It’s an undeniable reality that the clients seeking treatment for addiction are getting younger each year. Often times, younger male clients will be labeled as defiant, unwilling to make change, lacking acceptance of their addiction and resistant to authority. As a result of these classifications, these young male clients are often discharged or transferred to other facilities and the underlying force behind these destructive behaviors is ignored. This presentation will explore the prevalence of childhood sexual abuse among young men seeking mental health and addiction care and how a history of this may create the defiant client we see before us. Theories of attachment, trauma repetition patterns and an exploration of how trauma and addiction literally changes the undeveloped brains of these young clients will help explain this process. This presentation will explore the importance of finding a tribe: a new group of men to help normalize and make sense of the darkness. It will explore experiential approaches used by the clinical team at The Refuge and ultimately how long-term sobriety and success emerges when we can help a client find strength and meaning in their trauma while writing their recovery story.
Upon completion of this session, attendees will be able to:
Identify the ways unresolved childhood sexual trauma leads to behaviors that impede a young male client’s development as well as their path to recovery.
Assess the importance of finding a new tribe of men where re-learning of healthy coping skills can begin, normalization can occur and trauma healing may begin.
Explain experiential techniques employed by the clinical team members at The Refuge to break these destructive patterns, and assess the importance of finding meaning and strength from trauma to provide a more solid foundation for long-term healing.