Men’s Behaviour Change Program
Sorry men! There is no quick fix when it comes to making long lasting changes. The process of changing your behaviour is a long one, and participation is in no way a predictor of positive change. Research done over the long term demonstrates that it is exceedingly difficult to predict which men will sustain positive changes or for how long. In saying that, there is evidence that men can and do change their behaviour. I believe that if you’re serious and committed to making change this program will be of great benefit to you. Have a look at what other participants have said in the testimonials on the site.
For this reason the program consists of three phases:
This level runs over two Victorian School terms (approximately 20 weeks). In this phase of the program participants are offered support and challenged in taking responsibility for their behaviour. This program is open where participants are welcome to join at any time. Participants learn to break the pattern of their violent behaviour and are invited to consider a range of abusive, controlling acts and the consequences these have for women, children and other members of the community. In this group, basic skills are taught to improve the safety situation for others. In the second ten weeks, the program challenges their old behaviours and belief systems. The course deals with a range of destructive behaviours and explores gender roles. It challenges each participant to question existing personal attitudes and feelings, which encourages him to take on a deeper responsibility for his own behaviour.
The prerequisite for enrolment is attending two assessment interviews with me. These interviews must be within 6 weeks of the commencement date.
This phase runs for a semester over two Victorian school terms (approximately 20 weeks). The invitation to attend is offered to participants who have demonstrated that they have changed their behaviour. This assessment is based on their participation and commitment to the Phase One Program along with feedback I have received from their partner and/or family. Communication skills (which include listening, assertiveness and responding skills) are taught and explored in this phase. Ongoing support is provided to participants and their partners and we explore a variety of topics aimed at enhancing the participant’s well-being. This phase is for the men who have a desire to continue with their self-development and it will build upon and enhance the work started in Phase One with the aim of creating a solid foundation for the participant’s changed behaviour. This will help them to continue to provide a safe environment for themselves and their families in the long term.
The prerequisites are:
- attend an assessment session to discuss your readiness and suitability for Phase 2
- complete a minimum 18 sessions of Phase 1 within 28 weeks of the participant’s commencement date
- demonstrate changed behaviour
The Phase 3 program has been named the "Grounded and Balanced" Program (G.A.B. program).
A grounded person is strongly connected to their sense of self. This brings an inner confidence and a balance to all aspects of their lives, physically, mentally and emotionally.
When issues and problems come up, a grounded person remains unfazed. Their strong sense of self acts as their anchor when life hits rough waters. When you can stay grounded, you can see the bigger picture no matter the chaos that surrounds you.
Emotional balance occurs when we allow ourselves to feel whatever comes up, without reacting or feeling stifled or overwhelmed, and being able to accept our feelings without judgment.
Many people are afraid to feel their deepest emotions and keep them locked away in a box. Holding onto this emotional baggage can create a constant underlying stress which is damaging to both physical and mental health. This causes a person to be unbalanced and distracted.
The G.A.B. program has been designed to help you find your true value and begin the process of discovering inner peace. Being at peace with yourself is the key to becoming a grounded and balanced person.
What does a valuable life look like?
The program will help you to uncover your own inner values and goals. We will investigate the discrepancy between these values and the way you have been living your life.
The objective of the G.A.B. Program is to build on the principles taught in Phases 1 & 2. It enables you to ensure that you don't become complacent and sabotage the changes you've made after all the hard work you have already done. This program aims to empower you to focus on the parts of your life that need the most attention right now and into the future. The G.A.B. Program provides you with the opportunity to discover what is most important to you in your life and what is required in order to create the life you want.
Why should you attend this program?
If you don't want to become complacent and you're committed to being a better man, a better partner, a better father and you want to be a role model within your community, this program is for you. Often men don't have many mates they can talk about these things with. The restriction of emotional expression in many men's lives can lead to:
- a greater sense of isolation
- less able to seek support from loved ones
- health issues due to carrying chronic tension in the body
- negative coping strategies
- relationship difficulties due to an inability to resolve emotional conflicts
- mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and insomnia
- low self-confidence
Self-confidence is your attitude about your own skills and abilities. Being self-confident means that you accept yourself and you have a sense of control over your choices. You know your strengths and weaknesses well and you have a positive view of yourself.
You set realistic expectations and goals, you communicate assertively and you can handle criticism.
Topics discussed which are covered in this phase include:
- life domains
- identifying personal values
- identifying why we hide behind a mask
- money & finance
- career & work
- health & fitness
- fun & leisure
- the ego
- growth & learning
- spirituality and community
This program runs weekly on a Tuesday evening from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm. Those who are unable to attend in person can attend via Zoom.
The prerequisite to join the G.A.B Program is to have completed a minimum of 40 weeks of the Phase 2 program. An assessment session is required for participants who have not attended the Phase 2 program within the previous 3 months.
For those women who have completed three terms of the women’s group and whose partners have completed Phase 2, we offer a special workshop over the course of ten evenings. Participants learn effective communication skills, positive ways of responding to one another, reflective listening and how to assertively deal with criticism.
Conflicts and difficulties are almost inevitable in any relationship. It’s not the arguments that are bad for your relationship, it’s how you handle conflict that will either help your relationship to grow or see it come to an end. In this program, participants are taught to respond to each other and stay focused on the concern that has been raised rather than become side-tracked with other issues.
Programs for Schools
I am passionate about bringing change in our society, as I believe very strongly that change is possible. In my work with men and families, there has been a common theme in regards to changing learned behaviour.
This theme is connected with the impact that role models have had on participant's lives. These role models have melded this behaviour, which has led to problems in adulthood. Problems associated with relationships, communication, self-esteem, confidence, expressing emotions, conflict resolution etc and the list goes on. This is why I believe young men need to experience positive role models.
The programs that I have been running for young boys at schools over the last six years encourage boys to get in tune with themselves, their family and their lives so that they may enter adulthood with self-awareness and a good understanding of the importance of equality.
These programs have received a lot of positive recognition from the schools that have taken part. More importantly there has been regular positive feedback from students, teachers and parents. Testimonials (including video testimonials) and references can be provided to support this.
The programs are:
- behaviour change classes
- building a model aeroplane and installing petrol engine
- Rock and Water Classes
- Young Eagles Program
- individual counselling for both student and parents
Behaviour Change Program
This program aims at encouraging young boys to have positive social goals, skills and motivation. These skills include
- self-management (ie through stress management techniques)
- impulse control
- active listening
- the ability to understand non-verbal cues
- conflict resolution with teachers, parents and other students
Without self-awareness, it is impossible to manage our behaviour and actions effectively.
Model Aeroplane Program
This program is aimed at building self-esteem and self-worth in a fun way. I feel the deepest need of all, the core emotional need of the human being, is for self-esteem. It is to feel respected and worthwhile. It is to be liked and valued by others, particularly when part of a team. This program has a strong emphasis on team building and working together to achieve the end goal. Some of the student behaviours that are challenged include:
- being aggressive
- blocking or nit-picking
- clowning or joking to disrupt the work of the group
- being sarcastic or cynical
- taking all the credit
The program has had a lot of success in transforming participants negative behaviours as they come to understand and learn the values, skills and behaviours required to successfully collaborate and complete a group project.
Rock and Water Program
This program encourages boys to stand stronger in many ways. As important parts of communication they learn to sense, set and defend their own boundaries in an appropriate manner, particularly in peer pressure situations. They also learn to respect others' boundaries, especially those expressed by girls. The boys learn how to use their imaginations and positive thinking and how this empowers them and helps to achieve their goals.
The boys learn some basic self-defence skills in order to teach them how to control and develop their power. This physical approach demands discipline and perseverance, as well as teaching the boys how to deal with conflict while maintaining self-control. The Rock and Water program at secondary level addresses:
- standing strong with rock and water attitude
- mental power
- awareness of boundaries
- empathic feeling
- intuition training
- prevention of sexual violence
- dealing with peer pressure
- body language and group dynamics
- success strategies
- expressing respect to others
The program is very active with lots of physical exercises alternated with group-discussions. Each lesson is supported with questions and simple assignments in order to make a successful integration with every day-life.
Young Eagles Program
This program is an incentive for those students who have completed the Behaviour Change and Model Group program and have demonstrated their commitment by completing the weekly behaviour card.
As a pilot, I have organised for these students to participate in the Royal Victorian Young Eagles Program at Moorabbin airport, culminating in a demonstration flight in a plane. These flights are provided free of charge. As a pilot, I want to share the exhilaration and freedom of flight with these young men. Aviation has been an overwhelmingly positive experience in my life and my hope is that the experience will spark the participant's curiosity to learn more about this field. A Young Eagle will also come to see and understand - as seen above through the eyes of an eagle - the true potential of life that lies beyond their everyday surroundings and that they can reach their goals through hard work and dedication.
Individual counselling has been very empowering for both students and parents, particularly around issues associated with family conflict and violence. Over the years I have been able to encourage parents to engage with my adult programs which are run in the evenings. This has been particularly helpful for families where there has been police and Child Protection involvement. There is further information regarding this on the web site.
If you feel your school may be interested engaging