Get the RIGHT therapy – the WRONG therapy can hurt you both

 💙  GET THE *RIGHT* KIND OF THERAPY the “WRONG” kind of therapy can do more damage!

For the betrayed partner:


You can benefit the most from a  partner-sensitive provider who understands infidelity betrayal trauma.


APSATS (Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists) trains therapists and coaches to support and assist you on this journey. They are specifically trained in best practices to help you feel emotionally validated, safe, and give practical instruction for grounding, and managing overwhelming emotions.

An APSATS-trained therapist or coach understands the magnitude of finding out your partner has been hiding a secret life and the devastation and shock that comes with it. They also understand sex addiction and best recovery practices, and can advise you on boundaries around your sexually addicted partner's recovery and relationship behavior. Your safety, emotional validation and education on healing and recovery will be an APSATS-trained provider's primary focus.

An APSATS-trained provider understands your experience, feelings and needs, much more than just a standard therapist with little to no experience with betrayal and sex addiction might.

If you can’t connect with an APSATS-trained therapist or coach, look for therapists with specialized training in:

  • Relational trauma
  • EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy based in Attachment Theory -( link to EFT therapist directory)
  • Attachment - theory, wounding and disorders
  • Intimacy disorders (sex addiction may be seen as an intimacy disorder)
  • Domestic abuse (deception is disempowering to you, and a form of emotional abuse)
  • Understand addiction in general

🔖  See our Module 4: Books for Your Own Personal Recovery as a Betrayed Partner


For the sexually addicted partner:

The partner with the problematic sexual behavior or sex addiction will benefit from working with a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist - Link to website and therapist directory)

However, unless that professional has specific additional training, they will not be able to fully advocate for the relationship recovery, or your emotional safety and healing.

Do not assume the CSAT will advise or teach your partner on how to repair the damage to the relationship or show empathy for your painful emotions. Their primary purpose is to help the addicted person recover from the addiction.

Your sexually addicted partner must take full responsibility of pushing forward for his own recovery. He can find the right kind of therapy in the CSAT directory. 

Note: If you can't find an in-person therapist, a tele-health or zoom session is better than an in-person provider who isn't properly trained in sex addiction recovery.


Pastoral counselors usually don't have the right training for sex addiction and betrayal trauma and can potentially cause more problems with harmful advice.


🚩  The wrong therapist or pastor who has inadequate specialized training for sexual addiction or problematic sexual behavior  can do more damage, enable an addicted person to believe they don't have a problem, or re-traumatize the betrayed partner. Shop around if you have to.

To see personal experiences of being further traumatized by the wrong type of therapy see this thread:

Trigger warning: Read the experiences of women who were further harmed by well-meaning professionals who had outdated or no training in this kind of repeat infidelity:
Private Facebook Group for Recovering Spouses of Sex Addicts - "bad therapy thread"


🚩Traditional marriage counseling is not the immediate answer early in recovery.

Marriage counseling traditionally sees the relationship as the client, not the people. It holds both partners responsible for causing and repairing the problems in the relationship. This is not fair to the person who was betrayed. If you engage in this kind of therapy, you as the betrayed partner might feel blamed, or that you hold some responsibility for what your partner did. Nothing could be further from the truth. You are in no way responsible for what they did, or what they might do.  The partner whose behavior was deceitful and betraying is solely responsible for causing the damage, and only they can be responsible for their own behavior, past and present.
No marriage is perfect and every person can benefit from bettering their communication and relational skills. But common relationship issues are paper cuts, compared to the artery bleed out of betrayal. The betrayal wounds must be addressed first, before normal relationship issues can be addressed.

 Sex addiction behaviors and betrayal is not caused by issues in the marriage. Marriage counseling cannot provide the therapy a sexually addicted person requires to recover from their addiction.

Deception is a form of abuse. Until the betrayer gets counseling for his root issues that cause him to deceive and betray, traditional marriage counseling is not able to address these highly specialized problems., Similarly, marriage counseling will not address your deep  attachment wounds, and the multiple issues of safety, emotional stability, deep loss and grief, trauma symptoms that betrayal trauma brings.

What about the relationship then?

The relationship connection repair can begin early, when the betrayal and wounding by the betraying partner has stopped, and each person is getting specialized treatment for betrayal trauma and sex addiction, and strong boundaries are in place.
This isn't traditional marriage counseling. Resources like Dr. Jake Porter's Couple-Centered Recovery Model will slowly and carefully address relationship repair if both parties are committed to healing and recovery. (See They will work with both partners to develop a plan that recreates a solid secure-functioning relationship that is safe, protected by both parties.
 Properly trained therapists and coaches can and should work together as a team to advocate for  each person's safety and recovery and the recovery of the entire household, including children.
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