can go for emotional support when he returns to the community, and where he can be openly honest about his discouragements, frustrations, temptations, and fear of public attitudes.

Mankind Project Open Circle
Open to Men Only
• Thursdays 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Presenter: Jamie Wellik
ManKind Project Minnesota began in 1990 and over 800 men are in our community. We have more than 20 on-going men's groups which serve as places where men can develop their Emotional Intelligence, practice Accountability to their Commitments of Service to others, and practice Authenticity in Actions and declarations.
This Open Circle enables participants to witness other men practice clarity of self-expression from their hearts rather than their heads. Join us in our 5-round format and ask questions to learn more and even participate yourself if you choose. Our structure is based on the masculine archetypes of King, Warrior, Magician & Lover in Moore and Gilette's book.

Sexual Trauma & Abuse Survivors
Open to All Genders
• Thursdays 7:30 - 9:30 pm
Co-facilitators: Jerry Buchmeier, PhD (Therapeutic Counseling) & Kathleen McDowell, MA (Human Development)
Many adults have been sexually abused in childhood or adolescence, or have experienced sexual trauma as adults. Whether you have clear memories or vague recollections, perhaps you experience feelings of shame, self-hate, guilt, fear, anger, grief, or embarrassment. Sharing your story and feelings with others can release these feelings, while creating and renewing patterns of comfortable, healthy, and rewarding interactions with people of both sexes. This support group provides a safe environment to share your experiences and learn about how others are coping with these issues. Join us in developing healthier attitudes and behaviors that transform us from survivors into living life to the fullest. Questions, call Jerry, 763-546-4133.

Bisexual and Gay Issues
Open to Men Only
• Fridays, 7:30 - 9:30 pm
• Topical Discussion 9:00 - 10:00 pm
Men of all orientations explore a wide range of personal issues including our sexuality. We focus on our feelings about who we are and how we choose to live in the future.

Choosing Healthy Sexual Boundaries
Open to Men Only
• Tuesdays 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
• Saturdays 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Do you have concerns about your sexual behavior? Are you receiving negative feedback about your sexual choices? Worries about excessive, compulsive or obsessive sexual activities? Too much pornography in your life? Too many strip clubs? Ever feel like a sex addict? Feeling uncomfortable about inappropriate fantasies/thoughts/urges? Hurting or disappointing someone you love? This group is a safe, non-confrontational, non-judgemental place to talk with other men about healthy sexual boundaries. Healthy Boundaries welcomes all men who are currently participating in, or who have completed, sex offender treatment.
Facilitators: Tommy Jones, Bobby Schauerhamer

Men Facing Retirement Issues
Open to Men Only
• 3rd Sundays, 5:30 - 7:30 pm
This group is for men thinking about retirement or who have already retired. It is an opportunity to share feelings with other men about the importance of work and what happens when paid employment is no longer part of a man’s life.