Learning About Myself While Helping Others

Hi! My name is Griffin. I use he/him and they/them pronouns. I work at MAX as a Group Facilitator and I’ve worked with several MAX Group programs over the past year. 

My MAX Experience

Within my time at MAX, I’ve had the chance to co-lead two 8-week Skills for Anxiety groups, and one 8-week Body Image group. I also had the chance to help coordinate Totally outRIGHT, a two-weekend community leadership program that took place this past Spring. 

As a Facilitator, I work with MAX group members to create an understanding of the concepts and terms that help us to identify and respond to the challenges we face within the context of our lives. A lot of the time this involves introducing new ideas to the group. Then using activities, active listening, and the right questions to spark discussion and explore participants’ thoughts, feelings, and experiences.

As we move further into a given group, I tend to take a step back and offer participants the opportunity to pilot discussions—this tends to be where the best group work happens.

What I learned

Co-facilitating MAX groups has made me passionate about the power of narratives. I believe that group programs are a great way to grow and learn more about ourselves, while also learning from the stories of others in our community.

One thing I think is really special about MAX groups is that within the time we are together, we seem to collectively create a space where each group member can bring their whole self to weekly discussions and activities, creating a sense of solidarity and support. As groups progress, it is so exciting to see those “lightbulb moments” when participants start making meaning of both our shared and unique experiences. 

As a Co-Facilitator, I feel so fortunate to be a part of MAX group spaces, where I’m constantly reminded of the compassion and resilience that exists in our community. Surprisingly enough, I have actually found that since I started working on MAX groups, I find myself looking forward to Mondays!

Next Steps

My Co-Facilitator William and I are currently preparing for our next 8-week group program on Body Image, which will start on Monday, January 27. This program is one that is near to my heart, and I am so proud to hold space for dialogue surrounding the complex relationships that we as guys into guys sometimes have with our bodies and ourselves.

Thanks for reading! If you are thinking about registering for the upcoming Body Image group, let’s chat! You can send me an email at griffin@maxottawa.ca

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