Men's Work

My interview with BBC Radio Sheffield

For all who missed it, I was on the local BBC radio afternoon show with Rony Robinson last week. I was certainly nervous but I feel like I gave my truth and I hope you enjoy it.

The BBC have informed me the interview will be available for free listening for 30 days. After which, it will disappear into the archives. So please have a listen if you want to hear me talk about my life, how I discovered herbal medicine and how it helped my mental health problems better than anything before.

Skip to 1 hour 35. I am on for about 20 minutes (with a Pink Floyd track in the middle). Please share the link with anyone you know who is suffering with mental health issues and see if this can bring them some hope or clarity that there is another potential way to solve the crisis of serious mental disorders.

The link is available here:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/

If you have any questions about the interview, in regards to any topics or information we spoke of then feel free to contact me via the email listed below. I have numerous patients with mental health problems that see me for help using herbal medicine and nutritional support.

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

New Sheffield Men's Group Looking For Men to Join

Beginning Wednesday 6th of February in Sheffield, from 19:15 - 22:00.

Come along to meet the facilitators and understand how, why and what we will be doing as men. This is an opportunity to step into the unknown with every chance that this will help you discover what being a man means to you.

The group will meet for 8 sessions on alternate Wednesdays with every meeting being led by experienced men. No need to have had any prior exposure to ‘men’s work’, therapy or self-development programs. You just need a desire to turn -up and explore your willingness to be among other men who want a more authentic expression and better experience of life.

I plan to be co-facilitating every meeting with the other men involved so please get in touch if you feel called to developing yourself with other participants. Your first session is free and is a chance to really feel if this group and program is right for you. However, YOU MUST CONTACT US TO BOOK YOUR PLACE AT THE FIRST SESSION.

Men Group 2.jpg

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary

Men's work - My journey so far

I started engaging with men’s self development approximately 2 years ago. My first steps were with a non-affiliated organisation in Manchester that would meet monthly for food, a talking circle and some sort of workshop led by a member of the group. Many workshops ended up being incredibly rewarding as we shared meditations, lectures and interactive body movement sessions that involved us stepping out of the ‘mould’ and challenging ourselves a little bit. I even led a workshop on herbal medicine.

I started to really look forward to these meetings as I realised how rewarding it felt to be heard by other men when I shared what was happening in my life. I also became aware of how important it was for me to spend time with older men who had gone through challenging life experiences who I could ask to help me with feedback on situations that were current for me.

Overall I was happy with my first steps into men’s work but the truth was I yearned for more. Within the group I noticed men who had become drawn to an organisation called the ManKind Project (MKP). This involved men traveling to a centre to go through an initiation that meant they could then access their local MKP group that meets weekly or every other week. I was quite fascinated by the sound of the initiation even though those who do it swear not to talk about the intricacies of the weekend with others. Fortunately I was lucky enough to see men from the non-affiliated group go to complete their initiation and return. It was upon witnessing their return that my desire for deeper men’s work really began to burn.

I instantly noticed a difference in the men who were involved with MKP or who had returned from their initiation. Their demeanour, language, communication and presence was infatuating. They clearly looked and felt different to me. It wasn’t too long after sharing space with these new MKP men that I knew I had to take that journey into the mystery myself. I could feel the fire burning within and I couldn’t rest until those deeper steps were taken.

Fast forward to June this year and I finally made my trip to Droghada, Ireland to attend my initiation with MKP. Before traveling I had stuffed my mind with some classic men’s development books. The most helpful being ‘King, Warrior, Magician, Lover: Rediscovering the archetypes of the mature masculine’ by Gillette and Moore. This book really laid down the foundation of how men’s work with MKP really takes hold. The theory is that men have 4 innate archetypes that have perpetuated history, art, culture, media and psychology since men were men. Within each man the archetypes take shape in certain ways that can be immature or mature with a shadow element attached to each one. If men do not develop their souls then each archetype can be an immature manifestation with darker shadow aspects that will exhibit themselves in negative behaviour patterns. This theory was part of the psychologist Carl Jung’s work on male psychology. This book lays them out in a clear and concise pattern for men to understand the foundation of men’s work. I experienced a lot of identification with descriptions of each archetype and how I felt each one within me was more mature or immature than the others.

With a basic understanding of the archetypes I attended my initiation and have never looked back. The initiation is centred around the warrior archetype and gives all men who complete it the same foundation or footing with which to engage in MKP circles or trainings. I have since attended numerous local MKP weekly meetings and further training with the organisation.

ManKind Project Logo

My personal growth has been quite unbelievable to behold. Working on darker elements of my psychology that hold me back or sabotage myself and others around me. I feel that MKP and the archetypes have given me a map or compass with which to become aware of how my mind can be a source of power but also a source of darkness. This is becoming a powerful project where I have already seen an incredible amount of growth in just 6 months. I feel like my confidence has improved, my relationships with friends and family, I feel like I am more honest and also more on time to events or meetings. I have even noticed that my food intolerances have improved. Coffee is now something that really elevates me and doesn’t make me anxious and even gluten is now something I eat at the dinner table. I believe all of these reflect a more balanced, integrated and developed growth within me to become the man of integrity I have now seen in older men who are part of MKP.

My clinical work has also improved as i begin to notice the archetypes at play in my male patients. This has been crucial to helping me understand more about addiction, self-harm, mental health problems and male psychology.

Overall this path of men’s work has become something far greater than I could have imagined when I first took those steps 2 years ago. I have my brothers by my side and the bond I feel with these men grows deeper with every week. Men’s work is here to stay and will only grow as men discover that the way to change the world and yourself is to fully empower and integrate your psyche, your emotions and your vision for a better life and world.

More information about MKP UK and Ireland can be found at: https://mankindprojectuki.org

Jonny Woodall
Medical Herbalist and Flower Essence Therapist
BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine
National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Contact me for help with your health problems and illness

PHONE: +44(0) 7525827558

EMAIL: jonnyapothecary@gmail.com

SKYPE: jonnysapothecary