Sorting Out Individual Versus Couple Therapy for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Betrayal Trauma

Couples suffering the fallout of sexual addiction have a dizzying array of stressful choices to sort through. 

When broken trust is discovered or disclosed, couples first need to know their therapeutic options. Some of the first questions they should consider include: 

  • How do we begin therapy?
  • Will we enter couple therapy?
  • Should we start with individual therapy?
  • Can we combine couple therapy and individual therapy? 

Professional therapists can help answer your questions but, frankly, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. 

Keep in mind that therapists trained in different approaches will offer you different opinions and recommendations. Pray to have an open, discerning mind and ask your therapist how they reached their conclusions about your needs. 

If your primary need for therapy relates to sexual addiction, you’ll want a therapist who specializes in the treatment of sexual addiction and betrayal trauma. Therapists who are not equipped to treat...

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The Importance of Counseling

Gone are the days when counseling is just for “the mentally ill.” In spite of lame jokes and a dying, but lingering, stigma sometimes attached to counseling, many individuals and families are seeking professional help to deal with the trauma of life in a fallen world.

If you or someone you love are experiencing a particularly trying time, maybe it’s time to consider seeking help. As you analyze your situation it may be helpful to consider some important points.

What circumstances prompt the need for professional counseling?

People typically enter counseling because they are hurting, frustrated, or feeling overwhelmed by a problem. In most cases, difficult circumstances drive the felt need for counseling. In my experience, most of these circumstances are based in wounded relationships between husbands and wives and parents and children. And, of course, one or more persons in these relationships may be experiencing intrapersonal difficulties, including mood disorders...

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Guidelines for Selecting a Counselor

When selecting a therapist, consider three basic categories: the spiritual, the professional, and the practical. By understanding the importance of each category, and asking the following questions, you’re well on your way to a worthwhile experience.

Spiritual Considerations

Counseling is inherently value laden. Your core values and those of your therapist need to match. Consider the following questions to ask a therapist:

Are you a Christian?
Most healthcare professionals, Christian or not, are in the profession because they want to be of service to others. This question is not meant to imply that non-Christian professionals have an “agenda” to harm Christian clients. Nevertheless, Christian counseling and secular counseling are literally worlds apart.

If yes, how does being a Christian impact your counseling? Do you pray with clients? Do you reference Scripture?
Christian therapists often have personal testimonies that reveal their life experiences. These stories...

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Appearances Can be Deceiving But Spiritual Formation is Reality

By all appearances, I should have known something about Christian spiritual formation. From birth to 35 years of age, my spiritual pedigree included the grace of having had two Christian parents, weekly church attendance and participation, conversion and baptism at eight years of age, a bachelor degree from a conservative Christian college, bi-vocational experience in the ministry, and ordination in the ministry both as a deacon and minister. 

But appearances can be deceiving.

Besides my spiritual pedigree, I added spiritual exercises including prayer and Bible study. Still, I remained unchanged.

Despite sincerity and good intentions, I knew nothing of Christian spiritual formation. To put it more succinctly, I knew nothing of how to be more like Christ. 

Spiritual Formation Is Reality 

Some time ago, I discovered that spiritual formation is a reality. Every person is an eternal spirit being formed into what he or she will be forever. This ongoing process can be...

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22 Characteristics of Recovery-Friendly Churches

  1. Recovery (from sin) is a resource for everybody – not just those who have addictions.
  2. There is ongoing promotion of recovery opportunities, with posters, printed announcements, emails, and announcements via slides during worship services.
  3. There are separate small-group options for men and women.
  4. There is a stated policy on confidentiality, and consequences for breaking confidence.
  5. Whole-person, Christ-centered recovery is promoted and discussed in community groups, Sunday School classes, and even sermons.
  6. One or more of the pastors oversee the church’s recovery ministry.
  7. Pastors are appropriately transparent about their own personal recovery.
  8. The church has a referral network of Christian professionals in the area.
  9. The church sponsors a counseling ministry, either in part or in full.
  10. The church makes professional counseling services available for free, on a sliding scale basis, or at a discount for those who cannot afford therapy.
  11. The recovery ministry offers...
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