By Dr. Georgia Fourlas, LCSW, LISAC, CSAT, Rio Retreat Center Lead Therapist at The Meadows
There is an indescribable beauty in watching participants move into a deeper level of intimacy after struggling through the destruction of sexual addiction.
We recently held our first session of Discovery to Recovery Part 3: From Grief to Hope, a unique workshop for couples who have already begun a journey of recovery from sex addiction. The workshop focuses on helping the couple make a transition from despair to renewal.
The rebuilding process set in motion during the workshop helps couples move their focus from the individual’s addiction to the couple and their attachment. Many couples come to this session feeling that they are stuck in grief, which can leave them feeling hopeless and helpless. The grieving process that couples embark on together throughout the week allows them to honor the pain caused by other forces in their lives while examining how that pain has kept them emotionally separated.
Through honoring that pain and re-connecting with one another, couples begin to experience the hope that not only can attachment be repaired, but also that they can experience emotional intimacy that can surpass what they ever believed possible in their lives. I like to think of this as intimacy beyond their wildest dreams, which can be experienced regardless of whether or not the couple is staying together.
Some couples decide it is best for them to move forward apart while building on the hope that they can continue to honor one another as healthy co-parents or in another capacity that respects both partners while they go their separate ways. Others decide to make staying together in a mutually fulfilling and loving relationship their goal.