Licensed in New York and Florida
Carol Juergenen Sheets and Allan J. Katz have created a workbook/roadmap for rebuilding relationships damaged by sexual addiction and other forms of infidelity. With a focus on empathy – understanding what the betrayed partner is feeling; the exercises in this guidebook will help sex addicts rebuild lost trust and intimacy. This is a recipe for healing a broken relationship.
EMPATHY: RECOGNIZING THE PAIN YOUR ACTIONS HAVE CAUSED.
THE AVR FORMULA©
Betrayed Partners consistently tell me that they want their unfaithful partners to understand the depths and devastation of their pain. Although the sex addicted partner is living with the pain that they have caused daily, part of the betrayed partners healing process is to be reminded that the unfaithful partner sees the pain and recognizes that his behaviors caused it. This process must happen consistently for the betrayed partner to feel safe enough to trust the recovery process. Betrayed partners want to believe that you, will never do this again, but there is no guarantee. The heart wants to trust you, but the head and experience is telling them it is not safe to be this vulnerable, so they keep their guard up and look for reasons to reject your attempts at honesty and authenticity. This is going to require that you consistently practice empathy in all sorts of ways.
Using AVR assures betrayed partners that you are connecting your previous actions to their feelings. It also reminds them of what you are going to do to rebuild their foundation of safety.
Often in therapy, the addicts need a formula to help them respond to betrayed partners in a way that shows that they realize the damage that they have caused and how their sexual addiction has affected their partners.
We have been trained to know that the quickest way that addicts can redeem themselves and prove to their partners that they will do whatever it takes to build the trust back is to recognize the betrayed partners pain and remind them that they know they caused it. It is then important for them to validate their partners feelings and make sure they can assess their feelings appropriately and then to reassure them that they will do whatever it takes to rebuild the confidence they once had in them.
RESOURCE - UNDERSTANDING BETRAYAL TRAUMA:Choosing Change_ Understanding and Empathizing with Survivors of Betrayal Trauma.pdf
CHAPTER 5: EMPATHY, THE BUILDING BLOCK OF TRUST
THE AVR FORMULA©
ACKNOWLEDGING THE ISSUE: Practicing AVR requires that you acknowledge the situation and accompanying pain.
VALIDATION OF HER FEELINGS USING THE FIVE PRIMARY FEELINGS: I can see as you discuss that issue that you feel (Anger, Sadness, Loneliness, Happiness or Fear.)
REASSURANCE THAT YOU WILL HELP HER HEAL: I want you to know that I am working on my recovery skills, and I never want to go back to that old addict behavior again.
Susan Zola, LCSW, CCPS, CSAT
Licensed in the State of New York, the State of Florida, the State of Connecticut, the State of Maine, the State of Texas, and the State of Massachusetts.
License Pending IN: New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Arizona.
Bachelor of Arts, Psychology – SUNY Binghamton, 1980
Master of Social Work – Adelphi University School of Social Work, 1982.
Private Practice – "Mind Over Matters," 2006.
LCSW License #078530-1
APSATS The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists
CSAT Certified Sex Addiction Therapist
IITAP The International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals
CCPS Certified Clinical Partner Specialist