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Treating Male Trauma  

Although rates of PTSD are lower among men relative to women in the general US population, men are exposed to more traumatic events across their lifetime. Men may express trauma reactions in ways that differ from women, with greater tendencies toward externalized distress (i.e., substance abuse, aggression or violence, and compulsive sexual behaviors). The processes of gender role socialization operate throughout childhood and into adulthood, often overtly discouraging male expressions of distress and vulnerability, while promoting self-reliance, risk-taking, and “toughness.” Issues related to stoicism, perceived stigma associated with mental health concerns, and alexithymia (i.e., the ability to identify and communicate emotions) may obscure many men’s post-traumatic difficulties and represent barriers to help-seeking, treatment-engagement, and response to psychotherapy. As such, when men with trauma histories do present for treatment, the course of psychotherapy is often very challenging for both patients and therapists.

This workshop is designed to be a resource for mental health therapists who interact with and treat men who are demonstrating post-traumatic symptoms (PTSD, depression, moral injury, grief, and or adjustment difficulties). Dr. Jakupcak will describe common clinical presentations and unique challenges to working with specific subgroups of trauma exposed men, including military/veteran populations, first-responders (police, firefighters, medics/EMTs), and male victims of childhood or adult sexual trauma. The workshop will incorporate information from reviews of the empirical literature, descriptions of clinical cases, as well as observations and recommendations for treatment. Open discussions and audience participation is encouraged.

Trainer: Matthew Jakupcak, Ph.D.

Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to:
  • Describe research findings specific to masculine gender norms and Western cultures’ prescriptions for “masculinity” that inform gender socialization and emotional development in men;
  • Recognize gender differences and specific features and clinical presentations of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), moral injury, depression, complicated grief, anger/aggression, substance use disorders, and adjustment difficulties common to men;
  • Address the challenges of engaging and maintaining adherence to mental health treatment when working with trauma-exposed men;
  • Identify and address special challenges pertaining to different treatment formats (i.e., group psychotherapy and couples therapy), treatment-settings (outpatient and inpatient mental health treatment and primary-care based therapy), and gender-informed dynamics that can emerge for male and female therapists working with male trauma

Cost: Free!

Workshop cancellation requests that occur on or inside a three business day window of the event date will be subject to a $20 administrative fee. Please note that if you register and do not attend, you are still liable for the administrative fee. Collection of this fee will occur via telephone within two weeks of training date. Non-payment of the cancellation fee will result in the loss of workshop privileges (i.e. participant will be unable to register for future VTSC events).

Parking: $3/day on campus (pay at the Kiosk in front of the Colin Education Hall)

Free CEs & Clock Hours: Workshop certificate documents hours of instruction toward Continuing Education. Clock-hour forms are available free upon completion of the workshop. The Veterans Training Support Center is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. VTSC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a new registrant signing up for a workshop, you will be directed to make an account after you click "Add to Cart" below. Once you have created a new account, your workshop registration is NOT COMPLETE. You must go to "View Cart" in the top right corner of your page and continue checking out.

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