About the Founder
Journey Into Manhood was created in 2002 by Rich Wyler, a man who had personally experienced a significant transformation from his former same-sex attractions through therapy for underlying issues, along with a men’s experiential-healing retreat and follow-up community, Twelve Step work, and a personal spiritual journey.
He further developed the weekend program over the next few years in close collaboration with a psychotherapist and licensed professional counselor who specialized in working with men conflicted over their same-sex attractions. Rich later created the Journey Continues experiential weekend and co-created the Wife’s Healing Journey weekend experience. Rich is founder and executive director of Brothers on a Road Less Traveled and a certified life coach at Higher Path Life Coaching.
(See “Founding & Growth” for more.)
About the Volunteer Staff
Journey Into Manhood is run by about 15-20 men who volunteer their time because they care deeply about supporting men’s healing and personal growth.
Most of the volunteers come from an SSA background themselves. Some are men who have always been heterosexual but have significant experience mentoring SSA men or facilitating men’s emotional healing work generally.
Volunteers either are not professional therapists or are not serving in that professional capacity in the course of the weekend.
About the Participants
All are men at least 21 years old. The maximum number of participants per event is 32. The average is about 22 participants.
Since the first Journey Into Manhood in January 2002, more than 2,500 men from more than 45 U.S. states and more than 40 countries have been through the program.
Typically, participants range in age from 21 to 60-plus, but most are in their 20s to 40s. The average age is about 35.
Usually, about a third are married (often with children) and working to keep their marriages intact. Most (but not all) attendees are religious. Most are Christians (of every denominational variety), Jews and Muslims.
Most have struggled relatively secretly with unwanted same-sex attractions over a period of years. Some have been sexually active, but others have not. A minority were openly gay before opting to leave a gay lifestyle.
Some participants are heterosexual men who are attending in order to explore issues related to men and masculinity, self-esteem, unresolved pain from various life experiences or past relationships, or related issues.