Therapeutic Disclosure Intensives
For couples outside of the Atlanta area, we Richard Blankenship and Dr. Janice Stevens offer therapeutic disclosure intensives. Both Richard and Janice are certified clinical partner specialists through the Association for Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists and certified clinical sexual addiction specialists through IACSAS. Dr. Stevens has put together some information on the process.
For those of us who work with sex addicts and their partners/spouses, we recognize that the path toward recovery and healing is multi-dimensional. It is a path that follows the roller-coaster effect with many ups and downs and may not smooth out for many months or even years into the journey. There are a number of pieces that need to be put into place if each individual and the couple are to be successful.
In recent years, Richard Blankenship and I have developed a program intended to help couples through the difficult but necessary process of therapeutic disclosure. This can be a painful process for both the addict and the partner, but it is critical to make sure that all secrets have ended and all lies have been exposed.
(Please note that although Richard and I have worked with couples in which the wife is the addict, in this writing the masculine pronoun will be used in reference to the addict and the feminine pronoun will refer to the partner.)
Some of the goals that we set for the Disclosure Intensives are the following:
- Get to know and understand the couple and their story well enough in order to guide them through the disclosure process.
- Guide the addict in developing his timeline of sexual history and composing the disclosure statement so that he is able to reveal all secrets and put an end to all lies. Ensure that he is being as detailed and thorough as necessary while working towards not traumatizing the partner with more graphic detail than necessary.
- Educate the partner to understand some of the typical patterns of sex addiction, and assist her in developing any questions that she would like to have answered within the disclosure statement or as part of the polygraph exam.
- Aid both the addict and the partner in processing their feelings and reactions following the reading of the disclosure statement.
- Guide the couple in making a plan for the addict’s recovery and sobriety from sexual acting out behaviors, for the partner’s healing from betrayal trauma, and for reconciliation in the marriage/relationship if the couple desires.
Because lying is a part of the sex addict’s pattern, used to cover up his acting out behaviors, the partner will have the option of asking the addict to undergo a polygraph exam with a licensed polygrapher who is trained and experienced in administering the exam for relationship issues. The polygraph is a complex process. In preparing for the intensive we will help you process through this issue and determine if it is something you would like included in your intensive.
Facilitating a Disclosure Intensive for couples can be challenging but rewarding work. Each and every couple is distinctly unique regarding their personalities, family of origin issues, patterns and types of sexual acting out behaviors, and relationship patterns that have been established. Working as a therapist team allows us to better take all of these and many other factors into account. The rewarding part of the work comes about as we see the remarkable movement that each individual and the couple makes from beginning to end of the 10-hour process with us. While the process is difficult, therapeutic disclosure is a mile marker in the couples journey.
Please contact us at 770-744-5055 or via email at Richard@capstoneatlanta.com or Janice@capstoneatlanta.com.