Rick Reynolds, LCSW
by Rick Reynolds, LCSW
Founder & President, Affair Recovery

Infidelity Counseling- How Effective Is It?

Have you ever done something that just didn't work? When I was nine, I dared my six-year-old brother to kiss a snapping turtle. Somehow, neither of us anticipated the outcome. That turtle grabbed Jay's lip, and what followed is the stuff of legends..... He was running around screaming with the turtle hanging from his bottom lip, and I was working like crazy to get the darn thing off before mom discovered my dastardly deed. As you might imagine, it cost me a pretty penny to keep Jay quiet about my failed experiment.

I'm older now and hopefully a bit more thoughtful. Along the way I've learned that if you want to run, you've first got to tie your shoes. It's not okay to risk making a mess of someone's life on a hunch, and yet, that's what happens with individuals trying to recover from infidelity. When it comes to the services offered by marriage and family therapists, there seems to be little positive help. I think people mean well, but when it comes to the topic of infidelity there is little to no training offered by the graduate schools.

Peggy Vaughn (www.dearpeggy.com) published a wonderful little piece of research for therapists, Help for Therapists and their Clients. Her research was based on the results of a survey of 1,083 people whose spouses had affairs. I would highly recommend that you go to her website and buy a copy, as well as The Monogamy Myth A Personal Handbook for Recovering from Affairs by Peggy Vaughan.

What I found interesting was the lack of effectiveness of counseling. On page 32, "Was the counselor helpful?" (861 responses)
57% - No, mostly frustrating
23% - Yes, but not as much as I'd like
20% - Yes, very helpful

Something is wrong when over half of the respondents say their experience (based on first or only therapist/counselor) wasn't helpful, but frustrating.

On pg. 33, the question is asked: "Did the counselor focus directly on the issue of affairs?" (725 Responses)
59% - No, mainly focused on general marital problems
28% - yes, but not as strongly or clearly as I'd like
13% - Yes, very directly dealt with this issue.

Again, it's sad that only 13% of therapists knew how to address infidelity. I suspect the others fell into the "cause and effect" trap, which blames the marriage (or the hurt spouse) for the affair. Generally, that approach is disastrous when it comes to couples' recovery.

Now, to the point. Those of us at the Affair Recovery Center want to help advance the treatment of infidelity and couple recovery. To that end we're also conducting research and we'll PAY, (with what we have), for your help.

For the next two weeks we're conducting the "TELL A FRIEND RESEARCH PROGRAM ". The rules are simple.

If your referred friends to take the "Affair Analyzer" you'll get the following bonus(es)...

One referral = an MP3 of my interview with Mark Laaser
Four referrals = 40% discount on Harboring Hope or 911 Marriage

You can either use the discount yourself, or you can transfer your discount to another person or couple in need. You must use the discount by Tuesday, June 1, 2010.

To participate in the "TELL A FRIEND RESEARCH PROGRAM" go to http://www.AffairRecovery.com/tellafriend and help us help others.

Please do your part in helping us find new way to keep people away from kissing "Snapping Turtles"

 

 

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