This saying was inspired by my Victories involvement. Since 1985, Victories has helped men develop deeper self-understanding, better relationships, and brighter lives. Over the past quarter century, nearly 5,000 men have participated in our programs, and our hope is to reconnect with them all during this anniversary year. http://www.victoriesformen.org/
“Like moss, shames grows in the dark. Bring it to the light and it can’t survive”
We are an organization of men helping men. For more than 25 years, we at Victories have been men who help other men in bringing positive change to themselves and their lives. We begin by recognizing that many of us have been socialized to think that “being a man” means adopting beliefs that can stand in our own way. These include the assumptions that men go it alone, avoid asking for help, address inner pain with silent stoicism, cultivate superficial or aloof associations with other men, deny our feelings and our vulnerability, and interpret the public disclosure of our private selves as a sign of weakness. At Victories of the Heart, we are convinced that true manhood lies in recognizing that there are times when these very behaviors can enrich our lives and our relationships. This is something we help other men discover through weekend and group programs where they can explore a more authentic, more empathic, more satisfying, and more optimistic understanding of what it means to be a man.
We are men building relationships. We recognize that relationships can be both our greatest source of fulfillment and our greatest cause of distress. We also know that satisfying relationships are essential to satisfying lives. Among the most important things we do for men is to assist them in identifying and removing the obstacles that prevent them from enjoying the kinds of relationships they have long sought. Often the starting point is to help them begin improving their opinion of themselves by discovering that, despite what they may have believed, they are good enough and worthy of love.
We focus on personal change. Improving our lives often begins with changing ourselves, a challenge that is can be fraught with fear. Our programs help men discover how to overcome that fear and accept the challenge of change. We guide them in meeting this challenge by providing opportunities to learn more about themselves, to recognize and express their emotions, to communicate more authentically with other men, to discover that what concerns each of them concerns most of them, and to feel better about the man they see in the mirror. As our name suggests, the Victories they achieve are those of the heart – victories that include a deeper connection with others and a greater regard for themselves.
We are professional, experienced and able. Our organization was founded by two highly regarded mental health professionals. More than 80% of the men we serve are referred to us by professionals. Our weekends are developed and reviewed by a committee composed largely of professionals. The teams that lead each of those weekends are always led and trained by at least one senior mental health professional. And the volunteers who facilitate our Personal Growth Groups are also trained by licensed professionals, some of whom serve on the faculties of major universities. As a result of all these factors, our programs meet high standards for confidentiality, safety, integrity, and trust. Although we provide no professional services, we offer effective support to the counselors and wellness professionals who do, often helping them to accelerate the progress of the men they serve.
We offer education. Ultimately, the outcome of our efforts is learning – the kind that can help a man strengthen his relationships and brighten his life. We facilitate such learning in two ways. The first is through the programs we provide directly to men. The second is through the continuing education we offer to professionals, through which they can expand their knowledge of men’s issues while earning high-value, low-cost continuing education units.