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Ask the Expert: Bill Burmester


This is a FREE online training event. 

Date: July 24, 2018

Time: 10:00 am - 10:30 am


The UP Project is hosting an Ask the Expert session on Post-Traumatic Masculinity: Toxic Virility and Courageous Vulnerability with Bill Burmester, M.A., MFT on Tuesday, July 24, 2018 at 10am PDT.

The Ask the Expert session has two-parts. After registration, participants will receive a link to a 20-minute recorded mini lecture by Bill Burmester. This session is a pre-requisite and will provide key points around working with male victims of abuse. Part two is the live, virtual Ask the Expert session held on July 24, 2018 at 10am PDT. Questions can be sent prior to the session or asked live during the event. It is strongly encouraged that participants view the 30-minute session to allow for a deeper conversation during the live Ask the Expert event.

Bill Burmester, M.A., M.F.T. has been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Berkeley, California since 1994, with training and experience in the treatment of sexual abuse and other relational and developmental trauma. He has worked with child, adolescent, and adult survivors of sexual abuse -especially men-, adolescent and adult perpetrators, and abusive family systems.

He facilitates Groups for Men Healing from Sexual Abuse and treats issues of trauma, Dissociative Disorders, and PTSD in individual work with both men and women using psychodynamic approaches, EMDR,  Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, IFS, and mindfulness practices.  He has been a facilitator with the national organization Men Healing: Weekends of Recovery program since 2002. 

Session Overview:

This conversation addresses the gendered experience of male survivors of trauma by drawing upon clinical experience with male survivors of sexual abuse. We will consider them not only as victims but as boys and men whose trauma primes them to reconnect with their own, typically-abandoned vulnerability and therefore with their inherent capacity for empathy.  Embracing vulnerability, not as weakness but as an act of emotional courage, increases men’s chances for success and fulfillment in important relationships and improves their overall health and well-being.   

We will first review the relational damage caused by abuse as it interacts with external and internalized norms of male in-vulnerability.  Then we will attend to how male survivors in therapy discover and develop a capacity for emotional daring, depth, authenticity, and intimacy.  As they work to repair trauma-burdened relationships, especially with each other in group therapy, spontaneity, humor, affection, and hope balance and help build tolerance for the pain of past trauma, in place of fighting, fleeing, and numbing it.


--To identify the markers of toxic masculinity, in the statements relational trauma survivors make to themselves about themselves.

--To identify the developmental and social conditions that persuade men to believe that vulnerability to emotional experience is a sign of weakness.

--To distinguish between acceptance of traumatic intrusions and fighting, fleeing, or submitting to them.

--To identify the markers of emotional courage and empathy among men. 


For questions, comments, or concerns please contact Emma Nichols at (707) 992-0537 or