Nov 05 2010

Victories of the Heart: Progress, not Perfection

Note: This was written and published in 2010 and the VOH Board has continued to make progress in addressing most if not all these issues. They deserve a lot of credit and I acknowledge these positives in another post.
The Victories of the Heart (VOH) internal decision-making process is not an open book, so it’s tough to really know what’s happening.
However, a quick review of their website suggests VOH may be making some progress organizationally.

Here are some quick observations of this progress, some current challenges, and one recommended change which could help make some dramatic progress.


  • Selection of many new leaders who are bright, trained, competent, and able to work collaboratively.
  • Breakthrough weekend leaders have received specialized psychodrama training, prior to being named leaders.
  • Developing ethical policies and standards
    • Beginning to shift to a team leadership model from the  two leader model.
    • Detailed annotated bibliography of articles and books influencing their programs.
    • Creation of internal organizational structures and processes to better ensure competent and ethical programming benefiting participants.


      • Creating relevant and respectful programs for men based on needs of the men, rather than the interest, needs, and bias’ of leaders.
      • Terminating the damage of dual relationships caused by therapist leaders “recruiting” their clients to participate in VOH programs, blurring boundaries, and violating the therapist responsibility to care first for their client.
      • Evaluating whether the organization is capable of promoting three very different programs into the future.
        • Building in processes which ensure more collaboration, less competition among leaders.
        • Evaluating and changing aspects of their programs which may demand too much disclosure.
        • Bringing the discussion and description of programs down to a more realistic level, so expectations of participants will meet their experience, especially for after weekend support groups
        • What to do about voice-mails, a rat and pot.
          • Build more health oriented activities like yoga into programs.

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