Sunday 29 June
In this presentation, we explore the hope that EMDR can provide for male survivors who have been charged with domestic offences. The presenter’s hypothesis that these men require an approach tailored to their trauma histories. Many of the current treatment approaches are inadequate as they fail to recognize their trauma histories, as such having the potential to further silence men from processing their traumatic experiences. The treatment being proposed would continue to incorporate many of the cognitive-behavioural approaches rooted in the feminist program. However, the treatment would also address the cultural oppressions these men experience to conform to the “male code”, while also coping with the impact of attachment injuries and trauma.
Drawing on Masters and PhD-level research, this presentation will overview profiles of men who have been charged domestic offences who are also male survivors of abuse. It is understood that childhood abuse is a predictor of risk for future violence and that this is not often addressed within the current treatment programs for this mandated population. This presentation will propose that an EMDR approach to this population would be effective in addressing the trauma history and shift the violent behaviour seen within their intimate relationship as an adult. By drawing on case examples and outlining our future research with this population, we hope to begin dialogue and engagement with other practitioners on effective interventions for a client population that is often overlooked and shamed rather than healed. Our goal is to begin this dialogue to start the change process in how we work with men in the hopes of alleviating their distress and in the hopes of keeping women and children safe.
In her career, Michelle has specialized in trauma therapy with individuals and is passionate about the changes EMDR offers to her clients’ lives. Michelle is equally passionate about research and practice, and believes that practice-based-research is a way she can merge her two interests. Michelle is a PhD candidate in Clinical Social Work focusing her research on traumatic histories of offenders charged with domestic violence offences. She is also a psychotherapist in private practice working towards her EMDR Certification. She has experience in forensic and rehabilitative psychotherapy, as well as serving victims and marginalized members of her community.