*Note* This scheduling program was not designed by folks who do a lot with APA Style and unfortunately it defaults to listing authors in alphabetical order. We cannot fix this for this online schedule, but the author orders are posted in the order submitted in the printed program available via pdf here.
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Sunday, March 8 • 10:05am - 11:20am
Group Therapy for Male Survivors: Beneficial Aspects

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Male sexual abuse (MSA) is an understudied phenomenon impacting more than 4 to 5 million men in the United States. As is the case for female survivors, male survivors would benefit from being considered in the planning and tailoring of sexual abuse treatments. Making all voices heard, including those of male survivors, may impact traditional gender stereotypes that feminism seeks to deconstruct. Although there are difficulties that make the inclusion of male survivors a challenge, like the pervasive male perpetrator/female victim paradigm, male survivors would benefit from being recognized as individuals who have suffered devastating trauma and should be made to feel welcome in receiving mental health services. Perhaps this recognition would assist to balance out the challenges associated with under-reporting and underutilization of services, whilst moving the field beyond inclusion, so as to embrace the marginalized within the survivor community. One way to promote this shift is to include the perspective of male survivors in research aimed to identify beneficial aspects of sexual abuse treatment. Group therapy is an effective treatment modality for male survivors, yet there are limited studies utilizing male survivor perceptions of the treatment experience. The current study used a qualitative approach to explore six male survivors and their perceptions of the beneficial aspects of sexual abuse group therapy. Preliminary findings suggest that the following aspects of group therapy may be notably beneficial to the participants interviewed: facilitator’s validation and expression of empathy, group membership with other men who have experienced sexual abuse, facilitator’s survivor status, hearing fellow group member’s abuse stories, discussing shame, blame, and guilt, and the facilitator’s willingness to self-disclose. These results may contribute to a foundational knowledge base necessary for future research and may promote further inclusion of male survivors into the survivor community.

Sunday March 8, 2015 10:05am - 11:20am