Liberation from self blame
The article ‘Liberation from self blame’ by Patrick O’Leary appeared in Extending Narrative Therapy: A collection of practice-based papers. Edited by Dulwich Centre Publications (1999). Living Well would like to thank Patrick O’Leary and all those at Dulwich Centre Publications for agreeing to reproduce this article here.
This paper explores ways of working with men who have experienced child sexual abuse. It explores some of the difficulties that these men may face in our current social, political, and cultural context. The paper explores the practical implications of the fact that male sexual abuse occurs within a male-dominated culture and that the large majority of perpetrators are other men. It goes on to describe how, for men who have been subjected to sexual abuse, dominant constructions of masculinity can contribute to the silencing of their experience and to stories of self blame. It then explores the complex task that males who have experienced abuse from older men face in creating their own preferred masculine identity, and describes a number of therapeutic themes that Patrick O’Leary has found helpful in working with men on these issues.
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