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A Young Man's Guide to Self-Mastery, Community Edition, Journal

  • ID: 5188238
  • Journal
  • April 2021
  • Region: Global
  • 704 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd

Many boys and young men struggling with substance use disorder and the effects of experiencing troubling events face significant challenges as they attempt recovery and healing. Boys who suffer adverse or troubling life events experience significant impairment in neural development (Sheridan, McLaughlin, 2014). This impairment can lead to trouble in critical thinking, trouble in reconciling emotional events, and antisocial behavior. Adolescent males seem to be less averse to risks and tend to experiment with harsher and harder drugs than their fathers were or did (Somaini, et al., 2011). It is estimated that 68% of the 1.3 million teens struggling with substance use disorder are male (NSDUH, 2014). Statistics indicate that traditional treatment is less than effective in helping young men to achieve sustained abstinence leading to recovery from substance use disorders. A recent study cites relapse rates as high as 60-70% (NIH, 2014). While there are multiple mitigating factors which contribute to these dismal results, the underlying theme remains: the helping and the correctional fields are not adequately addressing the needs of boys and young men during the most daunting and confusing time period of their lives. Presently, there are approximately 70,000 boys and young men serving sentences in correctional facilities for drug-related issues (Ayzer & Doyle, 2015). It is estimated that the vast majority of these boys and young men will not receive individualized and comprehensive treatment for their disorder.

In general, boys are socialized to experience a limited version of masculinity. This version of masculinity aspires to control, to power, and to individual self-reliance. It forces a young boy to often live against his core by committing acts that are against his humanity, in an effort to find safety and acceptance.  Male socialization often and violently rips the sensitive side of a boy away, leaving a wounded and incomplete being behind.

We believe that one way to address the needs of these boys and young men lies in a trauma-specific and gender-responsive treatment program. This program should address the impact of socialization, adverse life experiences and substance use. It should present alternative ways to experience the self, others, and society at large by providing alternative adaptive strategies to the difficulties they have faced and are currently facing.

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Introduction for the Facilitator

Part 1. Trauma in the Lives of Boys and Young Men          

The Need for a Trauma-Informed Program for Treating

Substance Use Disorders in Young Men 

The Impact of Trauma on Boys  

Prevalence of Problems Associated with Trauma and Substance Use        

Gender and Developmental Awareness Principles            

Part 2. Theoretical Foundation  

Theories of Adolescent Psychological Development         


The Process of Trauma  

Common Responses to Trauma 

Triggers and Retraumatization  

Dissociation and Grounding        

Trauma and Substance Use Disorders    

Trauma-Informed and Trauma-Responsive Services         

The Therapeutic Environment   

Creating Safety

Dealing with Current Trauma     

Part 3. The Program       

Design of the Facilitator Guide  

Materials Needed for Each Session          

Part 4. Facilitation           

Prior to the Session        

Knowing the Boys and Young Men in Your Group              


Tips on Conducting a Group Session       

Considerations for Facilitators    

Special Considerations for Juvenile and Adult Justice Settings      

Module A: Myself          

Session One: Welcome, Introduction, and Building Our House  

This Session       

Welcome and Introductions       

Being Ourselves in a Group         

Building Our House (Mutual Agreements)            

The Word Cloud              

Five Senses        


Between-Sessions Activity          

Session Two: A Sense of Self     

This Session       

My Place             

Feelings, Beliefs, and Values       

My Castle (Outside)       

My Castle (Inside)           

My Place (Variation)      


Between-Sessions Activity          

Session Three: A Boy’s World    

This Session       

Palms Up, Palms Down 

Collage of Gender Expectations

The Anger Funnel           

The Container  


Between-Sessions Activity          

Session Four: Introduction to Trauma    

This Session       

The Fight or Flight Response      



Posttraumatic Stress Disorder    

The ACE Questionnaire 

Other Traumatic Events

Trauma Can Shape Our Belief Systems   


Between-Sessions Activity          

Module B: Communication and Connections     

Session Five: Communication and Connections

This Session       

Healing Light     

Living Your Values           

Barriers to Healthy Connections

Other Ways We Communicate  

Four Communication Styles        

Practicing Communication Styles              

Progressive Muscle Relaxation  


Between-Sessions Activity          

Session Six: Abuse and Conflict

This Session       

Square Breathing            

Abusive Relationships   

Soothing and Grounding: Self-Mastery Techniques          

A Physical Grounding Technique

The Container  


Conflict Resolution: The STARE Technique            


Between-Sessions Activity          

Session Seven: Mothers              

This Session       


What Do Mothers Do?  

My Mom            

Letter to My Mom          


Between-Sessions Activity          

Session Eight: Fathers   

This Session       

What Do Fathers Do?    

My Dad

Letter to My Dad             


Between-Sessions Activity          

Module C: Relationships             

Session Nine: Friendship             

This Session       

Power and Relationships              

Discussion Questions    

The Relationship Wheel                

Characteristics of Effective Relationships              


Between-Sessions Activity          

Session Ten: Gender and Sexuality         

This Session       

Dating and Sexuality      

Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation

Masculinity and Femininity         

My Ideal Partner             


Between-Sessions Activity          

Session Eleven: Barriers to Healthy Relationships           

This Session       

Teen Equality Wheel      

Control and Abuse         

Supportive Relationships             

Sample Relationship Map            

Your Relationship Map  

Ending Relationships     


Between-Sessions Activity          

Module D: Healthy Living            

Session Twelve: Our Bodies       

This Session       

Healthy Living Scale        

Body Image       

Improving Your Body Image       

Healthy and Unhealthy Eating    

Emotional Wellness       

Expressing Feelings        


Between-Sessions Activity          

Session Thirteen: Dealing with Life as It Happens            

This Session       

Understanding Addiction             

Coping with Stress          


Self-Care (SEEDS)            


Between-Sessions Activity          

Session Fourteen: Endings and Beginnings          

This Session       

Healing Masks  

Decision Making              

Celebrating One Another             


Appendix 1. Five Senses Cards   

Appendix 2. Local Resources      

Appendix 3. Grounding and Self-Soothing Activities         

Appendix 4. Yoga Poses

Appendix 5. Optional Activity (Sessions Nine and Eleven)              

Appendix 6: Redefining Gender

Appendix 7: Healing Mask           

Appendix 8: Optional Activity (Session Fourteen)              


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About the Authors     
Additional Publications 

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Roberto Rodriguez
Stephanie S. Covington
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