This monthly group on a Wednesday evening is for men who are interested in understanding themselves and investigating their developmental potential. It runs for two hours and costs £25. I am organising this group via “Meetup”, if you go to “Tunbridge Wells” or “Jim Robinson” you will find the group listed there. Please do phone if you would like to try it out.

I have a psycho-spiritual approach, which means that as well as exploring our psychology with all its aspects of ourselves that are in the way of us living full and satisfying lives, I also see it as important to get support from the transpersonal, or “spiritual”, dimension of our experience. For more information about my approach please explore this website.

Men are usually deeply conditioned to avoid knowing what they feel. We are expected to be “doers” and “thinkers”, yet without being in touch with our “feelings” we are sitting on a three legged stool with one leg missing, it is very unstable, unsatisfying and tiring. We can balance at times, but we are often tip into anger, hurt, withdrawal or inferiority on the one side, and on the other into arrogance, superiority and over-doing. The task is to find the support of “being”, which we can only do when we know and integrate our feelings. We need help to understand how we have absorbed society’s imperatives for us to be ‘competent’ adults, self-sufficient and without vulnerability, and how shame is often such a strong underlying feature of our psyche.

Some experience of one to one therapy / counselling is helpful, as this usually gives a training in self-reflection, but it is not a prerequisite. Gestalt is an approach that focuses on our experience in the here and now, attending in detail to how we are in the moment, with our reactions. This awareness gradually enables us to understand what is driving us to be the way we are, and do the things we do. This process needs both support and challenge, which a group is ideally placed to give. It is through insight and understanding, as well as facing the reality of how we are and taking self-responsibility that change occurs. The golden rule for relationships is, that it is what we reject, judge or complain about in the other, is what we are rejecting, judging and not accepting in ourselves.

Groups have their own processes of development and usually go through a series of stages, and hopefully they arrive at a place of deep openness and mutual support. But the road can be a bit rocky at times, so perseverance and patience are needed to get there. And, as with personal therapy we need to be prepared to work at facing our insecurities, whatever form they takes. The prize though is, as ever, self-knowledge and greater freedom, together with the joy of sharing a deep and real connection with others.