Changing Ways Men's Groups
These groups are offered by the Edmonton Family Violence Centre (EFVC). We invite you to find out more about these groups and to check out the frequently asked questions (FAQ) about Changing Ways groups. You can also see some sample handouts that are used in the groups, and read a letter from a Changing Ways client.
Changing Ways is a program for men who are, or have been, abusive to their female partners. The men who come to this group want to stop being abusive and learn ways to build relationships based on equality and mutual respect.
Psychologists and Social Workers lead groups of about 14 men. There are two phases to the Changing Ways program.
Phase I is a 16-week group.
Phase II is an on-going group for advanced skill development.
This group meets for two hours, once a week for 16 weeks. It is led by two professional counsellors, one male and one female.
Some men come to the group because they are mandated by the court, but many others come voluntarily because they realize that they need to find a constructive, healthy way to deal with anger and conflict in their intimate partner relationship.
The goals of the group are to help the man:
- Recognize his abusive actions
- Take responsibility for his abusive actions
- Learn what kinds of attitudes, feelings, and behaviours lead to violence
- Learn non-violent ways to solve conflicts or problems
- Learn skills so he can treat others fairly and without violence
Frequently Asked Questions about Changing Ways Groups provides more detailed information.
For information about registering, call 780-439-4635 ext. 222.
This group is only for men who have finished the 16-week Phase I group. Men who come to this group want to continue learning new skills while getting more comfortable practicing skills learned in Phase I.
Change doesn't happen quickly. It is easy to slip back into old ways of thinking and acting.
Coming to this group may help men continue to make positive changes that will last over time.
The Phase II group meets once a week on an on-going basis. Men are encouraged to come to group as often as possible. Men who are using the skills they learned in Phase I help one another to solve problems without using violence.
Two professional counsellors lead group discussions. The men talk about:
- What they are doing differently to get along better with their female partner
- How they can deal with anger and frustration so they don't hurt others
- How they can deal with conflict and stress in positive ways.
The goals of the group are to:
- Help men to further develop and maintain the skills they learned in Phase I
- Provide understanding and support while the men are trying to make positive changes
If you have completed Phase I and would like information about registering in Phase II, call 780-439-4635 ext. 222.
- How to Get the Most from Your Group Experience (PDF)
- Cool Downs and Time Outs (PDF)
- Self-Talk (PDF)
- The Fence (PDF)
This is an open letter from a man who completed Phase I and continues to attend Phase II group sessions.
My Experience with Changing Ways
My cycle of verbal abuse and physical violence against my wife and family ended the night I was arrested in March 2007. Up to that point, I was in denial about my abusive behavior. I believed that I was the one being mistreated, and I acted like a victim. My deranged way of thinking came to a head when I was sitting in a jail cell. Instead of playing the blame game, I looked inward and started to really think and listen. I felt many emotions: sadness, remorse, guilt, empathy. I decided that I needed to make some immediate changes in my life.
The R.C.M.P. released me from jail on a recognizance order that prohibited me from coming back to the community where I lived. So, there I was, homeless. I had a limited income, several children, vehicles and a house to maintain and no credit cards or savings to access. Where could I go? I spent two days sleeping in my van at a truck stop. On the third day I knew I had to seek some type of help. I called the 211 information line and was given the numbers to the Changing Ways program and Men's Alternative Temporary Housing Supports (MATHS).
My stay at the MATHS lasted approximately 16 weeks. During this time, I worked on getting better mentally, physically and spiritually. I attended and completed phase I of the Changing Ways program, attended the one day parenting course, and spent many hours researching and reading materials on family violence. I made strides toward positive changes in my life. I attended court and took responsibility for my actions.
I am currently following a two year probation order and regularly attend Phase II of the Changing Ways program. My wife and children lovingly accepted me back into our household, for which I am grateful. Every day is a challenge but I believe I am stronger today because of the support & education I have received. This is helping me to progress towards living my life without violence. This goal is part of my everyday life and would not have been possible without the Changing Ways program and MATHS.Back to top of page