Masculinity Survivor’s Group

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MSG is a group for persons who identify as masculine (majority of the time) and as a survivor of Relationship & Sexual Violence. It will be closed group, meaning that once the members have been selected there will not be any new members until a new group is started. The purpose of this group is to promote an emotionally safe space for Masculine Identifying Survivors of Relationship and Sexual Violence. Participants will examine their relationship with their masculinity and their perceived options for coping with their experienced trauma. Together the group members will learn new skills to cope with their trauma. Group members will not be expected to process their trauma but learn ways to cope with said trauma.

Group Objectives:

1. Participant will learn and integrate relevant psychoeducation to normalize the participant’s response to their traumatic event and to reinforce accurate cognitions about what has occurred.


  1.  Participant will learn about trauma reactions within the larger framework of masculinity expectations within the context of American culture.
  2. Participant will be able to identify and label their trauma reactions
  3. Participant will learn physiological responses to stimulation that might contradict cognitions/intent of the experienced trauma.

1. Participant will learn and practice various relaxation techniques to reduce the physiological manifestation of stress related to their experienced trauma.


  1. Participant will learn about and identify traumatic stress and how it can somatically manifest.
  2. Participate will be instructed in various relaxation strategies.

1. Participant will learn affect expression and modulation to increase affect regulation and decrease emotional avoidance of strong emotions.


  1. Participant will increase their ability to identify emotions in general and trauma related emotions.
  2. Participant will learn the difference between primary and secondary emotions.
  3. Participant will increase their ability to recognize when they are becoming distressed and utilize self-soothing skills to modulate their mood.
  4. Participant will increase their understanding of traditional masculine role expectations and its hindrance upon affect expression.

General Session Outline:

1. Session One: Introduction session – Establishing group purpose, norms, session flow, and group cohesion.

2. Session Two: Masculinity Psychoeducation

What is a Man? (The cultural perspective) Pg. 360.

  1. Goal One: Each participant will discuss generalized cultural understanding of the ideal man.
  2. Goal Two: Subcultural differences in these understanding will be acknowledged and described.

1. Session Three: Masculine Psychoeducation

What is a Man? (The personal perspective) Pg. 362.

  1. Goal One: Each participant will discuss some personal experiences related to their sense of male development and identity
  2. Goal Two: Each participant will identify some key markers in establishing their sense of being a man.

1. Session Four: Generalized Trauma Psychoeducation

Gaining an Understanding of Trauma Pg. 87

  1. Goal One: Each participant will gain an understating of what is meant by trauma and the role the trauma has played in their life.
  2. Goal Two: Each participant will gain insight into the coping strategies that have helped them deal with the feelings associated with trauma.

1. Session Five: Affect/Feelings Identification and Modulation Skills

The Body Remembers What the Mind Forgets Pg. 96

  1. Goal One: Each participant will begin to identify how their feelings toward their bodies are connected to their experiences of trauma.
  2. Goal Two: Each participant will gain an understanding of how current somatic pains and bodily distress may be connected to prior trauma.

1. Session Six: Traumatic Stress Responses Identification (i.e., Psychological and Emotional)

Abuse and Psychological or Emotional Symptoms Pg. 130

  1. Goal One: Each participant will begin to explore the possible link between past abuse/traumas and intense feelings or dysfunctional behaviors.
  2. Goal Two: Each participant will consider that currently labeled symptoms may have developed originally as responses to trauma.

1. Session Seven: Power/Control and Responsibility Identification Psychoeducation

Blame, Acceptance, and Forgiveness Pg. 184

  1. Goal One: Participants will explore the concepts of blame and responsibility.
  2. Goal Two: Participants will begin to think about the roles of acceptance and forgiveness (of self) in recovery.

1. Session Eight: Identification what is needed to move forward

Personal Healing Pg. 202

  1. Goal One: Participants will gain an understanding of the person process of recovery and will take inventory of their own progress.
  2. Goal Two: Participants will look beyond the group to the next steps in their healing.

1. Session Nine: Progress Review & Participation Ceremony

Closing Ritual Pg. 219

  1. Goal One: Participants will review the progress they made within group.
  2. Goal Two: Participants will have a chance to process their group experiences and say goodbye.

Eligible Participants include the following:
1.      Masculine Identifying majority of the time
2.      Self-identified survivor of Relationship an Sexual Violence
3.      Person who are wanting to learn new coping skills for coping with their trauma. A person who is individual therapy for trauma processing are welcome as well to supplement their individual treatment.

Individual Screening Assessments: Please refer people to me as soon are able. My official time to begin individual screening for group appropriateness will be from January 18 -January 28. However, can start screening people as soon as I have the referral.

Start Date: February 3rd, 2021

Time: TBD but it will be late after to early evening for about 1.5 to 2 hours.

Group Duration: 9 weeks with a break for Spring break.

Who to Contact about group: Matt Fanning


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