LAMS NEWCOMER INFORMATION
Choosing to participate in a male survivor support group can stir up many feelings. Our members understand. Men who attend the first few meetings, especially the very first meeting, normally experience a level of anxiety. This anxiety usually decreases after attending additional meetings.
After joining the group, many men have expressed relief to know that there is a space where they can share their thoughts about the affects of having been sexually abused. They find that the other men not only “get it”, but are non-judgmental, capable of listening, and actually want to listen to what other men have to say. Men in the group have shared insightful perspectives.
You may enter the group with the goal of healing your emotional wounds. You may then discover that healing comes about, in part, because of a renewed ability to connect with other men who have had experiences similar to yours.
Meeting Format Summary
- Opening Statements (Facilitator)
- Grounding Exercise: If you want, place your feet flat on the floor, close your eyes and take three deep breaths prompted by the tapping of the “singing bowl.” *Note: we us a Tibetan singing bowl solely to assist in the relaxation process. The group does not subscribe to any religion.
- Who Are We? So that men new to the group can get a sense of others in the room, a few men who have previously attended the meeting will share a bit of their experience. Afterwards, anyone may make a statement or ask questions.
- Reflections: Members may make a statement about something that was said or discussed during a previous meeting which they felt was useful or thought provoking.
- Blockers: Anything about the meeting which hinders members from receiving the maximum benefit from the meeting, whether it be with an individual or the format of the meeting.
- Share/Feedback: Men who desire to share will usually be allotted 5 or more minutes, during which time he may open it up to feedback from other members. Allow enough time for feedback within the allotted time. When giving feedback, the focus is to be kept on the man who has just shared. The facilitator will signal the end of each each person’s allotted time. The person sharing should bring his share to a conclusion. Between men’s shares, there may be moments of silence while we wait for the next man to speak. The silence may be uncomfortable for you. You may want to use this silent period as an opportunity to take relaxing breaths and/or increase your awareness of the other men in the room.
- Donations: Donations are used for room rent and meeting expenses. There is no set amount for donation. You do not have to donate.
- Announcements: Announcements about the group or outside events. If you are aware of a relevant event, feel free to share it will the group at this time.
- Open Discussion (time permitting): Open and interactive discussion. Any member may share.
- Closing Check-In: Each member shares 2 or 3 words or one sentence to express how they are feeling right now.
- Grounding Exercise: Same exercise as at the start of the meeting.
- Concluding Comments by the Facilitator