Hero's Journey Program
Facilitator's Guide available for purchase
and professional development training
Please contact us.
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
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
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
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
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
The facilitator’s manual is divided into the following sections:
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,
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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