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The Quebec Men’s Network
Assisting all men sort out their life situations to return to a state of well being
The Quebec Men’s Network (RHQ) creates support groups for French speaking men of all ages and sexual orientation who simply wish to talk with other men about their emotions, thoughts, concerns and questions. Men who join our groups are "ordinary" men who are experiencing "ordinary" difficulties usually related to life transitions such as separation, job loss, and retirement; they can be experiencing a number of emotions such as sadness, anger, or depression; they may also be asking themselves a number of questions related their purpose in life, spirituality, sexual orientation, etc., Their personal situations and needs are quite diversified.
Men who join our groups wish to share with other “ordinary” men and do not need to be supported by a professional therapist. These men simply wish to find answers to their questions and difficulties to feel better. They wish to share their feelings with other men in a trustful, respectful and supportive environment, exempt of judgement and criticism. They also wish to hear other men share their intimate thoughts and feelings.
We have groups in all major areas of the province of Quebec: Gatineau, Montreal, Laval, Longueuil, Trois-Rivières, Drummondville, Victoriaville, Québec, Saguenay, and Chibougamau.
What we offer
The Quebec Men’s Network (RHQ) is a non-profit association
founded in 1992
by psychoanalyst & author
(author of : “Absent Fathers, Lost Sons: The Search for Masculine Identity”, “Lessons in Love: The Transformation of Spirit Through Intimacy”). The RHQ creates small groups of 6 to 10 men to assist them in getting in touch with and sorting out their toughts, feelings, concerns and difficulties. By exploring these with other men, our group members learn how to identify them and to express them, they discover the needs and desires hiding behind, and consequently find their own answers and solutions. Solutions that are truly satisfying and socially acceptable. Men are also encourage to act and implement the solutions they have found. RHQ groups also allow men to learn about themselves by listening to other men share their own feelings and life experiences. Group members develop strong bonds and overcome feelings of been the only one to experience difficulties.
Regularly attending group meetings installs a discipline that helps develop and maintain a healthy psychological and emotional well-being, just as regularly attending a gym helps develop and maintain good physical well-being.
By attending group meetings, men find answers to their questions and discover new outlooks on their situation, new ways to express themselves and to behave in various situations, they learn how to take charge of their lives, they develop a way of life more in line with their needs, emotions and values, and they develop a better opinion of themselves. All this leads to more harmonious relationships with people around them: spouse, children, friends, work colleagues.
By learning how to identify and express their emotions as they arise, and by learning how to behave differently, men defuse or prevent situational crises, excessive aggressiveness or violence, depressions, professional exhaustions (burnout), or other. They also take better care of their physical health, visiting hteir doctoc, taking their medication, changing their life style to attain and maintain a better physical and mental health. Consequently they become better people, better fathers actively involved with their children, better spouses and better citizens. Finally, that leads to a feeling of greater well being.
How groups work
Groups meet at a frequency chosen by group members, and on the day or evening of the week agreed upon by the group. At the beginning, groups usually meet one evening per week, then they go on to meet one evening at every two or three weeks. The regularity of group meetings creates a discipline which allows men to regularly step back and take a look at their lives and themselves, sort out their feelings, and make adjustments they feel are required to feel better. Just like going to the gym to keep physically fit, going to group meetings helps keep emotionally fit.
groups are co-managed and co-facilitated
. This means that each group member contributes to organizing and managing group activities. Each group member will suggest, organize, facilitate, and provide feedback on group activities.
When the Quebec Men’s Network starts a new group, it is supervised by a volunteer who coaches the group to learn the speaking and listening rules and how to facilitate group meetings. Afterwards, group members refer to facilitation tools developed by the network and they can obtain assistance from volunteers.
The basic methodology is
, the same practiced by psychologists, social workers, and other specialists. The group listens attentively and respectfully. They do not interrupt while a man is sharing his thoughts and feelings and they do not interrupt silent moments; they do not express any judgments nor criticisms, and they do not give advice unless asked to. Each member is invited to talk about himself using "I" messages rather than “we” or “us”. They are invited to talk about their feelings and emotions rather than describe events. To give a simple example, we encourage to talk about how they feel when they sit in their car and drive around rather than talk about the type of engine, colour, or seat fabric.
Each man is free to talk about wathever is of concern to him and is free to tell as much or as little as he wants within his allotted speaking time. Men never have to talk about things they don’t want to talk about, though we encourage them to talk about why they wish not to talk.
Groups are invited to respect each member’s situation, limitations and differences.
The presence of and listening by other group members helps men get in touch with their inner selves. Listening to other group members enables men to discover more about themselves and discover what they have in common and allows them to discover different aspects of men’s inner life. All this helps men pursue their personal growth and well-being.
Groups also use
experiential exercises and workshops
. These activities are designed to make men live an emotional experience, to make them feel emotions such as frustration, anger, love, etc. in their body before they talk about them. This allows one’s mind to be more in touch with the real emotions rather than intellectualized thoughts. This allows being more true in subsequent communications with the group.
The RHQ develops training and facilitation tools to help groups function better; it offers support services such as training in listening skills, group facilitation, and conflict resolution. The network offers an electronic news bulletin, as well as an Intranet web site to distribute information to its members. The network also offers self-discovery activities such as workshops, conferences and forums to expose men to things different from what they experience within their group.
The Quebec Men’s Network has been so successful that other networks have been created in other French speaking countries: France, Belgium and Switzerland.
The Quebec Men’s Network is involved in a number of partnerships:
First, we are
recognized by the Quebec Government
and we are subsidized by Quebec's Health and Social Services Ministry.
We have partnerships with
many of Quebecs CLSC's
, the local points of service of the government's health and social services network.
We have partnerships with
many individual non-profit organizations
that provide services to men.
We are a founding member of four
regional coordination commitees
for organizations that provide services to men: Outaouais, Montreal, Drummondville, and Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean.
We are a founding member of the Provincial Association of Non-Profit Organizations Providing Health and Social Services to Men, a
provincial coordination commitee
for organizations that provide services to men.
We are partners with
Men’s Networks in other French speaking countries
: France, Belgium and Switzerland.
For more information,
other pages on this web site at www.rhquebec.org,
toll fee(877) 908-4545 or
send an email
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