Hope Rising Conference

A Conference for Betrayed Spouses

Take a brave step out of the turmoil and do something just for you. Be a part of the one-day Hope Rising conference. An event filled with hope, practical strategies, and resources for betrayed spouses only.

    Hope Rising 2023

  • Date: Saturday, September 30th 2023
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. CST
  • Location: Livestream
  • Price: $79

You are not alone. Healing from infidelity can feel isolating. At Hope Rising, you can gain momentum, strength and community on your journey to wholeness. We've walked through this pain ourselves, and we've walked alongside thousands of others on this journey. You may not see it at this very moment, but in this dark chapter hope can rise.

At Hope Rising, you will:

  • Receive a new sense of self-worth and honor.
  • Experience belonging in this momentous gathering.
  • Learn how pain can be transformed and overcome.
  • Redefine your identity with new freedom.
  • Be equipped with healing strategies and next steps.
  • Receive encouragement from survivors who are thriving.

Your speakers provide so much hope and understanding toward the pain. It makes those who have been betrayed feel heard and not alone.

— 2020 Hope Rising participant.
(What I liked most about Hope Rising was) the sense of 'normalcy' and that feeling where you have the support of everyone around you brings a lot of hope. To have a conference just for the betrayed communicates something really special about the care that God, through Affair Recovery, has put into everyone out there.

— 2020 Hope Rising participant.

Who's Taking the Stage

Cat Etherington CPLC

Cat Etherington

Keynote Speaker, CPLC

Cat Etherington is Director of Recovery for Naked Truth Project in the UK. As a recovered substance addict with over a decade of recovery behind her, she has a unique insight into addiction and has worked with many to achieve sobriety though the 12 step model and other modalities. Cat became a Certified Professional Life Coach (CPLC) after being devastated by her husband's secret pornography use. She trained with the Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS) and uses their Multi Dimensional Trauma Model in her work with partners all over the world. She is an international speaker and the mother of two teenagers.

How betrayal changes EVERYTHING!

With the term "betrayal trauma" now being widely used to describe the experience of betrayed partners, it's interesting that many people still don't understand how infidelity qualifies as trauma. In this session we will unpack the multidimensional impact of betrayal and how it can affect every part of a person's life and identity. This session will help you feel less alone as Cat shares from her own experience as well as her professional expertise and illuminates the existential questions thrown up by this life changing journey from betrayed and broken to brave and blossoming.

Rick Reynolds - Founder and President-AffairRecovery

Rick Reynolds

LCSW, President and Founder of Affair Recovery

As one of America's foremost authorities helping individuals and couples struggling with affairs and compulsive sexual behaviors, Rick brings over 30 years of experience and insight to his role as president and founder of Affair Recovery. He has authored numerous recovery guides, curricula and papers detailing reasons why people cheat, how couples can overcome the pain, heartache and distrust, and ways to move forward both individually and as a couple. Rick utilizes his personal recovery experience, gift of humility and non-judgmental nature to help restore lives impacted by infidelity.

The Power of Connection

Rick Reynolds, President & Founder of Affair Recovery, will discuss the differences between shock, trauma, and relational trauma and how to get what is most needed for healing.

Speaker Dr. John Mark Haney

Dr. John Mark Haney

Ph.D., LPC, Co-Author of Harboring Hope, and EMS Weekend Retreat Team

John is a wise and compassionate psychotherapist with more than 15 years of experience in private practice. He earned his PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. While experienced in multiple issues and modalities, John is best-known for his work in recovery from the pain of infidelity, as well as related work in recovery from sexual shame and trauma. John and his wife Leslie co-wrote Harboring Hope, an online program for betrayed spouses. They serve together on the Affair Recovery specialist panel. John brings an eclectic and existential approach to counseling, believing his goal is not just to help clients cope with current or past pain, but to find new life and meaning beyond their suffering and confusion. John has been trained and certified in sex therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Emotional Transformation Therapy (ETT).


Betrayal trauma can cripple our sense of our own lovability, and in some cases, the will to love others. Yet, from the smoldering cinders of our devastated sense of love, a deeper love is waiting to rise from the ashes. You have already been through a crucifixion. Do you dare to rise from death to a love greater than you have ever known?

Laurie Bryson

Laurie Bryson

MAC, LPC, and EMS Weekend Retreat Team

Laurie Bryson is a 20 year veteran therapist that serves on the EMS weekend retreat team. She received her bachelor's in agriculture economics from Oklahoma State University and master's degree from Covenant Theological Seminary. Laurie specializes in bringing a deeply pragmatic and caring approach to individuals in the pain of infidelity and betrayal. And she is an avid tennis fan, Labrador retriever lover, and lives outside of the St Louis area.

I Don't Think We have a Bandaid Big Enough for This

Navigating your way through the excruciating pain of infidelity is overwhelming and confusing. In this session, Laurie will cover the science behind why the pain feels the way it does, why it is imperative we attend to the pain, and provide some really practical ways to work through the pain.

Jessica McDaniel

Jessica McDaniel

LPC, EMS Weekend Retreat Team

Jessica McDaniel is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Texas with over 14 years of counseling experience. She is an experienced group therapist at our Affair Recovery EMS Weekends and her areas of specialty include postpartum support, perinatal loss, betrayal trauma and infidelity recovery. Jessica is trained in trauma-informed, biblically based care and holds a Masters degree from Denver Seminary. She is passionate about helping her clients identify and understand their family systems and attachment wounds from childhood, and restoring a healthy God-given identity!

Living Free from Insecurities and the Lies We Tell Ourselves

Betrayal trauma takes such a devastating toll on the mind and heart of a person and opens the door for a variety of insecurities to flood in. So it is important that we spend time identifying common insecurities and how they manifest in our lives. In this talk, we will address how to handle triggers with compassion and curiosity and learn helpful steps toward reframing our negative narratives. We want to help you find a path toward living life free from insecurities and embrace your true value and worth.


B.A. in Psychology and B.A. in Philosophy

After the revelation of her husband's infidelity, Courtney found herself faced with a choice that could change the entire trajectory of her life, for better or for worse. With the threat of perpetual victimhood looming, she embarked on a mission toward healing and wholeness that would persevere no matter the outcome of her marriage. Today, Courtney and her husband facilitate groups through Affair Recovery's Emergency Marital Seminar curriculum as well as other support groups and Bible studies. She is a writer, artist, and stay-at-home mom who enjoys sharing stories of God's faithful healing and redemption.

Decide Who To Be and Go Be It

Inspired by the lyrics of The Avett Brothers, Courtney draws from art, psychological research, and personal experience to discuss the empowering role of self-efficacy in recovery.

Rusty Atkinson

Rusty Atkinson

Infidelity Survivor

After experiencing betrayal, Rusty felt absolutely devastated and crushed. He thought that his life was over and nothing that he knew to be true seemed real. A friend that had been in his same shoes a few years before pointed him to Leslie Hardie and Affair Recovery. Through this difficult season, he began to see that there was light at the end of the tunnel. Using the tools that he found in the Harboring Hope class, he was able to work through the process of forgiveness. Not wanting to become a bitter old man, he embarked on a journey of Grieving, Forgiveness and Letting Go, which are individual lessons in Harboring Hope. There is freedom in forgiveness, and Rusty will share his journey to that freedom and provide encouragement that you can find that same freedom through the process of forgiveness.

Finding Denali

At the first Hope Rising conference he attended after d-day, Rusty remembers hoping for what he 'wanted' to hear, but in reality, there were things he needed to hear. This session will cover some practical ways that you can kick start your recovery, and also encourage you to be open to explore new opportunities of self-discovery, as well as opportunities to help others. This is an extremely hard, painful and emotional time, but Rusty seeks to assure you from his personal experience, you will be okay.

Preeti Shah, MACP, LHMC

Preeti Shah


Preeti received her Masters in Counseling Psychology in 2006, from Mars Hill Graduate School (currently known as the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology). Her areas of focus include Differentiation Based Relationship Therapy and EMDR therapy. She has years of experience working in sexual addiction and betrayal using the Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and Out of Control Sexual Behavior (OSB) models with a sexual health perspective. In her private practice, Preeti focuses on inviting people to bring out the best in themselves, even when circumstances pressure them to be their worst selves. She is passionate about helping couples heal from betrayal, and helping both couples and individuals redefine their sexuality after betrayal and abuse.

Healthy Sexuality Through Healing After Betrayal

Sex is a tricky subject, and when there has been betrayal even the word sex can stir up many emotions. In this session, Preeti will go over what healthy sexuality can be for a couple as you go through an amends process.

Wayne Baker, M.A., LPC

Wayne Baker

M.A., LPC, and EMS Weekend Retreat Team

Before receiving his master's in counseling from St. Edwards University in Austin, TX, he worked for his father's typesetting business, and various sales, advertising and marketing positions at Dell. In 2005 he joined the staff at Crossroads Counseling Associates and Affair Recovery providing hope for individuals, families, and couples. He is the co-author of a chapter for the graduate school textbook, Positive Couple Relationships: The Evidence for Long-Lasting Relationship Satisfaction and Happiness. He also leads marriage retreats and couples intensives and is a guest speaker at universities and conferences. In private practice, Wayne works with high-conflict couples and adult individuals impacted by traumatic events including infidelity.

Guided Meditation

Wayne Baker will lead us through a guided meditation.



Registered Yoga Teacher

Emily is an alignment-based yoga teacher and retreat leader. She fell in love with yoga more than 20 years ago, and pursued her teaching certification to share her passion for this ancient practice with others. As part of her own personal recovery, Emily often sought solace within the safety of the four corners of her yoga mat. She is honored to bring the healing art and science of yoga to this year's Hope Rising conference.

Grounding and Growing: Find Your Footing Amidst the Storm

Emily is a Registered Yoga Teacher (200 RYT) who will guide us through a gentle/chair yoga practice. Whether you have a regular yoga practice of your own, or if you've never done yoga before, this session will be accessible for all levels. This practice will feature grounding postures to help you nourish your own sense of resiliency and strength.

Donate to the Affair Recovery Scholarship Program!

All Hope Rising sales go to the Affair Recovery Scholarship Program! This program provides financial assistance to those in need, allowing them to participate in our restorative online courses. Any size gift can make a world of difference in someone else's life. Can't attend Hope Rising but would like to give back? Click the button below to donate directly to our scholarship program.

Hope Rising event tickets are non-refundable upon purchase, but fully transferable to a substitute registrant up to, and including, the day(s) of the event.

What People Are Saying About Hope Rising

"It gave me hope. The name chosen for the conference is perfect."
"John Mark Haney was the reason I signed up, hoping to hear his wisdom and open heart, and I was not disappointed ... (I) found his words to be the most memorable and deeply touching. Everyone's lectures were chock full of beneficial information, and they all deserve a hearty 'thank you.'"
"The perspective from all the speakers brought new insight into my thought-life and where I need to focus my hope."
"The three reminders that I took away from the morning have stuck with me: 1. I can't control the actions of another person, 2. I have to be safe, and 3. Clarity is worth seeking."
"The continued message of normalizing this journey we are on and the vastness of it and the amount of attention, time, patience, and effort it takes to handle it well."
"This is the first time I have ever talked to other betrayed women or listened to talks specifically for the betrayed. It made me realize that what I am feeling and going through is "typical" for the betrayed. I finally didn't feel like I was crazy or overreacting, and my feelings were validated."
"It reinforced that I need to get out of this loop that I am in. I need to stop feeling like a victim and rise up and start living again."
"The speakers were all wonderful. The material was very informative. I would not wish the reason we all were there on my worst enemy, but it was nice to not feel like I am the only person in the boat."
"The conference is affirmation that the stages I'm going through are REAL and worth it."
"John Haney's honesty and heartfelt message really spoke to me. It's good to hear from someone who has come out on the other side, changed for the better by this difficult experience."