We are here to help and support you
Throughout our life, we may have experienced some type of trauma.
Trauma can be a life-threatening event like an accident or an assault or it can be an experience that feels catastrophic or devastating. We are getting better at understanding how we are impacted by all kinds of traumatic experiences. For example, we can be greatly affected by childhood trauma where there has been physical, sexual and emotional abuse or neglect. If we’ve been mistreated by medical, judicial, educational or mental health systems, we can have institutionally induced trauma. At times, trauma can be more subtle and insidious but it can still have powerful effects on our lives. There is a wealth of research on the impact of trauma on our nervous system, our relationships and our overall functioning.
Fortunately, there is help. We now know the effective use of psychotherapy and the various trauma focused therapies that are very successful in treating trauma. It is possible to heal, recover and go on to thrive.
Individual trauma therapy
If you have experienced betrayal due to infidelity, serial cheating or sex addiction, you know how devastating it is to your entire life. When you discover that there’s been a betrayal, it can be disorienting and overwhelming. Initially, you are in shock and have so many questions of your partner. Then you begin to start digging or doing your own “detective work” to find out the scope of the betrayal. This is called “safety seeking behavior” because you are trying to understand how significant is the damage. Your mind is trying to get a handle on the magnitude of the betrayal and what exactly you are dealing with in this relationship. This is all normal behavior. But within yourself, you feel like you’re going crazy or something is wrong with you. Then you start to research and read everything about this topic. It begins to take on a life of it’s own.
- First of all, it is important for you to know that it is not your fault. There is nothing you did or didn’t do. You didn’t cause this.
- You need people who understand and “get it”. You need education and guidance, support, understanding and compassion right now.
- You need as much self-care practices as possible to calm and soothe your inflamed nervous system.
- You need safety in your own home. Identifying your needs and boundaries will help you feel safer.
- You need to know that a roadmap for healing and recovery exists and the fog will clear.
- You need to know that you won’t always be feeling this way. Trauma has a timeless feel to it. You will be less reactive and less triggered as you move forward in your healing journey.
- There is hope for you to transcend this trauma and you will be stronger, wiser and more confident.
couples dealing with sexual addiction
Are you concerned that your loved one has a sex addiction problem?
Are you concerned you may have a problem with compulsive, impulsive and reckless behavior that may be an addiction? Even though you try repeatedly to stop, you continue despite negative consequences? Do you feel shame afterwards, promising yourself you will stop but you can’t help yourself to stop?
Sex addiction is a disorder when there is compulsive behavior and a strong preoccupation with sex. There is a pronounced loss of control, shame, inability to stop despite the consequences, loss of time and money. There is an escalation of risk-taking behaviors over time.
Whether a person is addicted to a substance (alcohol, drugs) or whether it is a behavioral addiction (sex, food, gambling, work), addictions are based on brain differences and early developmental trauma. When there are significant childhood events, children develop a variety of coping mechanisms or defenses in order to survive. These behaviors if left untreated, can grow into maladaptive, addictive behaviors where the individual self-medicates and over time loses control to the addiction. They learn to compartmentalize and lead double lives until there is a discovery and the truth comes out. As painful and devastating as that can be, it can be a pathway towards true recovery, sobriety and healing.
There is a treatment framework developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes that outlines a task-based roadmap including individual therapy, group therapy, 12 step meetings. Treatment can be successful for the sex addict and the family as long as there is a commitment toward honesty, integrity and sobriety.
“Healing happens when
there is safety, compassion and trust.”
Here's how you can get help:
Individual Therapy for Partners: to learn about sex addiction and betrayal trauma, improve self-care, identify needs and set boundaries, begin the journey of recovery and healing.
Individual Therapy for Addicts: to learn about sex addiction and begin creating recovery plan, focus on relapse prevention, understand the impact on others, especially the partner, become empathic relative to betrayal trauma, work toward disclosure process and ongoing recovery.
Couples Therapy: to begin the process of repair and restoration of trust, improving communication and conflict resolution, setting of boundaries, disclosure to children, managing triggers, improving empathy, strengthening safety and security, preparation for formal disclosure process and healing.