About the Retreat
A New Man is a groundbreaking workshop-retreat designed especially for men who are ready to face internal conflicts over their faith, masculinity, self-image, values, or their relationships with women and with other men.
At A New Man, you’ll encounter the real you — the healthiest, most authentically masculine version of you. Perhaps more than ever before, you’ll catch a vision of the man who God (not society) is calling you to be.
Exploring Through Experience, Not Lecture
A New Man is “experiential.” By that we mean that you’ll explore through experience, not lecture or discussion. Experiential processes are participatory, not passive. These can include experiences like:
- Visualizations or “guided imagery”
- Shame release
- Pondering profound, introspective questions
- Inner-child affirmation and healing
- Emotional processing and release (especially around anger or grief)
- Facing your “stories” and impulses towards women
- Psychodrama (role-playing internal conflicts)
One simple example: You won’t just talk about where you stand with other men. You will in fact stand eye to eye with another man while we help you process whatever beliefs and feelings might arise.
Exploring Underlying Issues
In the course of the weekend, we explore common underlying issues frequently shared by men who experience inner pain from the past, confusion about who they are and their place in the world, interpersonal conflicts, and problematic thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
We explore deep issues like:
- Confusion over what it means to be a man in today’s world.
- Being stuck in old recurring habits and self-destructive patterns.
- How you see women and how you relate to them — and what that says about you.
- Being stuck between passivity and assertiveness when both are supposedly “bad.”
- Self-image, self-worth, and critical self-talk.
- Buried or unresolved anger, fear, or grief.
- People pleasing, being “Mr. Nice Guy.”
- Having been wounded by men
- Having been wounded by women
- Inner conflict over a yearning to bond with other men and have close male friendships in today’s sexually charged world.
- Fear of rejection
- “Father hunger”
- A longing to belong, to be wanted, or included — but fear of being perceived as needy
- A history of being bullied or abused — or being a bully or abuser
My experience at this weekend intensive gave me a much stronger sense of self. It taught me how to be aware of my emotions, what I’m feeling, and why. It helped diminish my shame and pursue getting my authentic needs met in healthy ways.
Group and Individual “Work”
We do this work in large-group sessions or small break-out groups. We allow ample time for men to do their own individual work in various small-group settings.
Structured experiences focus on:
- Recognizing the differences between “stories” (judgments), data (facts), feelings (emotions), and impulses.
- Recognizing core emotions (anger, fear, sadness, joy) versus counter emotions (shame, anxiety, depression, lust, etc.) versus defenses and distractions — and how they affect us differently.
- Understanding projections and transferences and how they affect our responses to people and situations.
- Experiencing radical self-acceptance and “inner child” healing — in real-time.
- Framing your inner-healing and -growth work through the lens of four “MANS” principles:
- Needs fulfillment
- Meeting your “Golden Self” and “Shadow Self”
- Facing some of your deepest wounds — and experiencing breakthroughs in your inner healing.
- Facing your “shadows” around women
- Living the surrender principle — yielding your heart to God
- Your freedom to choose your own life path
We consciously create a safe, supportive yet challenging environment to explore issues, challenge internal “stories” or touch emotions that you may have previously been avoiding.
At A New Man, we face our “stuff” head-on, with courage and rigorous honesty — to the extent that we are ready and willing — rather than hide it or run from it.
Nevertheless, we always honor every man’s free choice. Anyone can “pass” and choose to not participate in any particular process. If you do “pass,” our staff-volunteers will likely ask what is behind that choice for you, but they will never force or pressure you to do anything against your will or to do anything that may not feel quite right to you.
ABOUT THE PEOPLE
About the Participants
Typically, participants in our weekend intensives range in age from 21 to 70s, but most are in their 30s and 40s. The average age is over 35.
The maximum number of participants per event is 24 to 27. The average is about 22 participants.
Participants in our weekend intensives may be single, partnered, married, divorced, or widowed. Most (but not all) attendees are religious. Most are Christians (of every denominational variety), Jews, and Muslims. Some are non-religious or agnostic.
Participants may include businessmen and entrepreneurs, doctors and other medical professionals, lawyers, artists, pastors, school teachers, college students, college professors, engineers, and many others.
All are men who are seeking to resolve inner conflicts and make life choices that are better aligned with their core values, faith, and life goals.
About the Volunteer Staff
A New Man is peer-led and facilitated by men who have been where you are now — men who have done (and continue to do) their own inner healing and personal-growth work.
It is run by about 15-20 men who volunteer their time because they care deeply about supporting men’s healing and personal growth.
Volunteers either are not professional therapists or are not serving in that professional capacity in the course of the weekend.
The retreat gave me new friends, a new community, and new life. It was a total reset in my life, and a fresh start. I’m forever grateful for my weekend experience.
The weekend has shown me that I am not alone in my struggles. That there is hope, but also hard work that I need to do. Through this weekend, I met a lot of other men who are on the same journey as I am, and we support each other in this journey.
It has been an immensely positive experience for me. I did not feel as if I belonged to the world of men until after my weekend. Since then I have been able to grow with and meet some of the most incredible men I have ever met in my life. I have gained self-confidence, self-awareness, sobriety, have matured, and grown in love, truth and strength.
What We Teach and Believe
- You are good and valuable just as you are, right now, today.
- You have brothers who see your “shadows” (weaknesses, blind spots) and love and accept you just as you are.
- Shame never brings about meaningful change, healing, or growth. Bringing our shame into the light by being authentic and vulnerable with a few trusted others can significantly reduce shame and bring about healing and self-acceptance.
- Your beliefs create your internal reality. Change your beliefs (about yourself and others) and you change the world as you know it.
- Sexual feelings are not simply chosen and cannot simply be “unchosen” as an act of conscious will.
- Personal identity, choices, values, and many behaviors are malleable and subject to change. Emotional responses, entrenched habits, and wound-based patterns usually take much more effort to channel, diminish or redirect, but these, too, can be malleable in many cases.
- Many of us have experienced significant and lasting change, healing, and growth in our lives by doing what we call “M.A.N.S. Work” and living these principles in our daily lives. “M.A.N.S. Work” is an acronym that refers to:
- Masculinity: Connecting to our internal sense of masculinity, bonding with other men as brothers, and developing healthier relationships with women.
- Authenticity: Getting real, feeling our feelings, and healing old wounds.
- Needs Fulfillment: Uncovering our true, underlying needs and learning to meet them in healthier ways.
- Surrender: Releasing internal resistance to changing, turning our will and our lives over to God, releasing our attachments to harmful thoughts and behaviors, and finding a higher purpose and meaning through this work.