Clients attend The Bridge to Recovery experiencing a myriad of complications in life. For some, it shows up as debilitating perfectionism, codependency, workaholism, eating disorders, people pleasing, substance abuse, and the list can go on and on (insert any ‘maladaptive coping strategy’ that fits). Some clients also struggle with intimacy disorders. These tend to be even less talked about given the high amount of shame that a lot of clients feel.
We all experience trauma and wounds in some form or fashion. How we adapt to survive can look very different from person to person. We work very hard to normalize that we all find ways to survive our circumstances in life. At TBTR, we focus on the core issues that promoted those survival strategies. Internal pain is what connects us all together and why group therapy at TBTR is so powerful and healing. We remove judgment and shame, focus on helping people stop the behaviors that are no longer serving them, and find healthy ways to cope with the daily struggles and triggers in life. We do this while also maintaining focus on healing the original wounds that essentially set us up to begin with.
All clients that admit to TBTR take the SAST-R (Sexual Addiction Screening Test-Revised) developed by Patrick J. Carnes as part of their admissions paperwork. While this is not a diagnostic assessment by any means, it does guide the clinical team to pinpoint clients who might have had or currently have struggles in relation to sex addiction. It also helps promote honest, vulnerable conversations that are typically not initiated out of that sense of shame and fear of judgement. Using these tools combined with having a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) on staff has been crucial to our clients’ workshop experience and healing.
Because we have a trained CSAT, clients who elect to stay for Phase Two (weeks three and four) have the opportunity, if they are willing, to dig deeper into intimacy disorders, how they have impacted their lives in the past and present, and how the road to healing and recovery can look different from other paths to healing/recovery. With this unique opportunity, they can address these issues in a therapeutic environment with support and compassion as well as ensure that they leave TBTR equipped to face life without the need of survival strategies that no longer serve them. They will leave with a strong foundation to continue to build upon as they venture back into their day-to-day lives.
We also recognize aftercare is crucial. If deemed clinically appropriate and the person is willing, they will also be referred to a CSAT therapist, if one is available in their area, allowing them to hold focus on healing and recovery as part of their therapeutic aftercare treatment team.
No one has to hide in shame and the shroud of secrecy that accompany intimacy disorder behaviors. At TBTR, we get it, we out it, and we work to heal where it stems from. Our clients are able to start their journey towards a full recovery from all survival strategies. #ITSNOTMYSHAME