19 Jan Where do I turn for help?
Many women I have spoken with over the years have not known who to turn to for help and guidance when they found out their boyfriend or husband had an addiction to pornography. Other women sought trained therapists in the area of sexual addiction only to find out none of those specialists were in their immediate area so distance was an obstacle. It seems so many women have felt stuck, stranded or hopeless when it came to finding help due to various reasons.
What I found in the process of reaching out to one person, in my case my spiritual leader, was that it suddenly opened up new opportunities I was not aware of and led me to new places. The process just seemed to snowball for me because someone I would speak with would refer me to a program or a person who could offer advice, which in turn led me to another resource until I felt like I had several options from which to choose. For instance, I signed up for a Divorce Care class and the therapist who was leading that class happened to be a specialist in the area of sexual addiction. I spoke with her and found out she also helped people with codependency issues, which I had discovered I had and I wanted to work on changing that kind of unhealthy behavior in my own life. This therapist led me to a group therapy class she was about to start on codependency and through that class I found out about Bethesda Workshops, which is a program that can help the addict and the loved one of an addict. I went through Bethesda Workshops and it was a tremendous help and pushed me forward a lot more quickly because it was an intense 4 or 5 day program. The great thing about this kind of program is that what would normally take months or even years working with an individual therapist for about an hour each time was that I was able to spend several hours each day working on my issues, which helped me get through the process a lot more quickly. After I went through Bethesda Workshops program for spouses, I still continued in individual therapy sessions to help me do the work I learned I needed to do while at that program until my therapist and I felt I was at a safe place to stop my therapy. Everything seemed to weave together and help me stay on my journey of healing.
About 5 years later, I discovered there were a few areas of my recovery where I seemed to be stuck. Anger was my top issue. I just couldn’t seem to get past the anger that would rise up in me occasionally because of things that had happened throughout my life growing up and during my marriage. I went back to the same therapist and after some exploration of my struggles and working with me she referred me to a wonderful program at Onsite Workshops called the Living Centered Program. That program is the best I have ever been through and I am still amazed at the process of healing that occurred while I was there and for many months afterwards. It was an intense 6 -7 day program that helped me look even deeper into myself to discover where my anger was rooted. My journey has been long, very painful but also very rewarding and joyful. The work is very hard but the journey is worth it due to the peace that it brings to my life. I learned at Onsite that I should “trust the process” and that’s exactly what I try to do each step of the way.
I would like to list a few resources that I have discovered along the way. This by far is not all of the resources available but I hope it is enough to help you get started. The Internet is a great source for locating information about this addiction, programs and 12 step meetings available in your area along with a search for local therapists who specialize in sexual addiction.
A FEW RESOURCES TO CONSIDER:
Find a therapist trained in sexual addiction. If you are unsure of how to locate this type of therapist, ask your primary care physician or contact a local sexual addiction recovery center and ask for a referral. The Internet also offers some web-sites to help with searches for a specific type of therapist in your area. Psychology Today is just one web-site that offers a search option by state.
Be blessed in your journey,