Male Trauma 101: Engaging Males to Heal from Trauma

Sharon Imperato

This workshop will provide an overview to help providers understand the fundamental dynamics of trauma as well as the impact when trauma intersects with masculinities. With an emphasis on clinical application including public safety fields, the presenter will utilize a variety of learning strategies, incorporating both didactic instruction and experiential learning. The range of topics to be addressed include: traditional and contemporary paradigms for understanding gender socialization, the variety of circumstances in which males may experience trauma, the residual effects of trauma for males, and clinical awareness to help therapists identify undisclosed or unrealized trauma which is at the root of other presenting problems. Attention will be given to barriers for men to access clinical treatment, trauma-informed ethical treatment guidelines, and therapeutic approaches for engaging males in their healing. Consideration will be given to the spectrum of variables that impact if, how, &/or when a male trauma victim may choose to enter into a trauma-focused healing process. The ethical responsibilities of self-care as a foundational priority – for both provider and client – will be carefully woven into the day-long workshop.

Learning Objectives
• Describe how male gender socialization impacts men who have experienced trauma
• Identify four barriers that prevent traumatized males from engaging in a therapeutic relationship
• Understand a basic overview of the biological, neurobiological and psychological impacts of trauma
• Identify six phases of healing for men who have experienced trauma
• Describe four qualities of therapists needed in the ethical treatment of traumatized males
• Identify three ethical bases for therapists to overcome barriers to self-care

Sharon Imperato, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) and trained Rape Crisis Counselor in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where she has been working in the field of sexual trauma for over 15 years. Sharon is currently the Manager of Clinical Services at the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. Sharon was member of the MaleSurvivor Weekend of Recovery Clinical and training teams. She has extensive experience in counseling (individual, group, couples, and family) and works extensively with all survivors and significant others of sexual trauma. Sharon is also an experienced trainer and has facilitated trainings ranging from how to appropriately respond to disclosures of sexual violence, to advanced clinical skills trainings for clinicians working with sexual trauma survivors, to how to provide services to male survivors of sexual trauma, for: students, military personnel, corrections personnel (under PREA grants), first responders, medical professionals, clinicians, and other service professionals. She has provided trainings to university counseling centers and has been a guest lecturer for undergraduate and graduate classes at Tufts University, Northeastern University, and Boston University. Sharon has been an adjunct faculty member at Boston University and Lesley University, was a trauma specialist at other Boston area universities, and maintained a private practice in Cambridge, MA for over 7 years where she provided services to clients as well as clinical supervision and consultation to other professionals on the issues of sexual trauma.



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