Choosing a therapist is like choosing a pair of shoes. If you are going on a long hike up a mountain, you need hiking boots, not flip-flops. If you are going to dance ballet, you need ballet slippers, not ice skates. And just like shoes, certain therapists are better qualified to help you conquer certain tasks.
When choosing a therapist, you must first ask yourself why you are seeking therapy, then choose a therapist who is an expert in treating clients with that same challenge. If you are navigating sexual addiction and affair recovery, a fully-certified CSAT will be your hiking boots for the mountain you will climb.
CSATs are highly-trained trauma treatment specialists who help clients work through issues that untrained clinicians may leave unaddressed. CSATs understand the underlying wounds, experiences, patterns, and trauma that can lead to sexual addiction. Those struggling with sexual addiction need an experienced and skilled therapist who understands and can treat the root causes of their addiction and walk them from the helpless cycle of addiction to an enriched, sexually-healthy life with renewed emotional intimacy. Those who have recovered from sexual addiction often say that, while they would never wish their addiction on anyone, they would wish their therapeutic recovery on everyone because of the freedom and strong relationships it produces.
To the sex addict:
You love your partner. You love your family. But do you continue to struggle with sexual addiction, pornography addiction, sexual acting out, and repeated affairs? You feel shame.
Is there hope?
To the partner:
You are the partner of a sex addict. You love them, but their behavior has wounded and traumatized you, leaving you with symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You are in crisis! You are in shock! You’re wondering if affair recovery is possible. Can your partner stop these behaviors? Is there hope?
CSATs are experts, uniquely qualified to treat clients with sexual addiction. Sexual addiction is just that—an addiction—and one of a CSAT’s goals is to separate the person from the addiction. Not only will this separation allow the person struggling with sexual addiction to begin to heal the loneliness and secret shame often felt, but this distinction can also help the betrayed partner see through the fog of their betrayal trauma.
How does a CSAT treat a couple?
A CSAT is trained to guide couples through structured disclosures (with or without polygraphs) as well as processing the grief and loss caused by the addiction, rebuilding trust, healing from betrayal trauma, and reestablishing emotional intimacy. CSATs also facilitate couples’ renewal and enrichment after healing. Affair recovery is possible.
Partners of those who have recovered from sexual addiction would never choose the darkness of betrayal trauma, but they can rejoice in the outcomes of recovery therapy, including deepened emotional intimacy, healthy boundaries, and enriched relationships.
Why is it important to see a CSAT for sexual addiction?
Clients and couples dealing with sexual addiction who are not working with CSATs often find they only receive a partial solution to their problem. Because of the multi-layer, multi-generational, and multi-trauma nuances of sexual addiction, many professional clinicians are not direct or assertive enough to treat an issue like sexual addiction and do not have the experience needed to deal with this complex issue.
To earn full CSAT credentials, therapists must first be master’s-level clinicians. Then they must complete the CSAT certification process, which is broken into two parts. First, therapists must complete four one-week-long training sessions at the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). These sessions have been designed by Dr. Patrick Carnes, the founder of the field of sexual addiction therapy and recovery, and focus on correctly evaluating and treating sexual addiction. After completing this specialized training, each CSAT candidate must then complete 30 supervised hours of sexual addiction therapy to become fully certified.
The most important quality of a CSAT is their ability to make a client struggling with sexual addiction feel safe by not shaming, judging, or reacting in shock. Because CSATs regularly work with sexual addiction clients, they have heard it all.
Meet Our Certified Sexual Addiction Therapists (CSAT)
The Finding Place Counseling and Recovery has two CSAT-certified therapists, Ryan Russ and Dan Hunt. Both Ryan and Dan personally trained with Dr. Patrick Carnes and earned their CSAT credentials in 2013.
Over the past 7 years, Ryan and Dan have each treated hundreds of clients struggling with sexual addiction and have extensive experience treating the partners of sexual addicts for betrayal trauma and affair recovery.
At The Finding Place Counseling and Recovery, we understand that many addicts are victims of past trauma. We also know and understand the effects of betrayal trauma on partners. Our Certified Sex Addiction Therapists are also certified trauma therapists trained in EMDR and brainspotting, making them uniquely qualified to treat types of trauma often associated with sexual addiction.
We offer individual, partner, family, and group therapies for sexual addiction both in the office and via teletherapy. We also offer structured disclosure for partners and family members backed by a polygraph test, when needed.
Sexual addiction is often suffered in secret. If you or your loved one is currently struggling with sexual addiction, please contact us for help. You can also visit our website to read testimonials from couples who have successfully overcome sexual addiction.