The MENS Group
If you think you are abusing your partner or may possess abusive tendencies, the MENS Group is here to help. As part of Women’s Center & Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh, one of the nation’s first women’s shelters, the MENS Group offers counseling and support to help men understand their situation and gain control of their feelings.
How Can I Tell If I’m Abusive?
- Checking your partner’s cellphone or email without their permission
- Repeatedly texting or calling your partner multiple times per day
- Constantly putting down or insulting your partner
- Getting mad if your partner talks to other men/women, or get jealous easily
- Making all the decisions on how to spend money without involving your partner
- Criticizing your partner’s friends or family, and discourage your partner from spending time with them
- Experiencing frequent mood swings
- Having an “explosive temper” or getting extremely upset at the slightest things
- Physically hurting your partner (hitting, punching, slapping, etc.)
- Coercing, forcing or threatening your partner to have sex
- Putting your partner in physical danger (driving drunk, abusing drugs or alcohol)
- Demanding all of your partner’s attention and time
- Always insisting on winning an argument, no matter what
Why Do Men Come to the MENS Group?
In many cases, the men who attend our groups may have been court-mandated or required by probation to do so. They may have also been served with a Protection from Abuse Order or other form of legal notice.
However, many men also come to the MENS Group out of an earnest desire to change themselves, sometimes after being left by their partners. Whatever the reason, our mission to create a positive and open environment to help men who struggle with abusive tendencies to learn constructive ways to cope with their emotions and practice healthy relationship habits.
Helping Abusive Men Change
In the MENS Group, we believe that if you work hard and accept responsibility for your behavior, you can change. The process will be long and difficult, and may be without rewards or support from a partner. But the end result will be a new outlook on life, and a new ability to control your feelings in a positive fashion.
By participating in our program, you will receive guidance from trained experts and support from fellow group members who can understand what you are feeling and help you understand why. You will learn the tools you need to change your attitudes and behavior, and discover that abuse is a choice and not an inevitability. With hard work and commitment, you can change.
Is Alcohol the Reason for Abusive Behavior?
Contrary to popular beliefs, alcohol or drugs do not cause a men to be abusive. Abusive behavior can stem from a variety of sources, often involving personal emotional issues that will vary between men. If a man is violent and also abuses alcohol, then he will have to stop abusing substances in order to make any meaningful progress towards overcoming his abusive behavior.
Alcohol consumption is only of many excuses used to justify and ignore abusive behavior. If you or someone you know uses these excuses to explain away your actions, you need the the MENS Group:
- Drugs and/or alcohol
- I was just angry
- She provoked me
- She made me do it
- I can’t control my temper
- I was trying to make her listen
- I did it for her own good
- I didn’t know what I was doing
- I was just out of control
What Does the MENS Group Teach?
In the MENS Group, we believe in helping men understand themselves and their actions through open discussion and accountability. Meetings and courses can also focus on the following topics:
- The nature of domestic violence
- Strategies for stopping abusive behavior
- How to change attitudes and beliefs
- How to achieve equality in relationships
The MENS Group teaches that there is no excuse for any type of abuse, and such behavior is never provoked by the victim.
Call the MENS Group at 412-687-8017 ext. 340 for help and more information.
Insurance is not accepted. only self pay is accepted. An intake session is required and costs $15. Additional fees may apply on a sliding scale based on income, ranging from $5 to $50 per session for the mandated number of sessions. All paid fees are non-refundable. You can call for a brochure or download it from our publications section for more information.
How Are the Groups Structured?
The group meets for 24 sessions. There is a male facilitator and a female facilitator. Women’s Center & Shelter requires a commitment for the entire length of the program. Failure or refusal to participate in all sessions will impact the effectiveness of the group, and may result in parole or court mandate violations.
Meetings involve presentations and group discussions on issues related to abuse and control. Each man has an opportunity to talk about his problems with violence or abuse and receive feedback from the other group members. Meetings focus on a variety of topics relative to domestic abuse and unhealthy relationships. Additionally we offer take home exercises and teach skills designed to help men be aware of a change in their behavior.
- All personal stories heard within the group are to stay in the group. If a member of the group is found to have broken confidentiality, he will be asked to leave the group.
- No verbal or physical threats will be tolerated. Anyone making such threats will be discharged from the program.
- Appointments need to be canceled at least 24 hours in advance.
- Be on time for appointments and group meetings.
- Each group will vary in size, averaging 5-15 participants
- Classes will last 2 hours and meet once per week for mandated number of sessions (typically 24 sessions)
- Costs will range from $5 to $50 per session, plus a $15 intake fee (nonrefundable)
For more information about the MENS Group, please call 412-687-8017 ext. 340.