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Hero's Journey Program

Facilitator's Guide available for purchase
and professional development training
Please contact us.

1. Synopsis

The Heroes Journey Program was developed to encourage men in their personal growth, healing and inner work as a way of fostering healthy role models and contributing to better relationships with self, others and the community. Men For Change has been promoting healthy masculinity for over a decade and we look forward to bringing our experience to success of this peer education project. The addition of this program can significantly enhance our capacity to support men who are displaying the early warning signs of depression or emotional distress, seeking support to deal with the challenges of a life transition, and/or desiring to deepen their emotional connection with self and others. By teaching participants how to understand, accept and channel their emotional energy into healthy lifestyle choices we decrease the risk of depression and related unhealthy behaviours. The long term realization of this purpose will be a healthier community of men and lower costs for secondary and tertiary heath care.

2. Why the is Project Called "Emotional Odyssey?"

Homers wrote The Odyssey in 800 BC. The story is about a man with a destination and determination. On his life path he was robbed, shipwrecked, betrayed by crew mutinies and eventually lives to see his homecoming. It is a journey of a hero. It is a journey of a man in search for his life and purpose against the odds. It resonates today as a profound metaphor for the journey men face in search of the best life has to offer.

3. What is the Motivation Behind the Emotional Odyssey Project

Emotional Odyssey: Preventing Male Depression is dedicated to our friend and colleague, Geoff Clare who ended his depression by the choice of suicide in March 2000. He did in death what he did in life, challenged people to understand and make sense of the fullness of life. This project was developed to make sense out of a emotions and depression and is for the countless men who remain nameless and still alive.

The Emotional Odyssey Project seeks to improve men’s health and well-being by teaching the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to build their emotional literacy and improve coping ability and decision making choices that can result in the prevention of depression and related harmful behaviours. By encouraging men in their personal growth and inner work we hope to empower participants to be healthy role models and to make contributions that will improve relationships and respect with self, others and the community.

The need for this project derives from our experiences working in the community for the last 10 years and hearing the narratives of individual lives being damaged by unhealthy attitudes and an inability to deal with painful situations. The hundreds of men who have participated in our programs and support groups over the years have attended because they are seeking support and connection and/or desire to explore a deeper dimension of meaning and purpose in their lives. The sense of isolation that men feel is profound and builds an extra layer to chip through in addition to the stigma already attached to reaching out for help with mental and emotional problems or "failures to be strong." Popular expressions as "Men have lots of buddies, but no real friends" play out in an unwillingness to seek the support necessary and early enough to prevent a downward spiral of unchecked troubles.

Charting the emotional wilderness of men’s experience has consistently presented itself as the number one opportunity in our community outreach work. This Emotional Odyssey project holds great promise towards tapping that need and promoting well-being in the lives of men who are seeking connection in healthy ways. We anticipate that the more intensive exploration of topics in the project’s program will be a useful compliment to our open agenda support groups currently being offered.

4. How is the Project Organized?

Seven part workshop series

Workshop One. The Hero's Journey: This workshop looks at the idea that we are all heros on a journey and views men who go through trials and tribulations as heros.

Workshop Two: The Mind/Body/Spirit Connection looks at the power of the mind to influence the body and the relationship between our life force energy and our body and mind.

Workshop Three: Anger - investigates the hidden gift of anger and other intense emotions.

Workshop Four: Grief and Loss helps us flow in healthy ways through times of loss and sorrow.

Workshop Five: Shame and Guilt explores core beliefs and external/internal messages about self worth.

Workshop Six: Intimacy and Relationships explores the core beliefs and self worth issues that lead us to conclude low self worth associated with shame and guilt.

Workshop Seven: Success and Purpose creates a path to the future where we master our destiny.

Facilitator’s Manual gives detailed information on how to organize and present the workshop series. This includes a user friendly guide to presenting the 7 theme topics related to supporting and challenging men on their emotional odyssey towards preventing depression. Topics include: Male Socializing, Anger/Depression, Grief/Loss, Fear, Shame and Guilt and Life Purpose.

The facilitator’s manual is divided into the following sections:

bulletSection One: Overview – Contains general information on how to organize a workshop, the training objectives, adult learning guidelines and information regarding the sensitivity of the subject matter
bulletSection Two: Workshop Modules – Offers a step by step guide to the facilitator including what to say, what questions to ask to promote discussion. Instructions and notes for the facilitator are displayed in italics. The information may be read verbatim or used as background information for the facilitator.
bulletSection Three: ResourcesA list of print and video resources and local support agencies is provided in this section.
bulletSection Four: Participant’s Handbook Originals – Includes reproducible originals of information and support materials and "at home" exercises.
bulletSection Five: Brochures – Contains evaluation forms and originals of the brochures based on 7 themes in each workshop. These brochures provide quick reference to the warning signs and provide basic information and prevention strategies.

5. Who is the Audience for This Project?

This training manual is intended for professionals and others who work with men 18 years of age and over and who have the capacity and skill to deliver psycho-educational workshops and support services.

The primary audience for activities in this manual are men age 18 years and older who are:

1. displaying the early warning signs of depression or emotional distress, and/or;

2. seeking support to deal with the challenges of a life transition, and/or;

3. desiring to deepen their emotional connection with self and others.

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