Men bouncing back from domestic violence

Posted on 27th May 2021

Compensatory consequences & positive adaptions to intimate partner violence.

Experiences of trauma can have devastating effects which can be life changing, resulting in negative physical and psychological results including PTSD, depression, substance abuse, heart disease and suicide. However, it has been suggested that the extensive focus on the negative consequences leads clinicians to form a pathological bias towards what are normal reactions to trauma, which prevents a complete picture of how trauma victims adapt.

Conversely, there is an emerging field that investigates positive changes that may occur due to the adaption to trauma. These compensatory consequences include, increased personal strength and self-esteem, higher levels of empathy and social connections, greater appreciation of life and improved resilience, which have been shown to reduce the negative impact of post-traumatic stressors.

In traumatic experiences, more men suffer in areas such as military combat, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, imprisonment and suicide. Despite this, men are less likely to seek clinical help for psychological as the traditional treatments may leave men feeling emasculated or shameful. Additionally, men may prefer services that are based on shared experience and peer counseling. The clinical implications for this are that trauma services for men should develop programs that consider the format of delivery, as well as assessing strengths and positive masculine traits.

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