As a way of keeping young men out of the Criminal Justice System, the Men’s Trauma Centre is offering 15 free counselling sessions for men, or those who identify as men, between the ages of 16 and 3. Jeremy Addleman, the projects manager and one of eight therapists, poses with Paula Greene, executive director of the Men’s Trauma Centre pose in front of the centre, located at 102 Pandora Street. (Kendra Crighton/Victoria News Staff)

Counselling addresses the trauma that can lead to crime

Men’s Trauma Centre in Victoria offers 15 free one-hour sessions

When more than 80 per cent of Canadian inmates are male and with a significant number of those inmates reporting incidents of childhood trauma, it’s hard not to link the two. But where do you begin combating a problem so deeply rooted?

The Men’s Trauma Centre is chipping away at the bigger issue by offering 15 free trauma counselling sessions for men or those who identify as men, aged 16 to 30, as part of their Youth Crime Reduction Program aimed at helping individuals avoid re-offending.

The non-judgmental and confidential service is funded through civil forfeiture with space to help 30 individuals “ease their relationship to trauma.”

READ ALSO: Childhood trauma affects Saskatchewan man guilty of attempted murder: hearing

Paula Greene, executive director of the centre, says on average about 280 men come through their doors seeking help every year. Due to the number of stereotypes surrounding men and abuse, she says men usually delay reporting their abuse for decades and develop their own coping methods which can lead to mental health issues, addictions or sometimes even involvement in the criminal justice system.

“They tend to come to us with layers and layers of complex trauma that they’ve been living with for years,” she says.

Originally the program was aimed at men between the ages of 16 to 25 but after getting numerous requests from various community organizations to make exceptions for older men, the centre increased the age cap. Jeremy Addleman, the project’s manager and one of eight therapists, says through trauma-informed therapy, real change is possible and he’s seen it first hand.

READ ALSO: Child abuse victims may carry ‘molecular scars’ for life: UBC, Harvard study

“With good trauma therapy, 15 sessions can be majorly healing — to the point of a breakthrough — but often a lot of these guys want to come on for more [sessions] and many have continued on their own dime,” he says. “A lot of them are struggling financially, and for them to make that decision, it means a lot to us and shows how much they want this.”

Both Greene and Addleman agree that it’s been a challenge to navigate combating men’s trauma in the wake of the Me Too movement, adding there’s a general sentiment that men are either less deserving of receiving help and an unwillingness to acknowledge men as survivors of trauma themselves. They believe a collaborative approach is needed if any headway is going to made in tackling these issues.

“It has to be men, women and children,” says Greene. “You can’t just work with two points of the triangle, otherwise you’re not going to end anything.”

The one-hour sessions address the individual’s trauma along with any other issues they are having in their life that go hand in hand with trauma.

“If all they know is crime life, sometimes our reactions are the first time they realize what they’re experiencing is violence or traumatic,” says Addleman.

Green and Addleman hope to see men’s issues come to the forefront of the public’s attention in order to make real progress on the big picture problem. When asked what he’d like the public to know, Addleman hesitated before answering confidently — “Change is possible, trauma is a wound and wounds can heal.”



kendra.crighton@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mount Douglas Secondary named top STEM school in provincial competition

Team of Grade 10 students wins first place overall and Best Engineering Design award

Judge’s decision set for January in dangerous driving trial for crash that left Saanich girl unresponsive

Tenessa Nikirk is charged with one count of dangerous driving after Leila Bui was struck in 2017

VicPD seek missing 82-year-old man with long grey beard

Arthur Shaw was last seen Dec. 6, those who see him should call 911

Oak Bay Police melt dozens of guns into metal cube

Set of rare dueling muskets could go to museum

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The Russell Troupe finds a comfort zone in small Island community

Family gathering with two parents and five kids a common scene around Chemainus

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

Most Read