In this compelling and powerful video, Dr. Peter Levine, The Meadows’ Senior Fellow and developer of Somatic Experiencing®, demonstrates this treatment with an Iraq Veteran diagnosed with severe PTSD. Somatic Experiencing is a proven method for treating PTSD in combat veterans.
As Dr. Levine explains, many soldiers bring the war back with them and if they don’t resolve the war experience, then they bring that kind of violence back into the home. It makes relating to their spouse and children almost impossible. Watch as Dr. Levine helps this veteran move past his traumatic war experiences.
Click here to view the full length (25:54 minutes) video.
Finding out that your committed partner has sexually betrayed you is like: getting your heart ripped out, stomped on, thrown through a glass window, spit on, and perhaps lastly, smothered with gasoline and set on fire. Then, your partner asks you to forgive him or her; and you don't think you could ever be more furious and disgusted.
This is a common experience for the Partners of Sexual Addicts that I work with on a weekly basis at The Meadows. The stories and behaviors may be different but the underlying foundation of the damage is always Betrayal. Emotional, Physical, Sexual, and Financial betrayal is devastating and gut-wrenchingly painful for a partner who had dreams and hopes of having a healthy and committed relationship. Those dreams are now shattered and the Partner is left with the questions of "Why wasn't I enough?", "How could they do this to me?"; and "Where do I go from here?"
Sexual Addiction stems from a deep rooted intimacy and attachment disorder that often starts within childhood, teenage, or young adult years. Many of the patients I work with at The Meadows have been engaging in some type of dysfunctional, sexual fantasies, thoughts, and/or behaviors since they could remember, far before ever meeting their current partner or spouse. Sexual Addiction thrives off of Shame. Often times the addict's shame, due to their behaviors and lies, will be deflected or projected onto the partner and they are the ones that have to carry it.
Because sexuality and being sexual is so important and integral in intimate coupleships, when that is destroyed or taken outside the primary relationship, the partner has no choice but to take it personally and look at it as an attack on themselves and who they are or are not. Many spouses that I speak with will say to me, "Why wasn't I attractive enough, sexual enough, loved enough to keep him/her with me?" My message to them is: "If there is one thing I want you to learn this week, it is that this had nothing to do with what you have or have not done".
So if the partner did not cause the addiction and is not an addict themselves then why be a part of the patient's treatment and come to Family Week? I often hear from partners: "He is the sick one! He gets to go and get help and leave me here at home with the chaos and damage that he created! And now he is asking me to drop everything and come to Arizona for a week to help him?" My reply is: "Come here for YOU."
Within the Family Week program, partners are given resources and tools to start to stand on solid ground. Family Week is NOT about reconciliation, fixing the problem or hearing an excuse about why the patient acted out. The week long program is designed around boundary setting and healthy communication that allow the partner to be heard and protected.
Being betrayed will undoubtedly, for most partners, contribute to feelings of shame and worthlessness that creates a deep, dark wound within them. The Meadows and Pia Mellody define Trauma as "Anything less than nurturing". Sexual betrayal would obviously fit into this category based on the definition and many partners experience symptoms of trauma such as hypervigilance, despair, flashbacks and nightmares, among other experiences. The shame and trauma need to be addressed for the partner to start to heal that wound. Even if the partner decides to move on from that relationship he or she will continue to be plagued in life and through other relationships if not addressed.
Through my work at The Meadows, I have seen amazing growth and strength in men and women who thought that they could have never dug themselves out of the dark hole that sexual addiction created. Recovery work, for both the addict and partner, instills hope, perseverance, and self-worth that they thought they had lost. The Meadows Workshops such as Partners of Sex Addicts, Survivors, and Women's Intimacy Issues are great resources to help partners to gain awareness, understanding, and tools to help themselves and their families.
Lauren Bierman is a Family Counselor at the Meadows working with the Sex Addiction population. She is a Licensed Associate Counselor and has been trained through Patrick Carnes and IITAP's Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) program. Her passion is working with Partners of Sex Addicts in their own healing process and helping them find hope after sexual betrayal.
The Meadows will be an exhibitor at the Arizona Coalition for Military Families Fourth Annual Statewide Symposium in Support of Service Members, Veterans and Their Families. It is being held at the Desert Willow Conference Center in Phoenix May 15 - 16, 2013.
The two days of programming will be focused on increasing knowledge, skills & abilities for serving and supporting the military and veteran population. The exhibitor fair will offer programs and resources to assist service members, veterans and families
Symposium topics include Substance Use: Trends, Strategies and Best Practices, Military Sexual Trauma, Problem Gambling among Veterans, Suicide Prevention and Postvention in Military and Veteran Families, and Evidence‐Based Practices for the Treatment of PTSD.
"In continuing support of our TRICARE contract, The Meadows is pleased to participate in the 2013 Arizona Coalition for Military Families Symposium," said Jim Dredge, The Meadows CEO. "The Meadows has a commitment to serving our heroes and their family members."
As an exhibitor at the conference, Sharon Pollei, Business Development Liaison, and Greg Fine, Intake Coordinator, for The Meadows, will be in attendance.
For more information and to register for this event, visit http://arizonacoalition.org/events/symposium.
The Meadows is an industry leader in treating trauma and addiction through its inpatient and workshop programs. To learn more about The Meadows' work with trauma and addiction contact an intake coordinator at (866) 856-1279 or visit www.themeadows.com.
For over 35 years, The Meadows has been a leading trauma and addiction treatment center. In that time, they have helped more than 20,000 patients in one of their three inpatient centers and 25,000 attendees in national workshops. The Meadows world-class team of Senior Fellows, Psychiatrists, Therapists and Counselors treat the symptoms of addiction and the underlying issues that cause lifelong patterns of self-destructive behavior. The Meadows, with 24 hour nursing and on-site physicians and psychiatrists, is a Level 1 Sub-Acute Agency that is accredited by the Joint Commission.
The Meadows has produced a new video, "The Meadows - The Right Choice" with Meadows' Senior Fellow Dr.Claudia Black. Visit The Meadows homepage: http://www.themeadows.com to view the video.
Claudia Black, MSW, PhD, has spent 11 years working in an advisory role with The Meadows. She is a renowned author and trainer, internationally recognized for her pioneering and contemporary work with family systems and addictive disorders.
In the mid 1970's Dr. Black gave voice to both young and adult children from addictive homes, offering a framework for their healing. This cutting edge work would be critical in creating the foundation for the codependency field and a greater understanding of the impact of family trauma. Since that time, Dr. Black has continued to be a passionate leader in the field of addiction.
Dr. Black has offered models of intervention and treatment related to family violence, multi-addictions, relapse, anger, depression and women's issues. Dr. Black designs and presents training workshops and seminars to professional audiences in the field of family service, mental health, addiction and correctional services. She has been a keynote speaker on Capitol Hill in Washington DC and on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada. She has extensive multi-cultural experience working with agencies and audiences in countries such as Iceland, Brazil, Japan and others throughout the world.
Dr. Black is one of the original founders of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics and continues to serve on their Advisory Board, and also serves on the Advisory Board of the Moyer Foundation. In addition, she is the author of over 15 books, most notable is It will Never Happen To Me. Her most recent books are related to partners of sex addiction, Deceived: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Lies, and Secrets and Intimate Treason: Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction. Dr. Black also creates educational videos for use with the addicted client and families affected by addiction. Many of her books and videos have been translated and published abroad.
For more information about Dr. Black, please visit www.claudiablack.com.
By: Jerry Boriskin, PhD - Senior Fellow for The Meadows
I usually track major media articles on PTSD but I was surprised this past week when two concerned members of my weekly Viet Nam Veterans PTSD group brought the Time Magazine article: http://nation.time.com/2013/01/11/dr-peter-j-n-linnerooth-1970-2013/ . I was flattered by their concern for me and others doing the sort of work I refer to as the "Special Forces" of mental health. The late Dr. Linnerooth was not only a member of this club but a front line leader directly deployed (for five years) and in harm's way. He may have not had the proper state license, but he had a Bronze Star. I suspect the number of mental health professionals with that credential is less than .0001%.
Dr. Linnerooth followed a path that hundreds of soldiers each year seem to track. He returned from deployment, lost his marriage, lost his job and then with a bit of Jack Daniels on January 2nd, lost his life. One article depicted his death as "losing the battle". I take offense to this depiction in the same way I look at obituaries characterizing death from cancer as "losing the war against cancer". I am a cancer survivor and I can tell you survival is a function of luck in concert with great medicine and support, not willful determination, tenacity or attitude. Sure, attitude and support matters, but when the odds are overwhelming sometimes acceptance is the only productive path. The warrior metaphor is part of the problem. It is war that creates a contradiction between helplessness and illusions of complete control and expectations of responsibility.
Those who have active PTSD are what I often refer to as "control and responsibility junkies". We do not need win-lose metaphors in describing such titanic struggles. Dr. Linnerooth did not "lose"; he succumbed to a process he worked so hard to treat. He became "infected" with the direct pain of others. More poignantly, he also apparently was recruited as a makeshift medic. According to several news stories he was tortured by images and recollections of children dying slowly. Those sights, smells and sounds do not simply go into ordinary memory. They change your world view and make you less tolerant of institutions and processes that work in a more ordinary fashion. Those who develop PTSD become more adept at handling life and death crisis, but far less skilled in handling ordinary challenges, like requests or demands from employers, wives, friends or even your own children. Dr. Linnerooth apparently lost his footing, his job, his mission and his family. Whether he was genetically vulnerable to alcoholism is something we may never know, but alcohol, along with a pill bottle, a gun and PTSD make an all too lethal combination. Dr. Linnerooth did more than was expected of him; he was part of a team attempting to help far too many soldiers in combat. He did not fail in his mission. The Army, VA, the mental health community and all of us failed him- not purposely, but due to our limited vision. Our institutions are working very hard to prevent deaths like those of Dr. Linnerooth. However, we are trying to do so with bureaucratic solutions, some of which are helpful but we may be missing the mark. Soldiers and professionals carrying "invisible wounds of war" need to be understood, heard and validated. Dr. Linnerooth was trying to get us to listen. Somehow we did not hear him.
Additional articles on Dr. Linnerooth:
For more about The Meadows' innovative treatment program for PTSD and other disorders, see http://www.themeadows.com or call The Meadows at 800-244-4949.