I have been asked over the past few months how the Black Men’s Therapy course has gone. Wonderfully would be how I would answer the question. The initial jitters and experience of serendipity became a rounded experience of therapy.
Wary Topics covered included included Low Mood and Depression, Anxiety, Mood Management, Addictions, Loss and Self Care. The initial group of men that came were initially in the first few minutes wary. There was good enough reason. None of the course attendees had previously met. They were also new to me and my co-counsellor Sheila.
1st Block For the first block of 6 appointments, in order to assist the conversation and support holding the group, the frame was to offer a check in, review the week just passed through and towards the end of the meeting provide a check out.
The first day of the course gave opportunity for the 5 men that joined to meet and greet each other. Get to know who was in the room and know their reasons for being a part of the course. The first day went very well and gave a sense of what the rest of the course would look and feel like.
January 2020 The 2nd block of 6 appointments were looser in their formation. 3 previous attendees joined the follow up course with 1 new attendee. Check ins became a way to engage with the subject material of that night’s discussion. Topics included Intergenerational/Trans-genertional Traumas (PTSS), Micro-Aggressions and Stereotypes.
Congruency One of the outcomes that I was pleased to notice was the willingness of the group to engage with challenging and difficult material in an open and honest way.
Showing who they are amongst other men without the need to hold up a mask pretending bravado or being a braggart. The vulnerability I had hoped would be a consistent and precious part of the meetings was consistently realised.
One of the reasons a level of congruence was achieved was the sense that we had all come together for a specific purpose. To talk on a level with others that look like us about experiences that intimately impact on our lives, the lives of our families and those we consider friends allies and our community.
Membership The next block of 15 appointments is to start on the 18th of March 2020. The course will be an open group – and will accept new and previous attendees to attend as often or as infrequently as they would like.
The idea of a closed group became muted within the 1st block of 6 appointments. The idea of not admitting new members after the 3rd meeting was tested after 2 new men joined the course in week 4.
The group successfully negotiated how to accept and work with new members. From January going forward the group were settled in themselves and were willing to engage with difficult personal histories. The men were able to discuss concerns related to identity and being in hostile work spaces.
Sign Up If interested in joining the next group send an email to either myself or to Sheila Samuels via our websites. Click on the links above.
Reconozco que una gran Tragedia ocurrió la ultima Vez que comimos Juntos
Tiernamente compartiendo el Dolor a traves de las mesas de cenar Escuchando a otros reir y charlar en Silenciosos colores sobre Los eventos de anoche Como si nada importante estuviera sucediendo Entre Nosotros
El jirón significativo Pensé que podría ser valiente y Permanecer fuerte y Afable. Esto Comenzó con un paseo Al lado del agua amurallada. El paseo a la vez largo Y alegre. Los dos Riendonos y charlando De camino a Candem. Finalizando lentamane hacia Una esclusa y cervezas.
Cervezas compartidas – problemas reducidos a la mitad?
Siempre con cervezas. Cuatro años necesitando que te quedes y Continues con tu No tan tierna e insistente Fuerza empujando mi Mente a un nuevo ‘awareni’ Y entonces te fuiste.
Perdido. Aleteando como un Pez salido del agua, Sin el amparo del Profundo azul que me continue Sujetando, guiando, nutriendo Reforzando.
Tu ciudad no es tan lejana Pero ya parece Demasiado largo trayecto. Un amigo vagabundo Amenudo dice ‘Hasta que nos volvamos a ver’ y sé Que eso no puede ser Hasta que el velo Se levante. Imperceptible Una madeja, tan delicada como un encaje de tela de araña. Hilado de oro, Aunque apenas usado.
Cuando nos volvamos a encontrar Será para decir Con la boca llena de ‘lo siento’ que el mundo Mi mundo era mas cálido Cuando estabas Cerca. Ahora un gélido Amanecer me espera con tu version de ‘tonto ido’
Esta pérdida hiere como las Demás, como todas las partidas Finalmente hacen. Solamente esta Es a causa del descuido Fue mi propia derrota.
En pie erguido como una Cabeza Minoica medio enterrada, Melancólico, oscuro Gris. El trueno aplaude, Lluvia. De nuevo
Reconozco un gran La tragedia sucedió cuando Lo ultimo que comimos Juntos
Compartiendo suavemente el Daño en la cena Mesas escuchando a otros Ríete y habla Silenciosos colores sobre el último Noches eventos como si nada Importante sucedía entre nosotros.
La lágrima significativa y Pensé que podría ser Valiente y fuerte y Permanecer resistente y Afable. Esta cosa Comenzó con un paseo Por agua amurallada.
La caminata tanto larga Y chistoso. Los dos Riendo y hablando Camden atado. Enrollando lentamente hacia Un lago y cervezas.
Siempre con cervezas. Cuatro años de necesitar Que te quedes y Continúa con tu No tan gentil insistente Fuerza empujando mi Mente a nuevos awareni Y luego te fuiste.
Perdido. Tambaleándose como un Pescado sacado del agua, Sin el equilibrio de la Azul profundo para continuar el Sosteniendo, guiando el cuidado Afirmando
Tu ciudad no esta tan lejos Pero ya parece Demasiado gran tramo para. Un amigo sin hogar A menudo dice ‘Hasta que Nos vemos de nuevo y lo sé Eso no puede pasar
Hasta que un velo es Levantado Imperceptible Una madeja, tan delicada como un encaje de telarañas Hilado dorado, Sin embargo, rara vez se usa.
La próxima vez que lo veamos Será para decir con Un bocado de soy penas que el mundo Mi mundo estaba mas caliente Cuando eras Cerca. Ahora un refrigerador El amanecer me espera con Tu versión de tonto se fue.
Esta pérdida corta como el Otros como todas las salidas Finalmente hacer. Solo esto Uno causado por negligencia Fue por mi propia ruina.
De pie como la mitad Cabeza minoica enterrada, Meditando de color morado oscuro Gris. Es trueno Aplausos y lluvia. De nuevo
I know two people who have challenges with sleep. My son aged 10 and my wife CW. I have over the past few years investigated and interrogated both to get an understanding of what happens for them when they try to go to sleep. Below are my findings and possible solutions.
Similarities Both my son P, and my wife CW, have active working memories that retain events of their days.
For my son; the entertainment he has thinking about school, his friends and activities he was involved in the day, alongside whatever technological gadgets that have captured his imagination seem to keep him awake. He tires at about 10:00pm.
My wife is usually engaged in numerous nocturnal intellectual pursuits that seem to be a holdover from studying at an intense level for 5+ years.
Concerns Some of her intellectual meanderings involve worrying about our eldest son, worrying about me, worrying about if the backdoor is locked, worrying about work and worrying about future events, that may never happen, or never happen.
Then there are the many frustrations of being a PhD survivor. Being married to a man who does not want to admit his failing health and doing the laundry are high on the agenda as is a family relocation.
To Canada to be clear.
A future Blog is in development currently that speaks to this huge change!
Strategies A few years ago I once offered the unwise task of counting backwards from 100 in 7s to CW. Not only was she able to do it (patterns) 93, 86, 79, 72… but became more enraged and upset that she had completed the task of 7 counting and not fallen asleep. I am often still reminded.
Resourcefulness I have offered to CW Tom Bilyeu’s how to get a decent rest (see below) on his podcast Impact Theory to support her sleep improvement. She has not listened to it yet, stating that podcasts are not her thing. (SMH)
The wise Eric Berne’s ‘Yes But’ approach from Games People Play I have just started to remember because, as the book suggests, it doesn’t really matter what method, I or anyone else offers/presents as the golden bullet to get to sleep, it will be refuted, denied and ridiculed by stubborn sleep refusers and CW.
Endurance The reason, I think, some people (my wife may be one of those people too) who “enjoy” being able to survive on 2-4 hours worth of sleep and apply extra cranky crunch to all who experience them.
It’s the get out of all get outs! Excuses of all excuses. They, Insomniacs, can never be challenged or provoked to look at the intensity of what their brain’s deprived of rest has wrought. Perhaps genius springs forth from fatigue?
The Boardroom Listening to the Tim Ferris Podcast (see below) I heard of a technique that I thought was worth mentioning to those who have trouble sleeping.
Imagine that you are in a boardroom and have the director’s seat. You call the meeting to order as the director of this sleep meeting you are about to conduct.
Now imagine the other seats filled with all those annoying voices that plague you at night.
Imagination Riot Personify them exquisitely. Dress them. Give them personalities and a place to sit at the table. You may want to depending on importance and urgency, rank these voices and place less important ones further away.
Name and Listen Each voice has something to say to you about something specific.
There’s the voice that represents Fear, Anger, Love, Money, Work Mistakes, Regret, Family, Denial, Debt and financial concerns, Politics, Worry, Inner Child woes, Death, Car, Transportand Travel and a mariad more.
Roll up Sleeves Now for the hard part. Imagine one of your principle concerns sitting next to the directors chair. They are speaking about what they have found, seen and have predicted to happen next in your life.
Usually in the day, you engage and take on with energy all that they are saying. Getting prepared to wage war on all that they brought to your attention.
The difference now, laying prone you are only going to listen and thank them for bringing all that they have to your attention, and importantly NOTHING more!
Loosening Grip The ‘concern’ once being heard will dissipate and choose to leave the boardroom. In the least it will be satiated and choose to quieten from bothering your attempts to sleep. I invite you to do this for all the voices clamouring to speak to you.
Patient Practice The technique takes practice. In time you won’t be able to stay awake long enough to listen to all of their complaints and worries, you will be too tired relaxed and calm to stay awake. Wouldn’t this be a better way to bring the day to an end?
Sleep Oddity I know this sounds like an odd task to complete at the end of an already busy and tiring day. But would offer, does another night of twisting, turning and concerning oneself with thoughts that keep you awake for hours longer, seem like a good use of precious restoration time to you?
Technique. The understanding I am left with is one of tactical empathy. Be prepared to be triggered and then not to act when applying the boardroom techno. But by listening you have given the ‘voice’ all that it was after – an audience. Once they have shared all there is to be shared, there is not much more for the ‘concern’ to do so they quieten.
Ignore Marry Avoid Choose not to engage with the content. An outcome from from having a daily meditative practice is to allow thoughts to pass and not follow them, as the mischief makers want to entice! Listen with care and thank them for all that they brought to your attention. With an empty head and all ‘voices’ now abated sleep should happen.
This may feel strange. But it is what the insomniac has said that they needed. I know, they have woken me up to tell me! “Quiet in the mind to be able to go to sleep.”
Fear Often we want change, and fear change at the same time. Some people believe that we should suffer on some level for past wrongdoings. I strongly refute this idea as a truism. Insomnia is a learnt experience and so can be unlearned or another tactic applied to get to go to sleep. The dread of staying awake again could be the motivator that ushers in change for insomniacs leading to a global phenomenon.
For the insomniac procrastinator, maybe there is the want to figure out what it all means and stay awake doing so. It is a choice to be made between sleeping or not to sleep.
One – leads to an increase in mental ability and does increase resilience affability, mental acuity and alertness, and overall health exponentially.