Typical Agreements in Open Circles
Safety – I will be responsible for my own safety and & others’, both on a physical & psychological level.
Confidentiality – What I say here is confidential. I will only speak of my own experience and personal learnings. I will not share another man’s work or personal information. This goes a step beyond medical or legal confidentiality, to create a sense of safety for each man.
There may be mandated reporters in attendance – these are people for whom their professional affiliations require them to report situations they become aware of where a minor could be in danger, which would override our group’s confidentiality agreement.
Punctuality – The group will begin on time and end on time. If I arrive late, I will not interrupt the flow of the group.
Ethical Relationships – This is not a business group. No Solicitations. If I need something, I can ask for it before or after the meeting. I can leave literature on the table.
Non-Violence – Violence can be physical, verbal or emotional.
I acknowledge that my words and actions have an impact on those around me.
I am responsible for my words and actions.
Ask Permission – I will ask before processing or touching another person. Sometimes permission is implied; however, each man retains the right to refuse unwanted facilitation or physical contact.
No Drugs or Alcohol – If I am high or have been drinking, I will tell the group.
I accept the choice of the group in handling this.
I will speak openly and truthfully, speaking for myself.
I will speak in “I” statements, not “we” or “you” statements.
I can pass on any process at any time, either temporarily (in which case I’ll be given a second opportunity to participate) or permanently. Any man may STOP a process.
I am not here to give advice. If I want advice, I will ask for it specifically.
I will ask permission before offering feedback.
No Shaming or Moralizing – I will avoid making shame statements about or applying my moral views to others in the circle. Instead, I will own these as my projections.
I am responsible for taking care of myself. If I need something, I will ask for it.
This Open Circle is facilitated by members of the ManKind Project, or “MKP,” an international non-profit education and training organization founded in 1984. Neither MKP nor this Open Circle are associated with any religious practice or political party. Your beliefs are welcome here. The group is not here to sell you anything; attendance is free and there are no obligations nor expectations, financial or otherwise, beyond the ground rules we’ve just mentioned.
The men of MKP have attended a 48 hour primary training called the New Warrior Training Adventure, or “the Training.” To attend the Training, a man needs to pay a fee to cover MKP’s costs to put on the Training. This Open Open Circle and the men of MKP receive no financial benefit from you being here now, nor if you someday choose to attend the Training.
The members of MKP who offer this open men’s group do so because we believe in men and we care about our families, our communities and our planet. Every man in this Open Open Circle is invited to participate fully in the group – to challenge himself. If you are interested in learning more about MKP or the Training after tonight’s group ends, you are invited to take the literature on the table or talk to MKP members.
The Open Circle is a peer-facilitated, not-for-profit educational group. It is not psychotherapy nor a substitute for it. Please consult a licensed mental health professional before making any major life decisions or changes to your current psychotherapy or medication regimens. If you are experiencing homicidal, suicidal, or other dangerous urges please dial 9-1-1 immediately to get help.
The Open Circle adopts and recommends that visitors review the ManKind Project’s Declaration on Mental Health.