Peer Book Reviews

  • As a therapist who works with women who have experienced the trauma of sexual betrayal, this is THE primary resource I recommend to my clients. In this book, women will be given the tools to work through their personal grief, the permission to ask the hard questions, and the know-how to set healthy boundaries in their marriages. The authors speak both as professionals and from personal experience. Somehow, when the reader knows someone truly "gets" her, she will know she has been heard. As someone else shared earlier in another review, I too encourage you to buy two copies, one for you and one for a woman you will likely meet or know who is in need of support.
    Louise Jewell, MAR, Registered Clinical Counsellor Victoria, BC, Canada
  • As a sex addiction professional, this is a must read for both addict and spouse. Truth, understanding, help and hope-all in one easy to understand book.
    John Sternfels, LPC, NCC, CSAT, CCSAS, CMAT, MITS , Northpoint Professional Counseling, Novi, MI
  • As a psychotherapist and wife of a sex addict, I have read countless books on sex addiction. This is the first book I tell wives to rush out and buy immediately! Until now, they all follow the outdated model, stating that the spouse of a sex addict is a co-sex addict or co-addict. This is the ONLY book written for spouses of sex addicts, disputing such a harmful label being given to partners. Instead it recognizes, and backs up with research, that trauma often mimics codependency. For years wives of sex addicts have been treated like they are also sick and must receive treatment for their own addiction and disease. This is still the prevailing paradigm. I hear clients tell me all the time the shocking things being said by sex addiction therapists who have clearly still not accepted the "trauma model" for spouses, introduced by Marsha and Barbara. I was blessed to meet Marsha, through the telephone, over three years ago, just weeks after discovering my own husband's sexual addiction. Although the book was not out yet, the research had been done and Marsha was a lifesaver as I carved my way through unchartered territory. Marsha helped me, and my husband, understand what I was going through. She normalized my feelings and played a critical role in my survival, and the survival of my marriage, during those painful first few months. Everything Marsha taught me, and so much more, is in this book! I have been blessed to meet Barbara more recently and she is just as wise and compassionate as I found Marsha to be. Barbara and Marsha, and their book, are truly gifts from God.

    Ella Hutchinson, LPC-S, CCSAS, CCPS, CCTP, Comfort Christian Counseling, Houston TX
  • I am a Marital and Family therapist and also certified as a Sex Addiction Therapist. In all of my training, the labeling of partners as co-addicts or co-dependent felt uncomfortable to me, as if "share the blame" and focus on how the addict can recover was the solution. Please understand, I absolutely agree that most partners may indeed have some things to work on in therapy ("Do I stay, do I go?" for instance) or related to Family of Origin issues. We cannot ignore the devastation caused by discovery, however. I have seen many shell shocked partners of sex addicts in my office, with almost a 'deer in the headlights' look, trying to make sense of what they have learned. This book uses a trauma based, attachment focused (the ideal being a safe base, secure, accessible partner) and loving approach to healing. The explanations offered give validation to the partners' experience and allow for further growth and direction. This book is beautifully written, user friendly and gives a much needed perspective for partners.
    Reader, Amazon.com
  • “Finally, a groundbreaking theoretical rationale that views partners coping with their husband’s sex addiction from a clearly focused lens.  Steffens and Means skillfully compare and contrast the co-sex addiction treatment model versus the trauma model, and provide much needed insight for the complex issues that partners face. For years, marriage and family therapists understood the traumatic effect that the lies and secrets have on the betrayed partner. This book will hopefully break through the resistance to change, revolutionize, and transform the way sex addiction therapists’ view and treat partners. This is a must read book and primer for all partners, sexual addicts, and therapists working with people struggling from the aftermath of sexual addiction.”
    Dorit Reichental, CPCC, PCC, CEO, Serenity Works Life Coaching, LLC
  • "…This book has become my primary text that I recommend to patients and clinicians alike for understanding the impact of sex addiction on a partner or spouse.  I have seen first-hand the profound benefit a partner experiences when her internal experience is recognized and validated.  Dr. Steffen's book has provided this validation for many, many women and partners of sex addicts."
    Omar Minwalla, Psy.D., , Clinical Director, The Institute for Sexual Health

Reader Book Reviews

  • I've spent the last year looking for a book for partners of porn/sex addicts, but found that they were all either completely religious based, or automatically labels partners as codependent. …This book has the perfect balance, it covers every point of view necessary but without being too forceful about it.
    Reader, Amazon.com Review
  • This book was very helpful and does not blame the spouse of an addict. Answered a lot of questions I had.
    Reader, Amazon.com Review
  • I have read a bunch of books and I would recommend this one first. Bless anyone who is also going through this, there is help and hope. Start here.
    Reader, Amazon.com Review
  • I was so grateful to read this book. It's definitely the missing-link in treatment for the spouses of sex addicts… As the spouse of a sex addict, the co-addict label has never felt 'true' to me… I love this book because it recognizes the trauma for what it is, and details many of the symptoms I have had, like PTSD. It doesn't call me codependent, and doesn't tell me that I am to blame for part of what's happened.
    Reader, Amazon.com Review
  • If you work with or know someone who is a partner of a sex addict, please, please read this book to see into their wounded soul. If you have lived this betrayal, the validation in this gift of a book and the hope to heal that it offers is salve for your weeping, bleeding heart. Barb and Marsha, I thank God for you. Peace.
    Reader, Amazon.com Review
  • …This book covers it. It validates your deep painful wounds, explains the trauma, chemical reactions in your body, gives you concrete recommendations, and does not skirt the physical / psychological reality of harm and priority of safety. Awesome reality checks to pastors and counselors as well as in depth bibliography if you choose to go deeper.  Kudos to Barbara and Marsha, for shifting the paradigm and giving many such a powerful concise tools to deal with the obliteration of their security and trust; personally your timing has been perfect…
    Real Life, Amazon.com Review

Speaker Testimonials

  • “Dr. Barbara Steffens‟ new book, Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal (Means & Steffens, 2009) is a must have book on every mental health professionals’ shelf when working with spouses who have been affected by sexual addiction. With a closer look from a trauma perspective, reading Steffens’ book will undoubtedly better equip the professional, as well as provide hope for all spouses of sex-addicts.  Dr Steffens’ presentation of this new paradigm of sexual addiction at the American Association of Christian Counselors World Conference was enlightening and pragmatic. This shift in the way we view the impact of sexual addiction on spouses is more congruent with what we are seeing in our counseling offices. Both Dr. Steffens’ book as well as her presentation and the insightful information they have both provided, give me greater confidence in working with spouses of sex addicts.”
    Christine Dorn M.C., L.P.C, Phoenix, AZ
  • "Barbara Steffens brings both her extensive clinical expertise and a wealth of personal experience to the painful subject of sexual addiction. She offers both hope and healing for those who love a sexual addict."
    Jeffrey Jon Lyle, Attorney at Law, Teaching Pastor, Good News Gathering