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M.E.N.D.S. > Values Statement

Values Statement

MENDS programs are designed around, and the organisation aims always to function upon, the following values. We commit to living these values in all our dealings. We invite challenge, if at any point an observer feels that a gap exists between the following and what is observed as our behaviour:

  • Personal Responsibility - Understanding where one's personal responsibility starts and ends is held to be the only viable foundation for being humanly effective and accepting what is outside one's personal sphere of control.
  • Personal Consciousness - The commitment to being alert and present enables informed decisions based on personal, interpersonal and situational needs.
  • Marriage and Commitment to Relationship - We maintain that one of the most effective places to discover one's self and therefore identify a foundation for satisfying personal development is within the intimacy of a close, personal, and where achievable, long-lasting relationship.
  • The Termination of Significant Relationships - We hold that significant relationships have been built upon significant investment so therefore believe that the termination of such relationships by either party should be an action of a last resort, and most particularly where children are involved. MENDS regards a safe, healthy family environment with the natural parents as the preferred environment for raising healthy children.
  • The Significance of Parental Relations for Healthy Child Development - MENDS maintains that both natural parents hold particular significance for the development of healthy self-esteem for their children which stewardship does not alter following parental relationship breakdown. MENDS does all in its power to encourage parents to resolve their differences and to deal with each other civilly in the interests of the health and wellbeing of their children.
  • Men in a Changing World - The influence of feminist thinking is acknowledged as predominantly a healthy step in human development. MENDS believes Australian men can benefit through becoming more aware of the roles they have unconsciously adopted in a changing world. Men and healthy masculinity have much of value to offer community and humanity.
  • MENDS as a Men's-Only Program - MENDS has been designed as a men's program run by men, not because there is any design to exclude women perse, but to accelerate the healing of men. Further, as men can gain skills and confidence in differentiating between sexuality and intimacy, they can have richer relationships with other men, thereby reducing the tendency to rush into other relationships with women for less than healthy reasons. The program acknowledges that men who are excessively reliant upon women are in no fit state to be in a healthy relationship.
  • Healthy Men and Community - MENDS believes the human race is primarily social in nature and therefore the movement away from community is seen as unhealthy for men individually and for society as a whole. We encourage men to make the effort to connect or reconnect with other men and women in community in many spheres of human endeavour, including accepting responsibility and being pro-active in solving many of our shared problems.
  • Conflict and its Resolution - Conflict and anger are not seen as bad in themselves; indeed they are seen as providing much of the energy to effect change. Their healthy expression is maintained to be necessary, in creating fairer and more honest interpersonal and social outcomes.
  • Anger, Violence and Safety - MENDS operates on the explicit belief that anger is one of the basic human emotions whose denial and suppression is unhealthy, but that its expression as violence is unacceptable and destructive. We promote mens development of emotional literacy, including the ability to identify the development of frustration and anger early and to deal with high-risk emotional states in a personally and socially responsible manner.
  • Diversity - MENDS programs are developed and delivered to make them accessible in every way possible to men experiencing difficulty after relationship breakdown. It is acknowledged that relationship breakdown is not exclusive to men of dominant community groups, so within the financial restrictions imposed by the delivery of a new service, MENDS commits to maximum accessibility of the program to men regardless of their physical or financial constraints, religious beliefs, cultural or ethnic roots, sexual preference, age or locality.

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