In Patient Workshops for Sexual Addiction

I received the following e-mail from a visitor, and, since I have limited contacts with anyone who has a personal experience with in patient treatment or workshops for Sexual Addiction, I thought I would post her e-mail here in hopes that someone will have some input. Unfortunately there are no posts or comments that I found that could help her on this website.

About a year ago I heard a personal account from a Sex Addict who spent some time at a Patrick Carnes sponsored facility and the experience was not very good. He said  that he was treated rudely and felt like a prisoner. He left after only two days. He and his wife went on to attend weekend workshops which helped them greatly. I also know of a female Sex Addict who was in an in patient treatment facility for six weeks, yet she continues to act out.

You will only get out of treatment what you put into it. I hope that whatever treatment this woman’s husband attends will offer him the tools to recover.

Message: Hi JoAnn,

I’m interested in hearing from others if anyone’s spouse attended workshops or in patient treatment at the Meadows or any center.  A quick search of your site didn’t turn up anything on it but I’m not sure I have the format down well enough and may have missed it.

Can you direct me to any threads where this was discussed or start one asking if anyone has feedback on any institutions or experience with a treatment program they’d like to share.

My husband may go to the 5 day workshop given at the Meadows but I cannot find any information about it other than what they provide on their website.  I’m very interested in hearing from someone who has been through it and the results.

Thanks!

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Responses

  1. Im not sure what kind of treatment my husband’s falls under. He finally went to a psychiatrist yesterday for the first time. This guy costs $100 a session and it is a 10 session program? He didn’t mention anything like a support group and said I would get involved in the sessions around the 3rd or 4th. I was concerned bc I have never heard of this kind of counseling? 10 sessions and your healed? My husband did say if he wasn’t better that he could continue to go. Is this just normal counseling?

  2. Hi Elise,
    You have the right to phone the Dr.’s office and request information, since you are factored into it. Ask for the therapeutic model from which he/she practices, therapeutic goals withyour husband and how you are related to those goals (since you are, in fact, a part of the plan), what are reasonable expectations for a 10 session program, and the Dr’s experience in SA.

    And then get your own therapist who will treat you within a trauma model.

    As for the original posting—
    My husband has told me about some of these programs and his sponsor went to one, and he’s met others as well. They are very very expensive. The feedback has been that ifyou are really working the program and seeing a therapist, you will get where you need to go. I think those who live in deep denials about everything may benefit from the relentless nature of “in house arrest” style resident therapy. But unless they are supported and committed when they leave—it’s a little like going on a spiritual or self-help retreat—it’s hard to sustain the “high” when you are back home.

    D.

  3. I agree with Diane completely on all counts. Great advice about the doctor.

    About the residential programs— First of all, in any case, a 5 day therapeutic program, in my opinion, is a joke and a total waste of time and money. Perhaps it could be used as a “jump start”, but again—I think that working with a qualified therapist (hopefully covered in part by insurance) and local 12-step programs and having a sponsor—that cost very little, would be just as good. There’s no quick fix here.

    My ex-friend, Predator went to one of these 2k a day, facilities for 3 weeks—and ONLY six days after his partner found out about his “lifestyle”. She had galvanized his parents, an interventionist (wtf?)–All there to “convince” him that he needed this “help.” Oh, to be a fly on the wall for that drama. Addicts love drama (even if they say they don’t)

    Six weeks after he returned from his 42k stint in Sex Addict Jail, I found him, easily, back out on the streets—hustling—Yes, indeed, on the VERY site I had met him on. So much for “recovery.”

    Apparently, (according to Partner’s blog) he also followed up with a 12-step group (if he’s really there—I very much doubt it.) and a therapist. She did not seek out any therapeutic help for herself, however. (That IS co-dependent!)

    Since then, I have also seen Predator on Craig’s List numerous times, in all his nekked glory, and out of curiosity, I even placed two different bait ads to see if he would respond. Well, he shor did, and I even convinced him to give me his cell phone number. NO!!! I am not contacting him– just wanted to see how far he would go. This is a man still in the throws of active and ever-progressing addiction, despite “intensive” therapy.

    Sorry, wish I had better news.

    So, as JoAnn and Diane said—The addict needs to do his OWN research and be his OWN and PRIMARY advocate for recovery. I mean, why are partners doing all of this research to “help” him??? How old is he? 10, 12? If he can go through the machinations that it takes to be a SA, then he can figure out something that’s relatively straight-forward, such as SA therapeutic treatment options. Encouragement, support, compassion—sure, that’s great, if you can manage to muster up those feelings and feel at this point, that the relationship is worth salvaging. Every individual situation has some unique circumstances. However, the addict needs to be an adult and truly WANT to change and grow and live a healthier life. If he’s not ready to do that, I’d take the 10k and go to Vegas–The odds at coming out ahead are far greater.

    Best,

    Lorraine

    PS: Diane, I hope that you’re feeling better today.

  4. Oh Lorraine,
    Some great waves of sadness have just rolled in—and well, you know how that goes. That unique combo of terrible hurt and deep grief. I think sometimes that when I start to live in the world again like myself, I get afraid to be “out there”. I’m still looking over my shoulder and wondering why I’m alone.

    We had a major setback a week ago—and there’s always an emotional lag time for in my response (a learned survival technique). After making great steps in our emotional connections and his availabiity, we were setting up a time in the fall for “the disclosure”–as a prelude to beginning again and slowly moving back toward each other over the next year. I don’t actually want to do know anything more than I know, because I don’t want the “awful” to be in my head and not be able to get it out—-but I also know that ground zero honesty was needed. We were building in recovery time from that event, as well as how we would do it, who would be there to support each of us, and also, for me, who would ensure honesty (I had asked for his sponsor). Then suddenly everything went weird and his therapist (who believes completely in the co-dependent model) started to intrude, disagreeing with my requests that ensured my safety zone, announcing that he didn’t lie and the sponsor wasn’t needed, and the sponsor could come because it violated 12 step secrecy (but he had offered and I already have his name and #), and how she (the therapist) should be there to observe the dynamics to watch for my co-depedency etc. And I hit the rooF!!!!

    I named everything she was doing that was wrong and inappropriate, including inserting her personal agenda into what was going to be a devastating experience for me, and re-vicimizing me again with her professional co-dependency co-dependency, and why the hell did he let her do this when we had agreed on everything…..

    And then the penny dropped. I wrote down everything I knew about the therapist and what he’d shared, and I saw that he had just turned her into his new mother. He was doing to me through her what he’d been doing to me through his mother for 30 years—sacrificing me to her abuse so he wouldn’t have to endure it for a while.

    needless to say we had it out big time—him not getting it, denying it etc, and then finally finally admitting it. So I nixed the disclosure, the plan to move toward each toher slowly and asked him to step away from me. He and his new mother were just too dangerous.

    So, that’s my new sad tale. But it’s like I said, I have to do this in a way that’s true to my own faith and values. And now I know that his sobriety is just the tip of iceberg as far as the abuse of this relationship. The best I’m hoping for now is to hold on to a loving friendship through which we are parents in a family. If I stick around hoping for anything else—I’m going to lose that too.

    My husband is mentally ill. His mother ruined him with emotional incest, physical and spiritual abuse. And 12 steps just aren’t enough.

    I’m sorry to be the gloom and doomer today, but that really is the way this goes, so I’m not going to pretend with the very people who have held on to me when no one else did.

    thanks again, and love to all,
    D.

  5. As the original poster of this q I want to add my husband is already in the 12 steps and his counselor strongly recommends the 5 day workshop at the meadows. He is searching for info on this too I’m not doing the leg work for him. He is reaching out to his sa group for their experiences with it. Why fault me for wanting to reach out here for personal experiences? It is 2k not 10k but still an investment and a decision we will not take lightly. He has been sober for 6 months now and we are finding a lack of experienced counselors in our area. So I’d still like to hear if anyone has experience first hand from an addict who willingly entered one of these pgms and gave it his all in hoped of furthering recovery.

    Why

  6. Hi A,

    Oops. There seems to be some misunderstanding. Oh my—I would never fault anyone for reaching out here for any information whether their husband was also doing the work or not.

    I was simply relating my story and the absurdity of that particular situation. Like I said, every situation has unique circumstances and it also sounds like your husband is light years beyond what my ex-boyfriend was on his “recovery”.

    I don’t know enough to know if this makes sense for your particular situation.

    Again, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding.

    Best,

    Lorraine

  7. Diane,

    I’m so sorry that you are going through all of this angst; why does it all have to be so complicated? (rhetorical question)

    Disclosure is such a slippery slope, for when it’s outta the box, you can’t ever put it back in. I know that Predator’s partner still doesn’t know half of the shit that went on and if she did, she wouldn’t be able to stay with him for one more minute. He was so passively demeaning to her (as he is to ALL women) and I can’t say anymore, because to this day, it upsets me greatly, but those horrible images are etched in my mind, forever.

    I’m with you, 100%, regarding this therapist. She’s full of it. What co-dependency on your part??? You have clearly presented as the antithesis of a co-dependent woman! I have read a lot about co-dependents and my understanding is that a codie, almost ALWAYS sacrifices their own principles and puts the other person FIRST, ahead of their own needs, wants and desires to avoid conflict, etc. to a very unhealthy degree. This is so not you, it isn’t funny and even if it was, how would her looking for your doing something which mostly hurts YOU, impact the outcome of these sessions???

    How does his therapist KNOW that your husband doesn’t lie? And what is the problem with the sponsor coming if the sponsor has agreed to it??? I think that’s a wonderful idea. I am upset and depressed for you.

    Could there be a neutral third party (therapist) who is neither allied with your husband or you, as well as your husband’s sponsor?

    This makes a lot of sense to me, but for God’s sake, it needs to be fair and both of you need to be comfortable.

    Now, on the second reading, it sounds like you may have just given up any notion of a full reconciliation. Sometimes, Diane and I have done this too—We give up just before we are on the verge of success. Of course, what IS success, in this case? Maybe, you have reached the pinnacle and maybe not.

    I’m not sure—but whatever you do or decide, please hold your head up high. You are one very classy, beautiful, fantastic woman! I admire you greatly!

    xo,

    L

  8. thanks for the support, Lorraine. I will hold your wisdom with me.

    And I apologize to “A”, the original person who asked about treatment centres etc. for falling apart on her nickel.

    I hope someone will be able to add more value directly related to her questions.

    peace all
    D.

  9. Thank you Lorraine.
    Diane, Patrick Carnes has a test for co dependency in a couple of his books although he uses the term co addict. May I suggest you print it and take it in with you to his therapist who is labeling you. You can find it easily by googling “Patrick carnes co addict test” if I wasn’t on my phone I would link it for you. I’m so sorry you are having such a tough time.

    Hugs to all of you

    A

  10. Hi Diane, Lorraine, A,
    I’m sorry to hear the rug is being pulled out from under you Diane. You are wise to protect yourself and stick what’s safe and comfortable for you for what is sure to be a horrible event.

    I honestly don’t ever want to know, which is odd because I’m one of the nosiest souls on the planet but in this case I don’t want to know. It’s not just that the images are likely to disturb and upset me, it’s also the fear that once he unloaded all of that, put himself at my feet, he’d expect I’d forgive him. If I were to know any more than I do now, I couldn’t look at him again. I can barely look at him now.

    A, wish I had some wisdom for you – I don’t know anyone who’s been to one of those joints. If you can afford it, I’m sure it won’t hurt even if it doesn’t make a huge dent in the problem.

  11. My Dearest Diane,

    I do hope today finds you in a better place than you were when you wrote this post:

    Some great waves of sadness have just rolled in—and well, you know how that goes. That unique combo of terrible hurt and deep grief. I think sometimes that when I start to live in the world again like myself, I get afraid to be “out there”. I’m still looking over my shoulder and wondering why I’m alone.

    We had a major setback a week ago—and there’s always an emotional lag time for in my response (a learned survival technique). After making great steps in our emotional connections and his availabiity, we were setting up a time in the fall for “the disclosure”–as a prelude to beginning again and slowly moving back toward each other over the next year. I don’t actually want to do know anything more than I know, because I don’t want the “awful” to be in my head and not be able to get it out—-but I also know that ground zero honesty was needed. We were building in recovery time from that event, as well as how we would do it, who would be there to support each of us, and also, for me, who would ensure honesty (I had asked for his sponsor). Then suddenly everything went weird and his therapist (who believes completely in the co-dependent model) started to intrude, disagreeing with my requests that ensured my safety zone, announcing that he didn’t lie and the sponsor wasn’t needed, and the sponsor could come because it violated 12 step secrecy (but he had offered and I already have his name and #), and how she (the therapist) should be there to observe the dynamics to watch for my co-depedency etc. And I hit the rooF!!!!

    I named everything she was doing that was wrong and inappropriate, including inserting her personal agenda into what was going to be a devastating experience for me, and re-vicimizing me again with her professional co-dependency co-dependency, and why the hell did he let her do this when we had agreed on everything…..

    And then the penny dropped. I wrote down everything I knew about the therapist and what he’d shared, and I saw that he had just turned her into his new mother. He was doing to me through her what he’d been doing to me through his mother for 30 years—sacrificing me to her abuse so he wouldn’t have to endure it for a while.

    needless to say we had it out big time—him not getting it, denying it etc, and then finally finally admitting it. So I nixed the disclosure, the plan to move toward each toher slowly and asked him to step away from me. He and his new mother were just too dangerous.

    So, that’s my new sad tale. But it’s like I said, I have to do this in a way that’s true to my own faith and values. And now I know that his sobriety is just the tip of iceberg as far as the abuse of this relationship. The best I’m hoping for now is to hold on to a loving friendship through which we are parents in a family. If I stick around hoping for anything else—I’m going to lose that too.

    My husband is mentally ill. His mother ruined him with emotional incest, physical and spiritual abuse. And 12 steps just aren’t enough.

    I’m sorry to be the gloom and doomer today, but that really is the way this goes, so I’m not going to pretend with the very people who have held on to me when no one else did.

    thanks again, and love to all,
    D.

    I told Larry last week that ‘something is wrong with Diane’.

    I could sense it in your comments on the site and I could just ‘feel’ it. I worried over it at night, and actually typed in ‘are you alright?’ when we touched base in google chat. But I deleted it before I sent it out of respect for your privacy and thought it was best to allow you to broach the subject when you felt the need. I remember when I just could not talk about the pain, even to my children, when I was in crisis.

    Bravo for confronting the therapist! There are many bad therapists in the world, and many more who have entered the field because of their own issues, making them vulnerable to manipulation. She also has more than just a touch of need for control, as indicated in her desire to ‘observe the dynamics’ (this is bad enough) and to ‘watch for your co-dependency’ (kudos to you for not killing her with your bare hands). That whole scenario stinks of co-conspiracy, arrogance, control and non-professionalism.

    And, bravo for sharing, reaching out and showing your vulnerability to those you have learned to trust. As I said before, this world would be so much better if women ruled.

    If you are not ready for disclosure, then that is your choice and you should stick with it. We all have our limits and boundaries for the amount of swamp water we can wade through. I needed to know everything, because my imagination was much worse than reality. I could not ‘get rid’ of it until I knew what ‘it’ was. With every disclosure the pain was unbearable, but, with each honest disclosure I felt able to feel the pain, experience the loss and then let it go. And, I felt that until and unless I knew the entire story I could never make an informed decision about staying or leaving permanently. I had to know what I was dealing with. And, I knew–but never said–that if Larry’s addiction had ever involved minors that that would be non negotiable. My grandchildren, and all precious children, are sacred and off limits–even if it is only in his mind. Fortunately that was not one of his issues.

    I totally understand your ‘tip of the iceberg’ statement. Stopping the acting out is only the beginning. All Sex Addicts have a form of mental illness. Certainly we can understand the reasons and feel compassion for their suffering, BUT…that does not give them the right to abuse us, which is what they all have become. Perpetrators and abusers. No matter how much counseling they receive, how many 12 step meetings they attend or how many support groups they embrace, Sex Addicts will always have personality flaws. We, as women, have the burden of deciding how much we can live with or without.

    Diane, I hope you know how much I care for you and wish for your healing. Please know that I will always be here for you. You have been in my thoughts all week, and I will continue to send you all the best of my good energy for strength and direction.

    Love and hugs,

    JoAnn

  12. Thank you JoAnn,
    for holding me in your life with such tenderness, and for all the great women here who understand the terrible “crash and burn” scenarios that we face in this nightmare world of sex addiction. One minute we are okay, and the next we are in a puddle.

    I want you all to know that it is truly your offerings of lessons learned, new insights, expression of care, and outrageous humour that keep me on the trail of my own recovery—no matter what!

    This latest setback feels like a fairly significant shift in my “approach”. And I tried to say—it’s a shift off the sex addiction into the terrible wound behind it all. That mental illness (high functioning through he is in every other way) is still directing our relationship. I have begun to doubt that it can be resolved in any way that will ever lift the burden off me. I am sorry for myself, but also for him. He’s not a monster. He was just raised by one.

    On a more positive note. I was listening to Mark Cohn’s song “Looking for one safe place” and have concluded, that I have to BE my own safe place. I have to get rid of the junk that we collect in ourselves, and hold my own life with reverence. So that’s where i am going to focus. We’ll see how it goes.

    And on that note….I have also been ruminating on the therapeutic track which suggests women who come from alcoholic parent(s) are more likely to marry sex addicts (or perhaps addicts in general). It just seems to me that I can’t buy this zombie approach to understanding me as a human being. I just don’t remember anything weird about falling in love with my husband. Dont’ you think it just might be that in my search (as an example) for a mate, I was focussed on finding someone who presented himself as the complete opposite? That much makes perfect sense, and I can remember thinking about what to watch out for. But maybe the men who have the best “appearance” of that opposite are the ones who lie the best. Lying is like breathing for an SA. After all, their facade is professional quality. It fools their employers, their parents, their brothers and sisters, their friends, their religious leaders, their chidren, 0h—-and guess who else—the women who marry them!!!

    Any way, you didn’t really expect that I would leave without a good rant about something totally wrong about the therapeutic default system around sex addiciton, did you?

    I’m down, but I’m not out. We aren’t through here.

    love to all,
    D.

  13. My Husband has been at the Meadows in AZ for 2 weeks now. I am still contemplating going down for family week. I am a mess! I feel like that I have been married to a stranger for 5 yrs and I have a 2 and 3 yr old boys to take care of. The people there said if i do choose to go, i should go for me and that my husband is secondary. I do know that I need healing but I am 99% sure that I do not want to stay married and he is wanting us to work things out. I am sick of him manipulating me. I almost feel like it has bordered on brain washing. Anyways it would be nice to talk with some people going thru what I am going thru.
    take care

  14. Lucylu,
    I am in the same boat as you only I think farther ahead in the whole recovery process. I have an almost 1 year old and a 3 year old.

    My husband was a master manipulator and emotional abuser. I can tell you it has been 6 months and he has completely stopped all of the emotional abuse and I don’t feel he tries to manipulate anymore. I was skeptical he could come to such an about face but for the time being has. What I’m not certain about is if he can maintain this positive attitude and kindness toward everyone in his life.

    The advice my counselor gave me was to give it a year and see how I feel before filing for divorce. That doesn’t mean we have to remain under the same roof just that I should wait before making a final decision. I think that is good advice.

    I was 99.9999% sure I was going to divorce him initially, I’ve been at every level in the spectrum in the past 6 months. I even called an attorney. If we didn’t have children there would be no reason to give him a chance, but since we do have two beautiful boys, I think I owe it to them to see if we can be happy as a family. If we can’t be happy then I won’t stay in the relationship.

    I can tell you with 100% certainty that I will never again tolerate any type of abuse, nor will I stay if he cannot stay sober. I have a very clear zero tolerance boundary on acting out with anyone.

    I think for your own peace of mind and so you can be sure you made the absolute right decision it can’t hurt to give it some time before making a final decision.

    However, if he is not showing any sort of commitment to recovery then I think that’s a different issue. My husband has shown a very strong dedication to recovery and that’s why I’m ok with giving him time to prove what he can be for our family.

    Diane,
    Nothing rings truer for me than this ““crash and burn” scenarios that we face in this nightmare world of sex addiction. One minute we are okay, and the next we are in a puddle.”

    I go from days where I feel very happy and comfortable with hope in my heart and a skip in my step to turning on a dime into absolute misery and crying where I just want out of this mess. Fortunately my bad days are getting fewer and the happy days more frequent I can only hope this trend continues.

  15. I wanted to jump in here and answer this question from someone who is WELL versed in living with a sex addict- after 10 years of acting out, countless affairs, an attempt at a faith based residential treatment facility, and then a year long relapse, my husband attended the meadows for 35 days and then attended the sex addiction intensive after-care program called Dakota House for another 60 days. I attended the week long family week as part of the treatment, and I can honestly say this was the most amazing facility, and some of the best therapists I have ever worked with in my life. And i have worked with a LOT of therapists. Maureen Canning and Pia Mellody, who are directors at the Meadows, have written AMAZING books that I devoured and have helped me greatly. The staff at the Meadows are compassionate and extraordinarily well trained in the area of sexual addiction.
    The meadows has their program broken up by week, and each week builds on the next. I can say with absolute certainty that I have NEVER seen my husband respond to any program, therapist, or treatment, but after returning home from the Meadows, he has achieved several months of sobriety which he has never accomplished before in his life.
    The Meadows gives tools for the addicts to be able to handle the everyday stresses of life. What would seem like a minor situation to most people can cause the most terrifying episodes of acting out in a sex addict.
    I will say also that the Meadows, like any treatment, only “works” if the addict is willing to throw himself into the program 100% and do the work asked of them. It’s not a miracle or magic bullet, it’s just highly trained people who know how to halt the cycle. Anyone who says they feel like a “prisoner” are not ready to quit acting out. There is no sexual acting out, no sugar or caffeine (yikes) and no opportunities to self-medicate while at the Meadows, so naturally an addict living in these circumstances will feel extreme discomfort. I will also say that it DOES NOT MATTER what the motivation is in getting the addict there- some people will say unless the addict REALLY wants to go to treatment, then it won’t work. My husband was acting out up until the second he got on the plane. He was not “ready” to go to treatment, but once he got to the Meadows decided that since we were spending the money he might as well work the program. AND IT IS WORKING. So don’t let anyone tell you otherwise- the issue is getting the addict THROUGH the door, NOT convincing them 100%. If they were able to get their head out of their fog and realize the truth of their behavior, they wouldn’t NEED to go to in-patient treatment. Just support them and do whatever you need to do to get them there, and then the staff will take the reins.

  16. HI again,
    I just found out that my SA will be attending the “Meadows” annual symposium held in Chicago (I think) in Oct., and also a special weekend conference in the “Meadows” centre in Arizona featuring the guru Bradshaw who has published and done TV shows on Shame. My SA can’t afford the longer term programs, but his well-to-do sponsor did attend the longer program there and speaks favorably about it. Also, apparently at the October event there is going to be a speaker (not B. Steffens—it’s a man) on the trauma model for partners and spouses, as well as the usual codependency female guru associated with the Meadows whose name I forget (hmmm, I wonder why)

    I’l let you know of any impression he shares with me in the months to come. Or, it might be helpful for your SA to check out these two events as possible first steps before doing the longer program.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Diane.

  17. Hello,

    I know this is an old thread, but I found it when, a few weeks ago, my husband relapsed AGAIN and my last consequence before divorce was: Take a medical leave from your high-powered, means everything to you job and go to inpatient rehab. He did. We researched a few programs and he finally decided on the Meadows. It was the most expensive of the options ($42K) for the 35 days of inpatient treatment.

    My husband has been at the Meadows for three weeks now. I just got back from family week yesterday. I have to say that family was amazing. Not once did anyone call me a co-addict or codependent (though I have been in recovery for codependence for 4 years and in recovery for compulsive eating for the same time…I really needed it, though…not everyone does). In fact, the family week was really more about me having a voice and having a safe place to express myself to my spouse. The counselors were AMAZING. They do something called a “conjoint session” where one person sits in the talking chair, the other in a listening chair, and there are two therapists on either side that help process the conversation. My husband got whacked between the eyes with many truths and had many revelations about his behavior in those sessions.

    The thing that the Meadows really focuses on is the basis for addiction…specifically any and all childhood trauma and “less than nurturing” behaviors that lead to a core feeling of shame and inadequacy that a child then finds “bad” ways to medicate. My husband, for example, began self-soothing with masturbation at the age of 5 or 6. In college this quickly escalated to porn, and then in to more and more progressed behaviors.

    They really focus on getting addicts (and family members) to note the physical sensations of their feelings. They want addicts to be able to name and express their feelings rather than bottling them up. This leads to the feelings “coming out sideways” as they like to say. They have a three part sentence structure which they teach and get the patients to model at least three times a day. Basically it is: When I saw (some statement of data, something that happend, that was said, etc.), what I thought about that was…and that made me feel (Anger, Fear, Pain, Shame, Guilt, Joy, Passion, or Love–these are the 8 feelings they recognize and teach in their model). So an example would be: When I saw you quickly put away your cell phone after I walked in the room, what I thought about that was that you were texting your affair partner and that made me feel anger, fear, and pain. And then the counselor would generally prod on the thought line to say something like, if your husband was texting his affair partner, what does that mean? Or they would say, what’s the anger (or the fear or the pain) about? And the answer would generally be: That he was acting out and that I would lose him or that he was acting out and our marriage would have to end.

    It’s a very effective tool and it really does work at helping to understand what feelings come up with specific thoughts. Really helps dialogue. In addition to those, there are group sessions with the family members all participating in exercises, and there are various lectures about family systems, addiction, the codependency model they build their treatment plan from, and many more. They were all excellent.

    So my husband is at the Meadows now, and he is strongly thinking that he will stay for the extended care at the Dakota house (which is a less restrictive facility right next to the Meadows) for sex addicts. It provides further treatment (the treatment at the Meadows is a holistic approach…they do a lot of trauma work in the way of somatic experiencing and EMDR, as well as offer yoga and tai chi daily, and psychological evaluations and therapy and group sessions) as well as helps patients learn how to set up a structured life after going home. Of course it is also ridiculously expensive ($15K for 28 days).

    I can definitely say that he is responding differently to this therapy and treatment than he ever has. I have actually seen him feel remorseful for his actions for the first time. I can actually see that he was sad for the things he did. I have a similar story to so many of the women here…my husband was the perfect guy: incredibly nice, seemingly very caring, very successful, great job, good looking….except he’s a raging addict. And all of the good stuff was a lie that he enacted to make himself feel like a good person when inside he felt like the scum of the earth…and so that’s how he acted.

    Basically, the Meadows is providing amazing treatment, family week was a mind-blowing experience for all of us family members who went: we each learned a lot about ourselves and got some great advice for how to take care of our selves. They never say that the patient will be healed and they acknowledge that relapse is possible. In fact, when I was there, there were several sex addicts who were going through intensive inpatient therapy for the 3rd and 4th time. Each of them acknowledged they’d never been to the Meadows before, though. They all said that they felt they were finally dealing with the root of their addiction: the trauma and resulting codependency.

    I hope this gives some one who might be searching for information another perspective. I’ll check back if I can remember to see if anyone ever has questions.

  18. I know this discussion is very old but I thought I would try and see if anyone had opinions on effectiveness of inpatient treatment? We are looking at inpatient treatment for my husband (he’s done 12 step, seen a “therapist” not licensed in sex addiction) but the cost is 22k out of pocket. We really don’t have the money so he’s looking at 10 day intensive outpatient treatments. I guess I’m just trying to decide if the outpatient will be just as effective if followed up with a new therapist and 12 step. We live in such a remote area he drives 2hours to the meetings and therapist, which only gives him a reason to quit. If we spend the 22k we will be in more debt which will be more stress for him. He’s been battling since he was 13 (28 now) and has done a couple treatment facilities before as a teenager. Any advice is appreciated!

  19. Mary,

    Absolutely. The intensives are very, very helpful— for the people giving them. These opportunists make a LOT of money, taking advantage of the vulnerable and traumatized. Quite frankly, it makes me wanna throw up; particularly the ones that say… “we’ll make your marriage better than ever.”

    really? that’s impossible.

    Please tell me… If the shoe were on the other foot and it was you with the sex addiction, would your husband be trolling the internet incessantly looking for the magic fix to just make it all go away? Would he?

    no, of course not. He’d divorce your ass quicker than you can say… but…

    Look, you’ve already spent 22k that you don’t have. Hub is naturally getting disgusted with the entire process. Yes, yes… he had a horrible childhood. We ALL did. But not all horrible childhoods lead to sex addiction. This is a choice. And his choice was to lie to you and marry you under false pretenses.

    How does that make you feel? How much more are you willing to spend before you throw in the towel and say… yeah… he’s a personality disordered wingnut and I’m still very young and I deserve (much) better than this and I’m not gonna take this anymore.

    The jig is up! He’s obviously not one of the 5%. Yes, you married him for better or worse. What about him? I say this contract is null and void because he did not hold up his end of the agreement. Not even close!

    Please do not spend another penny — that you don’t even have on a hopeless cause. You can absolutely stay married to this man. but, for the love of God… please do not expect him to change.

    You can’t put back what was never there to begin with! I am so sorry for your pain and suffering. Everyone who writes on this blog understands it completely, because we have lived it too. I am easily old enough to be your mother. Please make a plan that will benefit you. Put yourself FIRST for a change.

    There is no WE in sex addiction. There is only HIM and his demons. Either he truly wants this or he doesn’t. And all the help is not really help. Its just pouring more attention his way… but its not helping at all. He has made it clear. He is not really on the up and up— still. I wish you nothing but the best. I know that this is difficult to read, but its the truth. my best, Kim

  20. Mary,
    I am the OP of this thread. My husband did a week long treatment at the Meadows in AZ. It was around 3K I think?? That was a few years back. It was very very beneficial to him. That was almost three years ago and I’m not aware of him acting out since then. I definitely can’t say our marriage is better than ever. We still have a lot of problems. SAs are just all around messed up people and nothing but a lifetime of therapy will “fix” them imo. If and only if you have young children to tie you to this person, that is the only thing I can think of as a reason to stay with an SA. I wish I had left my husband 4 years ago when I learned of the addiction but I didn’t and feel like I’m continuing to waste my life with him. If you are determined to stay with him then yes, I think the week long session at the Meadows is well worth the money.

  21. OP,

    Forgive me, but I fail to see how you deduced that a stint at the Meadows (and this woman is talking about 22k, not 3k) would be beneficial. Based on what you said, I came up with the opposite conclusion.

    a) you say that you’re not AWARE that your husband is acting out.
    b) he’s still a personality disordered wing nut
    c) you wish that you had left four years ago when you first found out.
    d) that your marriage still sucks
    e) and it sounds like you’ve only hung on because of the children.

    The latter is a REASON to leave as SAs are more likely to be sexually inappropriate with their children too. So, tell me, please, HOW did the 3k stint at the Meadows help your husband who can only be helped with life-long therapy? (I beg to differ there too as I don’t think one lifetime would be long enough to help him much.)

    I am very, very sorry for your situation and pain that we all feel, because our situations are all similar. And I wish that I could offer some words of consolation. Quite frankly, and please forgive my crassness, but it sounds like you’ve pretty much made a deal with the devil and I feel badly for you. It doesn’t have to be that way and that is why I write on this blog. One of my missions in life is to help other women AND myself to face our lives head on, with courage, love and the ability to change courses whenever its necessary.

    It took me years to leave which I finally did 5 months ago. I can’t say that’s its always been easy, but I found that leaving allowed me the hope of a better life. With him there was no hope. The person that I responded to earlier has already invested a lot in her husband and with little or no results AND they cannot afford the 22k, so I fail to see why in any circumstance, EXCEPT for a man who does NOT WANT TO BE THAT MAN ANYMORE, why that could possibly be recommended. Clearly, her husband is not one of those and that is why I think its a complete and total waste of $ that they don’t even have! best, Kim

  22. I have no doubt that the stay helped him and was worth the $3K. I didn’t expect it to fix my marriage, that is up to him whether he wants to apply what he learned and continue to improve.

    He came back and completely dropped the ball on his recovery and therapy. That doesn’t mean the week was not beneficial to him.

    It was a week of intense therapy where he learned a lot about himself and his addiction.