I just returned from New Orleans, where I presented a workshop on Sex addiction: treatment for the addict and intimate partner to a group of professional counselors from all over the nation. This was the national conference for the American Counseling Association (ACA). I was a little worried when I saw that my 90 minute talk was scheduled for 8:45 AM on a Sunday morning! I walked to my room prior to the presentation and passed several rooms where it was obvious the workshops had been canceled due to know one showing up to listen! That increased my anxiety just a little….
But I was happily surprised to find that I had about 70 or 75 people in my little room, wanting to hear about this topic! When I asked, “How many of you are seeing this issue in your office?” nearly everyone in the room raised their hands. Perhaps 1/3 stated they see the partner. So at that point, I knew this audience was there because they wanted help and sound information!
The 90 minutes went very quickly as I talked about sex addiction and then went on to describe the experiences of the partner, the prevailing co-addiction model, and the alternate “trauma model” I was promoting for helping the partner. As I have found in almost every group of professionals the message was well received. I had a few questions from folks who were totally confused by the co-addiction model. One said, “isn’t that kind of like what we used to do to domestic violence victims? Blame the victim?”
So- I was grateful once again to have the privilege of advocating for the needs of partners.
I am now even more excited as we get closer to our very first Seminar focused solely on the needs of partners! April 30, 2011 will be a day that I think we will look back on as the beginning of an ever increase ground-swell as we seek to help partner’s needs voiced and addressed! I sure hope many of you will join us there!
For now, be encouraged. I am.