THE POWER OF A TRIBE
by Hayne Steen, MAMFT
"A TRIBE is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate." -Seth Godin
Did you know the most feared punishment for even the most hardened criminal is solitary confinement? In 2013, over 30,000 inmates at a maximum security prison in California went on a hunger strike in opposition to years and even decades of their state's harsh use of solitary confinement.
Wired Magazine picked up the news in an article featured last year titled, The Horrible Psychology of Solitary Confinement. The article reads;
"For 23 hours or more per day, in what’s euphemistically called “administrative segregation” or “special housing,” prisoners are kept in bathroom-sized cells, under fluorescent lights that never shut off. Video surveillance is constant. Social contact is restricted to rare glimpses of other prisoners. The human brain is ill-adapted to such conditions, and activists and some psychologists equate it to torture. Solitary confinement isn’t merely uncomfortable, they say, but such an anathema to human needs that it often drives prisoners mad. In isolation, people become anxious and angry, prone to hallucinations and wild mood swings, and unable to control their impulses. The problems are even worse in people predisposed to mental illness, and can wreak long-lasting changes in prisoners’ minds."
Recently over lunch, a retired psychologist friend of mine shared a startling statistic with me. He described that over 60% of men and women living in nursing homes today in the United States will not receive even one outside visitor in one year. His comment was, "That, my friend, is called solitary confinement."
Two populations of our culture (prisons and nursing homes) punctuate to me the raw necessity of experiencing meaningful human connection.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We were never meant to live live alone. All of creation announces this truth;
- Birds have a flock.
- Cows have a herd.
- Fish have a school.
- Dogs have a pack.
- Dolphins have a pod.
- Ants have a colony.
- Apes have a troop.
- Caterpillars have an army.
- Lions have a pride.
- Cobras have a quiver
- People have a TRIBE.
Every guy needs a TRIBE. That's why Greg Seymour and I will begin offering 4 unique process groups for guys called TRIBE on Monday and Tuesday evenings.
TRIBE is a brand new group therapy environment at Elbow Tree growing from our growing awareness of the current limitation for offerings like this dedicated specifically to guys in the greater Chattanooga area.
TRIBE is extremely affordable at just $50 per session. *Individual therapy with Greg or Hayne is also available at normal practice rates.
REGISTER NOW FOR TRIBE
Target | Middle School guys in 6-8th grade
Timing | Every Monday from 6:00-7:15pm beginning January 12, 2015.
Theme | Middle school can be especially brutal. Any given day can be marked by meer survival (emotionally, socially, spirtually). It can seem near impossible to find a safe confidential place to make real good sense of overwhelming feelings like anxiety, anger, loneliness, hurt, shame or guilt. Traveling through this dynamic season alone only makes the experience even more painful and isolating.
Target | High School guys in 9-12th grade
Timing | Every Monday from 7:15-8:30pm beginning January 12, 2015.
Theme | Embracing Our Story - "We all have a story that needs to be told – whether it is a story of hope, love, and faith or a story of betrayal, powerlessness, and harm. But often, we are unable to face these stories. We know there are core experiences of pain from our past that unwittingly impact the story of the present and the story of our future. Many of these stories have remained unnamed and hidden in the shadows of our hearts, allowing them to wield unrecognized power and create structures of shame and contempt in our lives. These are the stories that keep us bound to unhealthy ways of relating to ourselves, to others, and to God." - Dan Allender
Target | College age guys (ages 18-22)
Timing | Every Tuesday from 6:00-7:15pm beginning January 12, 2015.
Theme | Companioning - "We want to be self-sufficient. Find our own direction as we pursue our dreams. Know it all and never ask for help. Isn’t this how most guys approach manhood? On our own, pretending we are doing better than we really are? But sooner or later the thrill of independence gets lost in the fog of isolation. It’s time to take the pressure off. We were never meant to figure life out on our own. It is an invitation into a journey: either to be the son who receives fathering or the father who learns what must be spoken. Most important, these conversations speak to a searching generation: “You are not alone. Its not all up to you. You are going to find your way.” -John Eldridge
Target | Men in the workforce (ages 23+)
Timing | Every Tuesday from 7:15-8:30pm beginning January 12, 2015.
Theme | Keeping Heart - "You and I have eight primary feelings. We cannot live in fullness without knowing these feelings. The paradox is that if we choose fullness, we also choose to experience pain. The eight feelings are:, Hurt, Loneliness, Sadness, Anger, Fear, Shame, Guilt, and Gladness. These eight feelings are the voice of the heart. You and I are born knowing and expressing them. When you begin to recognize and listen to your heart again, it will recognize you and guide you to the place where you can start to live life in openness. This openness will take you to fuller, richer living through relationship. The voice of the heart is always communicating to us. When the feelings are not exposed truthfully to ourselves, others, and God, the expression that occurs is impaired." -Chip Dodd
TRIBES by Seth Godin
TO BE TOLD by Dan Allender
KILLING LIONS by John & Sam Eldridge
VOICE OF THE HEART by Chip Dodd
OF MICE AND MEN by John Steinbeck
AND SONS MAGAZINE
The films recommended here demonstrate what it looks like to travel with or without companions.
INTO THE WILD
LORD OF THE RINGS
GOOD WILL HUNTING
PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER