One Year Anniversary and Two Trainings
Barbara Steffens, PhD, LPCC, CCSAS,
In October, 21 people came to Cincinnati to attend the second training presented by the Association of Partner of Sex Addicts Treatment Specialists (APSATS) to learn about partner trauma and how to help partners and addicts recover from sex addiction-induced trauma. Each of these participants
came with their own unique gifts, skills and experience in the field and in how they respond to partners.
They included therapists, addiction specialists, coaches and those in recovery, which contributed to rich conversations out of their diverse experiences. We spent a great
amount of time alerting participants to the potential harm of treatment strategies or models that do not fit the presenting problem of the client and sought to build awareness and empathy for the partner’s experiences.
I am very grateful for those who took the risk to join us in our 2nd training, knowing APSATS is still developing as an organization - in our presentations and materials. I compared this group to a second child - we were a little more relaxed the second time around! However, we learned we still need to
improve our communication, our processes, and provide more education on interventions. After completing two
trainings, I am aware of our continued
We will always work to fulfill the mission and purposes of APSATS
- to educate and certify partner specialists (whether clinicians or coaches) who
understand and respond to the sex addiction-induced trauma they experience, and
to apply our multidimensional trauma model to the entire system. We start with
how we conceptualize the experiences of the partner as traumatic responses, and
then work to develop processes that enable those who help partners respond in
appropriate and ethical ways to their needs.
We want to make clear who we are not. We are not training people to do deep trauma work through the various trauma interventions; there are many excellent credentialing programs for that purpose.
Our certified graduate will be a partner specialist whose foundational
model is trauma and who can take appropriate trauma treatment modalities and
apply those to the partner and the system.
We promise to clearly communicate our desire to build upon the exceptional work of those who took great risks to even talk about sex as a behavioral addiction and who have provided help and hope to so many through the
years. We are moving beyond some
historical models, but with respect for those who started and built this field of study. Our desire is to build healthy lines of communication with those who may disagree with us to help
bring about understanding. We want to build upon those places where we agree - sharing the same passion for helping those impacted by sex addiction.
We have accomplished much in one year and yes, we still have much to do. I am so grateful for those of you who have partnered with us. We ask that you continue to help us get the message out about the need for specialized
training to help partners of sex addicts. ###