Potential clients often ask us about our approach to sex addiction treatment and sex addiction counseling. They want to know if we practice have a codependent model or a trauma model. Our response is that we do not practice either. Codependency and trauma need to be treated throughout the process of recovery, and they are not gender specific. Traditionally, the label of codependency generally falls upon the female partner as well as the blame. Traditionally, the trauma model and other similar paradigms blame the male partner as the offender who caused the trauma to the woman to make her the victim and shame him as the perpetrator. I have not found these paradigms to be successful in order to maintain long-term positive change and improvement.
As I wrote last week in The Windshield and Sex Addiction Recovery, there are some women who are treated as the victim and, in some cases, are encouraged to stay there. He is being shamed by her, the therapist, and himself, which is a great motivator early in recovery. However, this model does not work long term and keeps the couple perpetually in the ditch and needing a tow truck.
So, what does this really look like? Let’s take a side-by-side look at the distinct difference I have observed in my own recovery and as a therapist. It has taken me over 11 years to see the differences. By sharing my experience, I hope to save you some time, money and pain. Take a few minutes to review the following table.
|Immediate short-term change||Slow long-term change|
|“When are you going to change?”
“Why are you not changing?”
|“When am I going to change?”
“Why am I not changing?”
|Women are treated as the victim to motivate
Men are treated with guilt and shame to motivate
|Women are treated as the victor
Men are treated with grace and love
|All about knowing and being reminded of your badness in the past||All about discovering and being reminded of your Goodness and the future|
|“You will never be a good enough man or woman.”||“You are a good man or an amazing woman!”|
|All about self-confidence and self-identity||All about God-fidence and His identity in you|
|Easily offended and lives in offense, bitterness, resentment||Releases the offense and understands what true forgiveness means|
|The addiction to being offended is unrecognized and untreated||The addiction to being offended recognized and treated.|
|Treatment of sex addiction only||Treatment of sex addiction AND intimacy anorexia|
|Focus and treatment on sex addict only||Focus and treatment on sex addict, partner, AND the marriage|
|Heart is at War||Heart is at Peace|
|Externally Motivated||Internally Motivated|
|Heart of Fear||Heart of Love|
|Scarcity Minded||Abundant Minded|
|The slave believes they have “rights”||The servant lays down their “rights” for their partner|
|“I have to do this work because of you!”||“I get to do this work, because I want to.”|
|“This is what we are fighting against.”||“This is what we are fighting for.”|
|Comparison||Call to Holiness|
|I am inviting God on this journey||God is inviting me on His journey|
|The couple acts as enemies||The couple works as teammates|
|Emotions dictate how they act||They act how they want to feel|
|Victim of a “disease”||You choose to sin|
|The 12 Steps are politically incorrect||The 12-Steps still work|
|Spirituality is relevant, God is irrelevant||God AND spirituality are relevant|
|Use traditional therapeutic techniques and “try harder”||The use of Energy Psychology: Splankna, NET, EFT, EMDR“ and work smarter|
|Therapist has done little to none of their own recovery work||Therapist is working on or has completed their own 12 Steps|
|Leads to death of individuals or marriage||Leads to life of individuals and marriage|
For more information, check out the Sex Addiction Recovery Association website at www.sarecoveryassociation.com. The association has a number of training programs from basic to advanced coming soon in 2016. The training model provides specific details that we believe will revolutionize sex addiction recovery. We believe transformed people…transform people. Are you ready?
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.