The Palisades-Malibu YMCA is offering a group for men ages 50+ starting on Monday evening, Jan. 26 from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The topics covered will include elderhood, aging and loss.
Group leader Kane Phelps calls the group a “men’s wisdom circle,” designed for men who are experiencing their wisdom years and going through life’s transitions such as aging, loss, death of family and loved ones, retirement or divorce. This workshop is a prelude to a six-week wisdom circle that will be offered beginning Monday, Feb. 16.
“Men in our culture rarely have a place where they can talk openly, build trust, promote personal growth and make connections,” Phelps said. “They are typically taught to stifle feelings, to be strong and not show their vulnerability. In addition, they are commonly expected to be fiercely independent with little attention paid to tending of the soul.”
Group activities will include mindfulness exercises and Council practice. Council is a group process which involves sitting in a circle. It’s a practice that has been used for centuries to encourage deep listening and meaningful sharing.
“In our 21st century culture we have become slaves to technology and the media, with little time to attend to our basic need to communicate and to be in community,” Phelps said. “Council is about deep listening, it’s about being heard and bearing witness, it’s about sharing from the heart and it’s about creating community. Circle members may or may not choose to share. The circle, itself, becomes a nourishing container. ”
Phelps is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice in Pacific Palisades and is passionate about men’s work. He has been trained in Council facilitation at the Ojai Foundation and has facilitated Council with diverse groups such as Charter school staff, foster teen boys, Sacred Circle dance camp and with families.
He currently co-facilitates a bereavement group at “Our House,” a nationally recognized grief support center in West Los Angeles. He does counseling for soldiers returning from combat through “The Soldiers Project,” a national program that provides free therapy to vets and their families. In addition, Phelps is vice president of the Palisades Optimist Club.
Men interested in participating are urged to sign up at the YMCA or by calling 310-573-7991 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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