A Workshop for Couples in Recovery from Relational Trauma and Betrayal
Helping Couples Heal is an empowering workshop for couples committed to rebuilding intimacy, trust and stability in their relationship. This two-day workshop is designed to educate recovering couples about the traumatic impact of sex addiction and infidelity through psychoeducation, experiential practice and group process. Participants will gain an understanding of how the model radically changes the systematic treatment of sex addiction and betrayal trauma and learn how to effectively integrate the information into their personal recovery and relational healing.
Recognizing trauma changes how we view and treat the partner, the addict and the couple. Using the Partner Trauma Model as its foundation, the goal of this workshop is to provide a framework to help couples heal from relational and betrayal trauma. Because trust is the foundation for a healthy relationship, broken trust is the most critical injury for couples recovering from betrayal trauma.
A primary goal of this workshop is to provide a framework from which trust and intimacy can be restored through the healing of relational and betrayal trauma.
The Partner Trauma Model views many of the behaviors and emotional responses seen in partners/spouses after the discovery of infidelity as a natural and expected response to trauma and an attempt to restore a sense of reality and safety. While partners/spouses sometimes exhibit what some may call “codependent” behaviors such as “snooping” or “playing detective”, the trauma model frames these reactions as “safety seeking” rather than as efforts to control and/or divert attention from focusing on one’s own healing.
The trauma model does not pathologize spouses/partners or conceptualize their reactions as symptoms of their own dysfunction or addiction. On the contrary, it recognizes emotional and behavioral reactions as attempts by the mind and body to survive and adapt to a dangerous situation. The betrayer’s behaviors (e.g. continuing to act out, minimizing or denying the destruction caused by sexual acting out, ongoing secrets and lies and failure to take actions to restore safety in the relationship) and environmental cues (e.g. driving past a particular location, billboards, images or media) can be triggering and cause “flashbacks”, which can temporarily re-traumatize a partner and create a rupture in the experience of safety in the relationship.
When trauma is left untreated, the couple is often left in a state of despair and helplessness. Therefore, it is crucial that the partners’ traumatic wounding be addressed before the couple can begin to look at and work on healing relational issues separate from the betrayal. To neglect partner and relational trauma is to create further dysregulation and crisis for the couple in later stages of recovery.
This is a 2-day workshop focusing on those aspects of trauma that cause the primary attachment/relationship ruptures for couples and is comprised of three components: psychoeducation, group process, and experiential learning. Our goal as clinicians is to help couples heal by providing specific interventions and tools to increase empathy, compassion, and patience, rebuild trust and intimacy and foster relational healing. This workshop is not about perpetuating feelings of blame, shame or guilt.
“The workshop gave me insight and words for what I felt intuitively.” – Partner
“The Trauma Model Workshop helped me feel better understood by my partner. I believe it genuinely opened my partner’s eyes to what I had been through and how his behaviors had traumatized me. It was difficult and exhausting, but ultimately important in the healing of my relationship with my husband.” – Partner
“There is no doubt in my mind that my wife and I are where we are now because of this workshop. I know and understand to a larger extent the trauma my wife suffered and continues to suffer to some degree because of my addiction. I can never fully comprehend what she went through and what she will carry with her for the rest of her life but the trauma workshop gave me an idea of how trauma affects a life and a relationship and the workshop gave us new tools of communication to help each other. This happened without shame and with a lot of love and attention. The trauma workshop I believe reinvigorated my recovery, started the path towards healing our marriage and made me a better person.” – Addict