Abstracts

CPatakyheadshot

Dr. Carolina Pataky

Co-founder of the Love Discovery Institute, Dr. Carolina Pataky is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Sex Therapist assisting both individuals and couples fine tune and find empowerment within themselves and their relationships. She's the creator of the H.I.M. Method (Healing Intimacy in Men) and BeLove Programs (Soul-discovery for individual and couples) and she is also recognized as one of South Florida's leading authorities surrounding intimacy, relationships and sexuality. Her private practice is located in two locations the heart of Coral Gables and Miami Beach. Additionally she works with various venues around the world to facilitate retreats and workshops worldwide.

As a relationship and intimacy therapist, she assist individuals and couples find alignment with their thoughts, emotions and spiritual bodies. Since she believes the quality of your relationships start with the relationship you have with yourself. When we start aligning our feelings, mind and spirit, our capacity for compassion and love expands and as a result, our relationships become extraordinary. This process also relieves individuals from anxiety, angst, depression, spiritual crisis, fears, anger, loneliness, being stuck in life and more. , When we start healing ourselves, everything else follows.

H.I.M. Method (Healing Intimacy in Men)

Abstract

A major problem facing men today is their inability to express themselves throughout the vast
spectrum of emotions. In particular, men have difficulty showing vulnerable aspects of
themselves in an effort to meet male expectations which can create barriers to intimacy. In the
context of relationships, men often find themselves unable to intimately connect with their
partners. Additionally, the lack of emotional expression and fear of intimacy can have adverse
personal and social consequences in their friendships, families, and for themselves (Pease, 2014). Although traditional therapies attempts to help men cope with their emotional disconnect, verbal therapies can be uncomfortable and further expose their vulnerabilities. Many therapists have begun to understand that healing comes from both the cognitive understanding as well as inner feelings governed by a deeper sense of the self (Jung, 1963; May, 1990). Over the years, therapists have found several holistic approaches and mindfulness-based practices to be helpful, but still lack a deeper connection to their clients’ innermost selves. A transpersonal exercise known as breathwork which has primarily been used in healing circles, has recently entered therapeutic offices. Through a conscious connected breathing method, breathwork combines mindfulness, experiential and bioenergetic techniques which may help men become more connected to their emotions. A video series was developed to help clinicians gain a better understanding of breathwork and learn how to incorporate it in their practices. The 8-Part series focuses on male barriers to intimacy and how breathwork in conjunction with traditional therapies can help men become more emotionally open and expressive.


 

RobWeissHeadshotDr. Rob Weiss

 

Robert Weiss PhD, MSW is an expert in the treatment of adult intimacy disorders and related addictions, most notably sex/porn/relationship addictions along with co-occurring drug/sex addiction. A clinical sexologist and practicing psychotherapist, Dr. Rob frequently serves as a subject matter expert for major media outlets including CNN, HLN, MSNBC, OWN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and NPR, among others.

Dr. Rob is the author of Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency, Out of the Doghouse, Sex Addiction 101, and Cruise Control, among other books. He blogs regularly for Psychology Today and Psych Central. His podcast, Sex, Love, & Addiction, is rated as a Top 10 Addiction Podcast for 2019. He also hosts a weekly live no cost Webinar with Q&A on SexandRelationshipHealing.com.

A skilled clinical educator, Dr. Rob routinely provides training to therapists, hospitals, psychiatric organizations, and even the US military. Over the years, he has created and overseen nearly a dozen high-end addiction and mental health treatment facilities across the globe. For more information or to reach Dr. Rob, visit SeekingIntegrity.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@RobWeissMSW), LinkedIn (Robert Weiss LCSW), and Facebook (Rob Weiss MSW).

Abstract

Exploring and Comparing Codependence & Prodependence

DEVELOPING A NEW ATTACHMENT-FOCUSED PARADIGM FOR THE TREATMENT OF SPOUSES AND PARTNERS OF SEXUAL ADDICTS/COMPULSIVES

Robert Weiss | PhD Dissertation, International Institute of Clinical Sexology | 9.1.2018

Spouses and partners of sexual addicts/compulsives, by the time they seek therapy/counseling for themselves, are typically in the midst of a full-blown emotional and relationship crisis not of their own making. Their lives are filled with uncertainty, as the relationship they’ve most trusted has been devastated by sexual addiction/compulsivity. And despite their presenting with an immediate, clear, and unique interpersonal crisis, they are typically treated utilizing some variation of codependence work, a model that, by definition, is grounded in early-life (rather than current) trauma. Admittedly, there are many variations of codependence work currently in use, but these one-off methodologies are ungrounded in psychological theory and research, and all are evolved and adapted from the early-life-trauma focused codependency model. Thus, work with spouses and partners of sex addicts/compulsives has generally focused on exploring their early-life issues and how those issues might be impacting their current decisions and behavior, while encouraging detachment from their sexually addicted/compulsive loved one. These models, in their many variations, have traditionally done little to mirror or address the life challenges and feelings of betrayal, loss, rage, and shame that spouses and partners of sex addicts/compulsives almost universally experience. 

With the World Health Organization’s announcement of Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder as an official diagnosis in the ICD-11, this is a useful time to explore a new treatment model for spouses and partners of sex addict/compulsives – a model based in attachment theory more than early-life trauma. With the dual goals of increased client participation and improved efficacy of client outcomes held in mind, a new paradigm is needed. A paradigm that is more invitational to the client than past models, and less pathologizing of their understandably erratic emotional and behavioral expressions acted out in the midst of crisis. A paradigm that reflects the immediate needs of a betrayed spouse or partner for validation and support, rather than examination and judgement. A paradigm that understands and celebrates the idea that the betrayed spouse or partner is in crisis yet still trying to help and remain attached to a troubled loved one.
I have created the word and the concept of prodependence to meet this need. Grounded in attachment rather than trauma theory, prodependence views the betrayed partner’s enabling, enmeshed attempts to control the behavior of a sexually addicted/compulsive individual as normative, not as evidence of the betrayed spouse or partner’s own pathology (his or her early-trauma-fueled codependence). When viewed through the lens of attachment and human bonding, the actions of the betrayed spouse or partner of a sexually addicted/compulsive individual shift from being pathological to being human and understandable.
Prodependence views what has previously been seen as dysfunctional as how any person would act if presented with the extraordinary life crisis of a beloved spouse or partner’s sexual addiction/compulsivity. With the attachment-based model of prodependence, gone are the labels, gone is the pathology of being a “co-addict” or “codependent,” gone is the blame and shame attached to spouses and partners of sex addicts/compulsives. Attachment-based theory applied to the treatment of these clients means initial treatment does not push them to self-examine, self-explore, and self-explain while in the midst of a profound life crisis. The attachment-based model of prodependence makes room for all the following:

• De-pathologizing the client’s behaviors, even when those behaviors “look crazy” and are clearly counterproductive.
• Validating the client’s (possibly enabling, enmeshed, and controlling) behaviors as healthy though perhaps less than optimal attempts to live with and care for a sexually addicted/compulsive individual.
• Encouraging healthier forms of self-care and improved boundaries with the sexually addicted/compulsive individual and others without assigning pathology and using that as impetus for therapeutic work.

To evaluate the theory of prodependence, an informational presentation on prodependence was created, along with a 30-question research survey for therapist-participants. First, therapist-participants were asked about their training, background, and the ways in which they tend to treat spouses and partners of sexually addicted/compulsive individuals during the initial stages (the first 60 days) of treatment. Immediately following this pre-test, participants were presented with a one-hour educational discussion about both codependence and prodependence. After this presentation, therapist-participants were asked follow-up questions about the ways in which they are likely to treat partners of sexual addicts/compulsives moving forward. The goal of this study was to learn more about what model(s) therapists who treat this population have embraced, and to what degree, and then to determine whether therapists believe prodependence to be a more welcoming and potentially more effective treatment modality for spouses and partners of sex addicts/compulsives in the initial stages (the first 60 days) of treatment.