David Nugent, who was once a violent and abusive person, is now in tune with himself, his family, his children and his life.
He works as a counsellor/psychotherapist and as a facilitator for Men's Behaviour Change Groups. He would rather be known as a coach who helps others get in tune with themselves. David has been involved in men's programs for fifteen years.
He appeared on the ABC Documentary “Primal Fear” where he shared part of his journey of change.
David realized one day that if he did not change his behaviour he would lose his family. Attending a Behaviour Change Group some ten years ago saved his relationship with both his partner and his children. David states, “I am glad I chose to seek help, I have given my partner and step-children a chance to be happy and I am at peace instead of out of control.”
David has continued his work by graduating at Swinburne University Of Technology with a Graduate Certificate in Social Science for Male Family Violence as a group facilitator and Telephone Counsellor.
In 2005 he completed a Post Graduate Diploma in counselling with La Trobe University. Cuurently studying the Specialist Course in Couple Therapy at Relationships Australia.
For five years David facilitated men’s groups at Dandenong Community Health, Box Hill Community Health, and Relationships Australia. As well was a volunteer telephone counsellor for the Men’s Referral Service.
Knowing change is possible; in 2004, David decided to create
and run his own program. Initially, he started it at the Dromana Community House. Due to popular demand, David was invited by Outlook Community Centre to bring the Heavy M.E.T.A.L program to Pakenham. The Heavy M.E.T.A.L program has been at Pakenham (Victoria) since 2004 and has given over 500 men the opportunity to commence their own journey in behaviour change! David provides a counselling service for individuals, couples and teenagers at Cranbourne, Frankston, Pakenham.
In 2006, David was invited to run his program at the Eummerang Secondary College (Endeavour Hills Campus) for year 10 boys who struggle with managing their anger - see 'Media Exposure' for more information. Due to the success of the program, David was invited back in 2007 to run the program for both boys and girls.
Since introducing this program at the school, David has been overwhelmed with the number of parents seeking help with their teenagers. He currently works with many teenagers, who wish to address issues around anger management, self esteem, assertiveness and dealing with parent conflicts.
In 2007 David has continued is work at the Eummerang Secondary College in Endeaour Hills.
In 2008, David appeared with two families he has worked with on the
ABC '4 Corners' documentary - see 'Media Exposure' for more information.
Since this documentary went to air David has been inundated with requests for his help from both Men and Women across Australia.
In July 2008, David was invited by Monash University as a guest lecturer for final year students of Social Work.
David is currently continuing his work with both the Endeavour Hills and Fountain Gate Secondary Colleges. The womens program is becoming more and more popular, see 'Womens Workshops' for more information. This program offers women support with the struggles they have with their partner. The program fundamentally aims at empowerment which is the beginning of healing from the oppression of abuse and violence. The Heavy M.E.T.A.L Group is committed to offering support to women dealing with abuse and it’s affects. Our program for women provides a safe place for women to connect with each other in order to ease isolation, share information, raise awareness, heal by developing coping and recovery skills and plan for a life free from abuse. The women who attend this program are making changes in their lives and are breaking the effects the cycle of violence has on themselves as well as their children.
Due to popular demand, David offers telephone counselling, by arrangement for both individuals and couple who are unable to see him face to face.
- Grad.Cert.Soc.Sci (M.F.V)
- Grad.Cert.Soc.Sci. (M.F.V-MBCGF)
- Grad Dip Counselling & Human Serv. (Latrobe University)
- Member of N.T.V (No to Violence)
- Founder and Director of Heavy M.E.T.A.L
(Men’s Education Toward’s Anger & Life)
A Word From David...
I founded the Heavy M.E.T.A.L (Men’s Education Towards Anger and Life) Group because I believe men with help, can change their tune. It has become clear that there is a great need for this program in the Community. Statistics tell us that men today are suffering more than ever from anxiety, depression, stress, anger, suicidal thoughts, and drug/alcohol abuse. Is change possible? Of course it is! If you can feel comfortable talking to someone who has been through their own journey and knows exactly where you are coming from then you can talk to me. My aim is to show men that changing abusive and violent behaviour is possible and that I am not here to condemn men, I am here to help them and that I understand their fears.
When men or their partners call the HEAVY M.E.T.A.L number, it is me on the other end and I am happy to talk to either partner. The fact that they can really talk to the person that is actually running the program alleviates some misconceptions for them. I like to explain how the program works and how important it is to have support from partners, friends and family members during their 14 week journey throughout the program.
Most men are hesitant to make that initial enquiry and that’s OK, so often their partner phones and asks all the questions. They then relay all the information back to the men and by the time I talk to them, they are quite comfortable in talking to me. It’s very important to me that men who join this program are doing so for the right reasons. We go through this together at the initial Assessment Interview.
The men need to acknowledge that their current behaviour is not just destructive to themselves but also their partner, and most importantly, the children involved in the relationship. The cycle of violence is an ugly one, but, with understanding and re-education, can be broken. Unfortunately, when men and women see the words ‘violence’ or ‘abusive’ they tend to associate both these words with ‘physical’ violence an/or abuse.
There are many forms of abuse which is as equally damaging as physical abuse eg: emotional, verbal, sexual and social. The HEAVY M.E.T.A.L program is for any man who wants to stop hurting his loved one/s, who wants to stop lashing out, and to stop controlling or manipulating, and who is prepared to learn new ways and skills to express themselves, who is after a better way of life for their partner, family and themselves.
The aim of the program is to encourage men to take responsibility for their behaviour before the problem escalates to the point of separation, Police or Court intervention.