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Image by Kelly Sikkema

Support Groups for Dads

Stock Image by Kelly Sikkema

Connecting Dads, Nurturing Fatherhood

Open to dadas, papas, and babas with young people of all ages. Support groups provide a dedicated space for dads to connect, support one another, and thrive in their journey of fatherhood. Being a dad comes with its own unique joys, challenges, and uncertainties. Groups foster a sense of community and provide a welcoming environment for dads from all walks of life. Participation serves as an invitation for ongoing connection and support.

Meeting Dates (In Person)

Tuesday PM, 7-9pm

Mar 19, 26, Apr 9, 16, 30, May 7

Sunday Apr 7, 2:30-4:30pm

Sunday Apr 21, 9:30-11:30am

Thursday AM, 10am-12pm*

Mar 21, 28, Apr 11, 18, May 2, 9

Sunday Apr 7, 2:30-4:30pm

Sunday Apr 21, 9:30-11:30am

Groups consist of 6-11 dads and meet in the Berkeley/Oakland area. Indoors with open windows, masks optional. Updated COVID vaccination required. Weekday meetings are without children. Children are encouraged to join dads for Sunday gatherings.

*Pre-crawling infants ~0-6 months are welcome and encouraged to join Thursday morning meetings.

Membership Fee
In the spirit of financial accessibility, group membership is offered at a sliding scale modeled after Alexis Cunningfolk​.

Standard Membership at $300 is the actual cost of running eight sessions. Making this investment means you might have to cut back on some discretionary spending (restaurant/cafe, concert, new outfit), but the sacrifice is short-term and won't harm you in the long term.

 

Supported Membership at $200 is for those who are able to meet their basic needs but have little-to-no expendable income. You are able to save up to pay for the group, but the Standard Membership would mean saving for longer than 6 months. 

Pay-It-Forward Membership at $400 supports the lower tier of the sliding scale, scholarships, and future free and low-cost programs. It's an opportunity to not only be in the group but also support your fellow community members while you're at it. Super! If you are able to pay for "wants" and spend little time worrying about securing necessities in your life, this price is for you.

About the Facilitator

Andrew Gordon-Kirsch (he/him)

I'm an experienced facilitator and a new dad. When I became a father, I found myself yearning for a community where I could openly discuss my joys, fears, and doubts. It was during these moments of vulnerability that I recognized the need for a support group that could offer empathy, guidance, and a sense of belonging. In hosting these support groups, I do not pose as the Fatherhood Expert. Instead, I combine my curiosity as a new parent with my expertise in facilitation, group dynamics, and men's work to hold space for dads to navigate challenges, celebrate triumphs, and learn from one another's experiences.

IMG_5088_edited.jpg
Andrew with daughter.

For Dads Who Are

Seeking Community: If you're looking to connect with other dads who understand and are eager to share the joys, challenges, and emotional complexities of fatherhood, this group is for you.

 

Navigating Emotional Challenges: Whether you're facing stress, anxiety, work-life balance issues, relationship dynamics, self-care concerns, or intimacy and sexual dynamics, the group provides a supportive space to explore and address these emotional challenges.

 

Interested in Learning and Growing: If you're eager to gain insights and peer-to-peer learning from other dads who have faced similar situations, this group offers a platform for personal and parenting growth.

 

Open to Sharing and Listening: Being able to share your thoughts, experiences, and concerns openly and non-judgmentally is important. The group fosters a culture of active listening, compassion, and respect for each other's journeys.

 

Ready to Build Lasting Connections: This group is for dads who value genuine connections and long-lasting relationships. While not required, participating in the group provides a natural invitation for ongoing connections with fellow dads who are on a similar path.

Discussion Topics 
  • Parenting Identity and Role

  • Work-Life Balance

  • Intimacy and Sex

  • Isolation and Loneliness

  • Stress and Anxiety

  • Self-Care

  • Gender Roles and Stereotypes

  • Emotional Support Networks

  • Balancing Personal Needs and Parental Responsibilities

  • Birth and Adoption Stories

Group Format

Dads’ support groups are designed to provide an intimate and supportive environment. Each group consists of 6 to 11 dads. We meet in the Berkeley/Oakland area a total of eight times: Six meetings on weekdays without children present--allowing for focused discussions and deeper connections--and two weekend meetings where children are encouraged to join--fostering family-friendly interactions and strengthening the bonds between fathers and their kids. The duration is about two months, allowing participants to build meaningful relationships, navigate fatherhood challenges together, and create opportunities for ongoing community building. Pre-crawling infants (~0-6 months) are welcome to join Thursday morning meetings. COVID protocol: Updated COVID vaccination required for adults and eligible infants. We meet indoors with windows open, masks optional. Please do not come if you're sick or believe you have been recently exposed. Our meeting space is up two flights of stairs. If this is unaccessible for you, please let me know via the interest form or email.

Virtual Groups

Groups meet in person in the East Bay. If this is not accessible for you due to health, location, or other concerns, please sign up for the virtual group waitlist and you’ll be contacted when a virtual group opens.

Acknowledgement to Co-Parents

To the co-parents of the dads in our group, thank you for your unwavering support. Your willingness to shoulder the extra workload and provide care for our children allows us to fully engage in meaningful discussions and personal growth as fathers. Thank you for being our partners in this journey. Together, we can build stronger families and create a community where the joys and challenges of fatherhood are embraced and supported.

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