Healing the Sexual Injury
Partner betrayal includes the overlapping of three specific types of traumatic injury that influence and exacerbate each other.
This four-day therapy intensive focuses on understanding and healing the sexual injury resulting from intimate betrayal.
Sex After Betrayal
Despite a growing array of resources for betrayed partners, there is limited focus on healing the sexual wounds created by betrayal.
Many individuals start with a deficit in this area. This deficit can be caused by sexually shaming cultural messages and impossible-to-meet sexual standards. Or by past experiences of sexual harm, either in childhood or previous adult relationships. It can be caused by confusing religious messages that create ambivalence around sex. Or by the enormous pressure around body shape and size.
Regardless of where the wound originates, sexual betrayal piles on, creating uncertainty and prompting these key questions:
- Am I worthy?
- Am I wanted?
- Am I important?
Our sexuality connects to our deepest attachment-based needs. This is why sexual betrayal cuts so deep. Reclaiming your sexual self (maybe for the first time ever) is the healing focus of this intensive.
After completing the Sex After Betrayal: Reclaiming Your Sexual Self intensive you will be able to:
- Operate from self-acceptance knowing that who you are, how you are sexually wired, your preferences, experiences and desires are normal.
- Help your partner (or future partner) understand who you are sexually and engage in your sexual relationship from a place of self-acceptance and curiosity.
- Identify your Sexual Alarm System, honor your need for safety and move more freely toward the safe adventure of sex.
- Learn how to say no so that you can fully and enthusiastically say yes.
- Find your sexual voice, create sexual boundaries, and gain courage to speak honestly and vulnerably about sexual issues with those who matter.
This program IS ideal for you for…
- Women who have experienced sexual betrayal (whether from an isolated infidelity or a pattern of sexually compulsive behavior) and have completed the initial work to address the crisis of discovery, stabilize trauma symptoms, and establish boundaries and patterns of self-care.
- Betrayed partners who feel ready to deal with the impact to their sexuality and are prepared to dive deeply into sexual issues in a safe and confidential small group setting.
- Betrayed partners who want to better understand their sexuality and more fully embrace their sexual selves.
The program is NOT ideal for…
- Betrayed partners who are in the initial shock and awe of discovery and still experiencing significant emotional activation and trauma symptoms. This intensive could be potentially too activating for someone in that stage of healing. If this is you, it may not feel like it today, but you will eventually get to the place where this intensive is right for you.
- Women who have a history of childhood sexual abuse and are currently dealing with that abuse and experiencing significant emotional disruption as a result. This intensive would be wonderful a little farther down the road when you are out of the intense work around the childhood sexual abuse and ready to take on the work of reclaiming your sexuality for yourself.
How the Intensive is Structured
The Sex After Betrayal: Reclaiming Your Sexual Self intensive is held at the Center for Relational Recovery’s main office in Leesburg VA just outside of Washington DC. Participants stay at a local hotel.
The intensive is designed as a small group experience with 6-8 participants. The intensive combines therapy, psycho-education, and experiential work. If you are working with an individual therapist, we will collaborate with them about the work you do with us.
Wednesday: 5:30 – 8:30 pm
Thursday: 9 am – 5 pm
Friday: 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm
Sunday: 9 am – 1 pm
Michelle Mays LPC, CSAT-S
Michelle Mays is an author, innovator and counselor guided by the belief that all change happens in relationship. This relational orientation has directed over two decades of experience articulating new models and approaches for the treatment of individuals and couples impacted by sexual betrayal and trauma.
Michelle the creator of The Braving Hope™ Treatment Model, providing attachment-based healing for partner betrayal. She designed the premier online coaching program for betrayed partners and is the founder of the Center for Relational Recovery in Leesburg Virginia.
Michelle is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor in both Virginia and Washington DC, a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and Supervisor and is completing her PhD in Clinical Sexology and certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples.
Beth Ratchford LCSW, MA
Beth Ratchford is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Arts in Counseling from Western Seminary. She specializes in treating adults who have experienced childhood trauma.
Beth has trained with Pia Mellody in the Post Induction Therapy model of treatment and uses it as the primary framework in her work with clients. She is also trained in the use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for treating trauma and other difficult life experiences.
Beth is an EAGALA certified mental health specialist and provides Equine Assisted Psychotherapy services. She is also a qualified practitioner of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and finds it a helpful lens to help clients get a sense of some of the hard-wired ways that they operate in the world.