We tend to think of all bonds as being positive but, they are actually neutral. They can become positive, but they can also become negative. A betrayal bond is a type of negative bond that occurs when someone develops a strong and intense attachment to a person or an addictive process that is destructive to them.
The Meadows is excited to announce the addition of The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships to its workshop offerings. The workshop was developed under the guidance of Dr. Patrick Carnes, internationally known sex addiction expert and a Senior Fellow at The Meadows, and is based on his groundbreaking book of the same name.
Some of the goals of this innovative, intensive workshop are to:
Each participant will be guided through the process of designing their own individualized path to recovery.
The Meadows Director of Workshops Jean Collins-Stuckert (LCSW, LISAC, CSAT) says “We are eager to offer this intensive program highlighting Dr. Carnes innovative model and providing relief for those people trapped in patterns that are so painful.”
The first Betrayal Bond Workshop will take place November 30 – December 4, 2015. The hours each day are from approximately 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MST; The schedule is flexible, accommodating the group process.
If you’d like to learn more, or if you’re interested in signing up for the workshop, please call The Meadows Intake Department at 800-244-4949.
In a recent TED Talk, journalist and author Johann Hari suggests that “Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong.” He argues that most people in our society see addiction as a simple chemical dependency, when it is actually the result of a failure to connect ─ with family, with friends, with the community, with God, or with a larger sense of purpose.
His ideas are proving to be somewhat controversial in the recovery and addiction communities, not so much because of his basic premise, but because of his assertion that these ideas are “new.” (The studies he sites have been well known to psychologists and addiction professionals for years.) He does also seem to oversimplify, in some ways, what is often a very complicated and nuanced problem. And, he calls for the legalization of all recreational drugs as a possible solution, an idea which always sparks a strong debate.
In spite of some of the questionable aspects of his speech, at The Meadows, we do agree with his core principle: that disconnection─ with peers, with communities, with one’s sense of self and/or with a higher power ─ can play a major role in triggering addiction and other behavioral issues.
One of the most important goals we have for our patients at The Meadows is that they learn how to become interdependent. The Meadows Model, developed by Pia Mellody, names dependency as one the four core issues that must be addressed before a person can make a full recovery from addiction or mood disorders. Doing so requires one to reconnect with the child he or she once was. Being too dependent comes from not having needs and wants met as a child. Being anti-dependent comes from being shamed for having needs and wants as child.
Becoming interdependent means learning how to balance your own needs and wants with those of others. If you are interdependent, you are able to ask for help when you need it, help others when they make a reasonable request, and say “no” when necessary to prevent yourself from stretching yourself too thin and becoming resentful.
Without interdependence, there is no recovery. As an addict, the ability to rely on others for help and emotional support, and to give that help and support to others, is critical to staying sober. Without the tools to make and maintain these connections, recovery is impossible to sustain.
Step 11 in the 12 Step Model for Recovery requires the addict to find a connection with a higher power:
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understand Him, praying only for knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.”
In most cases, addicts have either always struggled to connect with God, their Higher Power, or their sense of purpose; or, in some way, they got disconnected along the way. Recovery is about getting connected or reconnected.
Jim Corrington, Director of The Meadows Outpatient Services, likes to use the analogy of an orange extension cord to explain:
An orange extension cord is useless and without purpose when it’s hanging on the wall. You have to plug it in to a source of power to give it potential. It does not reach its full potential until you plug something else into IT. So, too, an individual must stay plugged in to their source of power, AND, stay connected to others around them to reach sobriety, and with it, their full potential.
Addictions manifest in those areas where people are disconnected but seeking to connect. “Faulty wiring” caused by childhood trauma can make it difficult for them to connect with others or with their sense of purpose, so they end up trying to fill the gap with substances or unhealthy behaviors.
At The Meadows, we take a holistic approach to healing that helps patients to reconnect through their minds, bodies and spirits. Therapy sessions and workshops allow them to find out how they became disconnected, to work on ways to build better relationships with others, and to learn how to nurture themselves. Our new brain center helps them to address any dysregulation they may be experiencing in the brain and nervous system. And, physical activities like Yoga, Tai Chi, equine therapy and ropes courses, allow them to gain even deeper insights into themselves.
If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction or a disorder and are seeking ways to reconnect, we can help. Contact us for more information.
Understanding Karpman's Triangle
Marie Woods, LMFT, CSAT
Primary Therapist, Gentle Path at The Meadows
In relationships, individuals tend to develop a predictable pattern of acting and reacting to one another that they become accustomed to. This dynamic is sometimes referred to as their dance. This can often be a rather beautiful thing, as the dance metaphor implies, however, in relationships in which there is a great deal of conflict, these patterns can keep couples stuck in rather unhealthy patterns. Relationships in which these problematic patterns present are also often characterized by elements such as high reactivity, over control, manipulation, blaming, and other elements of dysfunction including addiction, for example.
The concept of the Karpman Triangle developed by Psychiatrist Stephen Karpman is a great illustration to help couples become more aware of this dynamic, and also learn how to change it. Within this concept, there are three primary roles that an individual may play. They include the victim/martyr, perpetrator/offender, and the rescuer/enabler. Individuals tend to play one role most predominately in their relationships with others, but in the process they often move around while typically still landing back where they started. The victim/martyr tends to have unrealistic expectations and avoids sharing their thoughts and feelings while blaming others. The perpetrator/offender tends to engage in a number of acting out behaviors that are offensive or harmful to others, or to themselves. The rescuer/enabler often engages in caretaking behaviors and sometimes serves as the pseudo-peacemaker in the relationship. Although these roles can play out in a variety of different ways, one of the most common dynamics is two individuals moving between victim and perpetrator typically followed at some point by one of them moving into the rescuer/enabler role to temporarily alleviate the problem.
In couples where sex addiction is present there is an obvious victim-perpetrator dynamic. The individual engaging in sexual acting out behaviors through lies, deception, and secrets, is operating in the role of the perpetrator/offender, and the partner is the victim of this behavior. Typically, when the partner discovers the sexual acting out behavior, they may stay in the victim role, and remain in a very painful place filled with constant self-loathing and blame. What is also common is that they can become aggressive and offensive towards the perpetrating partner and thus move into the perpetrator role (not to be confused with righteous anger). In this moment, the sex addict partner would be in the victim role. This movement from perpetrator to victim and vice versa can happen very quickly. In fact, individuals in a relationship can move back and forth between these roles numerous times in a matter of minutes. Because this exchange is exhausting, one person usually attempts to “fix” the situation. This can look like asking for “cheap forgiveness,” being overly compliant, or even showing extra affection despite their true feelings.
You might be wondering what is wrong with this attempt to repair the relationship hurts. The truth is that in healthier relationships where there is not a lot of underlying hurt and dysfunction it often does work because it offers temporary respite from the disagreement, and both individuals typically engage in the repairing at different times, so there is some balance. In more dysfunctional relationships, such as those where addiction exists, these superficial dynamics don’t really create lasting change. This is because they don’t really address the underlying problem that is often that each partner feels disrespected, unheard and misunderstood.
When presented with the Karpman’s Triangle, many individuals can quickly identify their primary and secondary roles. They can often see how the content of their disagreements in a relationship change, but the same patterns emerge. The difficult part is learning how to change that dynamic, or “get off the triangle”. For each role, there is a respective antidote that will most effectively allow an individual to step out of that role. For the victim/martyr, the most critical thing for them to do is to begin taking responsibility. This means identifying and owning their part in the problem. For the perpetrator/offender, they need to learn to negotiate. This means that they are not always right, and will need to work with others to create a situation where both people walk away satisfied. For the rescuer/enabler, their solution is in realizing that they have options, so it is their choice to try and fix a situation, or to step back and let each adult discern a solution for themselves. Real change tends to happen when individuals engage in these alternatives roles. Often, when they begin to see that the conflict is rarely about the topic at hand, they can begin to address deeper issues requiring more vulnerability and allowing them to move closer to true intimacy.
Every journey begins with one step. To learn more about the Gentle Path at The Meadows program or if you have an immediate need, please contact us or call 855-333-6076.
Whether you've read Fifty Shades of Grey or not, the fact remains there is a lot of buzz around the series. Women can’t seem to get enough of Christian Grey, but the question is, why? When you take a step back, you see a story about two people with their own insecurities and lack of self-worth begin a relationship with unhealthy expectations.
There have been arguments about why Christian Grey should be in jail or why Ana is a weak female - although I would argue Ana is strong in her own right. Ana, like many women, gets into a relationship with Christian under the pretense of saving him. But why is it Ana’s responsibility to save him?
In reality, it is not Ana’s responsibility to “save” him because Christian is the only one who can do that for himself. In the real world, many women expecting a “happy ending” are left feeling emotionally numb, shame, and struggle with a negative body image.
Please take a moment to read the whole "Fifty Shades of Grey" article and share with your friends and family.
At The Meadows, Arizona, our rehabilitation facility provides a safe, confidential and healing environment for sexual addiction treatment. Our expert treatment staff helps each client look at the core issues that caused the addiction to heal the underlying cause of the addiction.
Our reputation is unmatched in the treatment of sexual disorders, and our positive client outcomes shape our legacy. To learn more about The Meadows’ state-of-the-art Sexual Addiction Program, contact an Intake Coordinator at 800-244-4949.
Jean Collins-Stuckert, Director of Workshops at The Meadows, was featured on BlogTalkRadio’s program “Sex Help with Carol the Coach” with host Carol Juergensen Sheets, LCSW, CSAT, PCC, on October 27, 2014.
The program can be accessed using the audio player at the bottom of this page or by visiting this link.
Collins-Stuckert discussed “Journey of a Woman's Heart: Finding True Intimacy,” The Meadows’ workshop created for women who want to explore unhealthy sexual patterns. Collins-Stuckert said the five-day workshop was developed with the input of The Meadows Senior Fellows Alex Katehakis, Claudia Black and Pia Mellody.
Collins-Stuckert discussed the differences in treatment between male and female patients as well as how The Meadows addresses sexual shame in women and why it is often so difficult for women to seek help for sexual disorders.
While research by Dr. Patrick Carnes, The Meadows Senior Fellow, indicates nearly 20% of those seeking help for sex addiction are female, women continue to be underrepresented in health and addiction studies and many individuals assume sex addiction is only for men.
A main focus of the workshop is to help women who want to explore unhealthy sexual patterns and behaviors that deeply impact their ability to connect relationally in healthy ways, Collins-Stuckert said. Whether the issues involved are past or present trauma, cultural messages or negative beliefs, all can serve as roadblocks to true intimacy.
As Director of Workshop, Collins-Stuckert oversees and facilitates the ten unique workshops offered by The Meadows, including their signature Survivors Workshop. She states that workshops can jump-start recovery for those who have just begun a recovery process. They can also provide an extra boost for those who have been on a recovery path and may have hit a plateau or want to deepen their experience. Workshops are a source of renewal for anyone who has undergone treatment. Participants work on sensitive issues in a concentrated format, allowing insight into unhealthy patterns and an opportunity to practice new relational skills within a safe environment.
Carol Juergensen Sheets, LCSW, PCC, CSAT, is currently in private practice in Indianapolis, IN. She speaks nationally on mental health issues and is featured in several local magazines. In addition, she is featured in regular television segments focusing on life skills to improve one’s potential.