heal trauma

Therapy for Male Survivors of Trauma IN NEW YORK CITY

It’s okay to let your walls down — your struggles are valid.

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We Specialize in Therapy for Male Survivors of Trauma

Traditional masculine gender roles hold men to a high standard. Society expects men to always be strong, confident, and independent. In the supposedly “ideal” man, there’s little to no room for weakness or emotion.

While this ideal is seen as admirable, in truth, it goes against basic human nature. When humans are stressed, emotion is a basic and natural response. Being able to acknowledge these emotions openly is an integral part of addressing unresolved issues or trauma, but many men resign themselves to the ideals society has set for them. Instead of accepting their human nature, they attempt to hold themselves to unrealistic standards and constantly suffer the fear of violating these perceived norms. 

As a man, you might have grown up to believe that you’re infallible. “Men can’t be survivors of abuse because they can’t even be abused — their strength wouldn’t allow them to be.” 

However, trauma doesn’t pick its victims. The definition of trauma covers an expansive range of adverse experiences and can vary from person to person, and men are as vulnerable to it as women are. Traumatic experiences can look like:

  • Emotional abuse — Often a more subtle form of abuse, which you may not realize has occurred until someone points it out to you. For example, living with a parent or loved one with a personality disorder can leave you feeling isolated, trapped, depressed, or suffering from complex PTSD.

  • Traumatic events — Events such as the death of a loved one, a near-death experience, being in war or combat, etc., can leave a lasting mark on your psyche.

  • Domestic violence or physical abuse — Despite society’s misguided ideals, male victims of physical abuse exist. 1 in 4 men has experienced physical violence (e.g. pushing, shoving, slapping, etc.) committed by a partner. 1 in 7 men has experienced extreme physical violence (e.g. strangling, burning, beating, etc.) committed by a partner. 1 in 25 men has been injured by a partner. 

  • Sexual assault or sexual abuse — Many people, including men themselves, don’t believe that men can be victims of sexual assault or abuse, which can lead to survivors feeling invalidated and trivialized. Sexual assault or abuse can take the form of any unwanted sexual advances (be it physical, verbal, or written), often involving threats, force, or a power imbalance between the perpetrator and the victim.  

Unfortunately, these statistics likely suffer from a lack of reporting due to the stigma surrounding male abuse. Many men don’t identify or struggle to identify their abuse as such, because society’s standards of “strength” and “weakness” have become deeply ingrained in their self-image. 

If you’re unsure that you’ve experienced trauma, it’s helpful to learn the signs of what you’re going through and how you can get out of the situation.  

What Does Trauma Feel Like?

Even when you feel like the things you’ve experienced may have overwhelmed your ability to cope with them, you may be hesitant to label them as trauma. “How do I know if I’ve experienced trauma? What if I’m just blowing an issue out of proportion and it’s all in my head?” 

Often, male clients may enter therapy for relationship concerns. They come to us with questions like “Why do I keep cheating on my partner? Why is it difficult for me to open up or get close to someone else? Why do I feel trapped in my relationship?” Later on, a past history of trauma surfaces. 

It’s important to understand that trauma looks and feels different from person to person. If you’re suffering from problems like PTSD, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, anger management issues, or substance abuse but are unable to pinpoint their cause or resolve them in a productive manner, you may want to consider seeking professional help. 

What Does Therapy for Male Survivors of Trauma Look Like?

How Therapy Can Help Male Survivors of Trauma

Seeking therapy for trauma can be incredibly nerve-wracking. However, when you muster up the courage to reach out and allow yourself to be vulnerable, a therapist can help you build back your self-esteem and mend the psychological wounds you’ve suffered.

Therapy can help you understand how you’ve been impacted by trauma and gradually come to terms with your experiences. It can also help you cultivate good coping mechanisms and encourage a healthier relationship with your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors going forward. 

Therapy can take a range of different forms, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR). Your therapist can work with you to find the approach that best supports your healing. 

        What if I’m Not Ready To Start Therapy?

        If you’re not comfortable with seeing a therapist just yet, there are many online resources we encourage you to explore:

        • 1in6 — 1in6 is a free, anonymous helpline for men who’ve faced sexual assault or abuse. The site also offers helpful resources for understanding your trauma, such as common questions you might have, stories of fellow survivors, facts and myths about male sexual assault or abuse, and more.

        • HelpGuide — HelpGuide is a site geared towards men in an abusive relationship, with resources about the warning signs of domestic abuse, how to leave an abusive relationship, and identifying if you’ve been abused.

        • National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP) — The NCAVP is a nationwide coalition of organizations, member programs, and individuals that seek to protect LGBTQ+ people from violence and hate crimes. They offer informative reports and toolkits for addressing intimate partner violence and hate violence.

          Are you struggling to heal after trauma?

          We can help.

          You don’t have to feel suffocated by your own emotions — we can help you learn strategies to overcome trauma symptoms so that you can enjoy your life again. Don’t be afraid to reach out for a complimentary consultation with a therapist who specializes in therapy for male survivors of trauma in NYC today. 

           

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          Amy Schell, LMHC
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          Ariel Zeigler, Ph.D
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          Caryn Moore, LCSW
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          Christina Mancuso, LCSW
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          Courtney Cohen, LMHC
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          Dimitri Mellos, Ph.D
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          Elena Beharry, Psy.D
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          Eliza Chamblin, LCSW
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          Fanny Ng, Ph.D
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          Gary Brucato, Ph.D
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          Gavin Shafron, Ph.D
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          Jen Oddo, LMSW
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          Jneé Hill, LCSW
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          Joanna Kaminski, LMFT
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          Josh Watson, LMSW
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          Justin L.F. Yong, LMHC
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          Kristin Anderson, LCSW
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          Logan Jones, Psy.D
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          Lucas Saiter, LMHC
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          Melanie Palmietto, LMHC
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          Monica Amorosi, LMHC
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          Peter Gradilone, LMSW
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          Salima Ndoye, LMFT
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