Much like getting a flu shot can prevent you from getting sick with the flu, there is still not a 100 percent guarantee you will not get the flu. However, it can increase your chance of not becoming ill.
Recently, I learned my computer is much the same way, as anti-virus software helps prevent my computer from getting “sick”. It does not prevent all viruses from getting into my computer’s system. Recently, my computer has been getting slower and doing odd things, so I ran an anti-virus scan. However, the program stated there were no viruses found.
The problem was my system still was not running any better. I then decided to run a second virus scan with a different program, and it detected three viruses! I felt frustrated with the first program that did not catch this issue. What am I paying for with this program? At the same time, I was relieved to know finally what the problem was. I can now remove the viruses, and my system can begin to function better and more efficiently.
A new client, John, has just realized during our conversations that his best efforts and hard work have not prevented him from getting “sick.” We have discovered that the “virus” of anorexia is present.
John is eager to remove it and is beginning to connect some of the dots and the missing pieces in his recovery. Things are starting to make more sense in his life, so we began to discuss treatment options, where he would search out that hidden virus, intimacy anorexia, and begin the process of healing.
I informed John what will determine what he and Rebecca do will depend on the two Ps: pain and priority. It will also depend on the amount of time and resources they want to invest. I asked John how much money he has spent on the maintenance on his cars and their engines over the last 20 years. He believes it to be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. I then asked him how much money he has spent on the engine of his marriage, which he responds, “probably under one thousand dollars.” John understood why his marital “engine” was broke down and decided to take some time and money to get it running again.
I explained to John that we have 3, 5, and 10-day intensive programs here at Transformed Hearts Counseling Center. Each day, consist of three hours of therapy per day, going to groups, watching recovery DVDs, as well as reading and writing homework. Each day is a 12 to 16 hour day commitment. I told him not to plan on snow skiing or water rafting during the intensive. He can always do that after an intensive, but it is called an “intensive” for a reason.
Since John was anorexic, I recommended that he and Rebecca come for the 5-day intensive so that we can work on the two addictions – his acting out and also the virus of intimacy anorexia. Each will take work on his part.
I explained our groups were never cross gender, as the men meet with men and women meet with women. These groups are not just “support” groups but “work” groups, as workbooks are required to participate. We believe that if you are not doing workbook work in your recovery, you are just an addict attending meetings.
Each fall, my wife and I host our annual weekend Couple’s Conference. This conference allows couples who are struggling with sexual addiction and intimacy anorexia a time and place to be safe to heal and to learn.
In addition, I explained to John about our recovery resources which include books, workbooks, and other resources. I also provided the option that he and his wife could both participate in our phone support groups.
Finally, I explained to John there is always the option to do nothing. John believed this was not an option for him, and he is very encouraged by the assessment and treatment options. Even though he was not in that much pain and admitted his nightly glass of wine might be an issue, Rebecca was in an enormous amount of pain. She had told him if he didn’t get help that she would take the kids and leave him. John’s voice began to crack as he told me he believed her this time. He’d do whatever it took to save his marriage.
I reminded him that therapy is always cheaper than divorce. He agreed. John told me he was ready to make a change and begin to make his marriage a priority. With some shuffling in the background, he looked at his calendar to schedule his 5-day journey of healing in Colorado with his wife.
Cory’s original article, Part 3: Removing the Sexual Anorexia Virus: Treatment Options, was posted on TopAddictionsNetwork.com.
Cory Schortzman is an author, speaker, teacher and licensed mental health professional. Since 2008, he has served as the Executive Director of Transformed Hearts Counseling Center in Colorado Springs, CO. He is the founder of SARA, the Sexual Addiction Recovery Association. Cory is passionate about helping couples and individuals overcome sex addiction. He is also passionate about bringing awareness to the public and supporting the elimination of sex and human trafficking. Cory has been married since 1998 to his beautiful wife, Kerry, and lives in Colorado with their four daughters. He and Kerry have been seen on the CBS Early Show, Inside Edition, and ABC Good Morning America, Fox 21 News, and TLC/Discovery discussing the harm of sex addiction and the joys of recovery. He has also been heard on numerous radio programs.
Cory’s books include: Out of the Darkness, Into the Light the Workbook, Into the Light the Steps, Ashes to Beauty the Steps, 301 Dating Ideas, 301 Conversational Ideas, 301 Ways to Say I Love You, 301 Ways to Love Your Children & 301 Recovery Tools & Tips.