Jim Struve, LCSW
Jim has been a practicing social worker since 1976 and is currently in private practice in Salt Lake City.
He works extensively with sexual trauma survivors, with special attention to male survivors and to issues surrounding dissociation. Jim is a founding member of MaleSurvivor.org and is Co-Chair of the Weekends of Recovery Retreat program.
He was the recipient of the Richard Gartner Outstanding Clinical Services Award at the 2010 International MaleSurvivor Conference in New York City.
Emotions are physical actions in the body, feelings are what those actions feel like to the person doing them.
Paul Linden, PhD
What Led to the Specialization of Trauma?
Jim talks about his own experience growing up and being the survivor of an abusive childhood and turning that into a passion to help others heal.
A Crucial Early Mistake
When I was starting out as a therapist I was so passionate and devoted I didn’t establish boundaries about self-care and as a result I worked too much and inadvertently began to understand the realities of vicarious trauma.
I’ve seen so many people that I would have never predicted would get better, get better. Trauma therapist is not about doom and gloom, it’s about home and inspiration.
- During an intake, tailor your questions based on your client’s descriptions rather than on labels. Rather than asking your client if they’ve ever been abused, ask, for example: What form of discipline was used in your home? What was your first exposure to sex and sexuality? Was it consentual? What age were you the first time and how was the experience treated?
- Suspend judgment of people’s experience and listen to what they’re saying. It may not be factual, but it may be their experience.