Partners often endure further trauma by therapists who want to call us names such as co-dependent, co-addict or co-sex addict. Many therapists claim to use the ‘trauma model’ but want the Partners to share in the blame, commit to staying with the sex addict for a year before making any decisions and encourage increased sexual intimacy without recommending STD testing.
We believe sex addicts have no business treating partners.
Before You Agree to Work With a Therapist, Ask These Questions:
1. Are you a sex addict, a recovering sex addict, or a recovered sex addict? (It’s important to use all three terms so there’s no wiggle room.)
2. Do you treat partners using the trauma model or the codependent/co-addict model? (If they say ‘codependent’ or ‘a mix of both,’ find a therapist who uses only the trauma model.)
3. How do you feel about the codependent model? (If they say anything other than ‘it damages/further traumatizes partners, they are not current on the research.)
4. What is the recovery rate for sex addicts? (If they give an actual percentage, they are either mistakenly or purposely stating a false statistic.)
5. Do you know what ‘gaslighting’ is? (If they don’t, it indicates that they don’t understand the SA tools for abuse and are therefore not qualified to help you.)
6. How do you feel about the term ‘pain-shopping’? (That’s what therapists who are not current on the research call our need for the whole truth and the hyper-vigilance that is a normal symptom of trauma.)
7. What is your position/method of operation regarding formal disclosures? (Look for a therapist who believes you are entitled to all the information you want, as quickly as you want it.)
8. How do you feel about the statement, “What sex addicts do to partners is domestic abuse”? If they don’t agree, ask if their definition of abuse includes behavior that manipulates and injures a partner through lying, deception, blame-shifting, gaslighting, putting her health at risk, denying her the facts needed to make informed decisions for herself and her children, threats, criticism, unfounded accusations, putting her and her children in financial jeopardy through secret spending, etc. (If they can’t recognize what abuse is, then you are not safe with them.)
9. Are you trained to treat trauma/ptsd? (They cannot help you if they’re not.)
10. Are you familiar with Dr. Omar Minwalla’s work? (If they’re not, ask if they’d be willing to read some of his articles.)