Few experiences can be as painful or cut as deeply as the betrayal and trauma of infidelity. As challenging as it may seem, healing is possible. Through our Infidelity Recovery Service, we’ll guide you and your partner to greater well-being within yourselves and your relationship.
During your couples sessions, we’ll assess your struggles and capabilities together, helping you to learn the skills and techniques you need to foster and re-establish trust, safety, and commitment in your relationship.
Your individual sessions will provide you with time to do critical self-work and self-care. You’ll learn to cultivate the clarity and inner strength you need to once again engage in deep, loving partnership.
The Infidelity Recovery Service
Treatment is typically divided into 3 Phases: Assessment, Intervention, & Maintenance.
Phase I: Assessment (3 Sessions)
Session 1 – Initial Meeting
This session includes the Gottman Oral History Interview, covering the following areas: current relationship challenges and strengths, the history of the relationship, family of origin influences on strengths and challenges with communication, and current goals for therapy.
Gottman Relationship Checkup
Couples then complete the Gottman Relationship Checkup, which asses strengths and growth areas in relationships along the following dimensions: friendship and emotional connection, sexual intimacy and satisfaction, conflict management, shared values, dreams, and goals, rituals of connection trust & commitment.
Session 2 – Individual Meetings
Each partner, then, meets with the therapist individually for half a session each; time which allows for a deeper exploration of family of origin influences and space for each person to freely share their perspectives on the relationship.
Session 3 – Feedback Session & Movement Into Phase II
The therapist will meet back with the couple together and review the results of the Gottman Relationship Checkup, define a path toward helping the couple meet their goals, and beginning moving into the Intervention Phase of treatment.
Phase II: Intervention (6-9 Months)
We also broadly structure this phase of therapy utilizing Gottman’s 3 Phase Trust Revival Method (Gottman, 2012). Here is a brief overview of the process (though the exact path toward recovery varies for each couple):
Step 1: Atone
The person who committed the affair must take responsibility for their actions in order to begin rebuilding trust. It may also be helpful to begin processing feelings of shame at this time and the individual factors that may have contributed to the affair (e.g., family of origin and intimacy issues, depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, etc.).
This step also involves creating a process of transparency and verification. So, for example, the betrayed partner may need to have access to all email and social media information to verify the partner’s honesty in the short-term, until some trust is re-established. This initial step involves understanding the extent to which the affair has affected the relationship and the PTSD symptoms that often follow the disclosure of infidelity in the partner that was betrayed.
Step 2: Attune
This step often includes interventions grounded in the science-based Gottman Method Couples Therapy & Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy, which may include the following types of interventions (based on the couple’s goals and needs):
Managing Conflict Interventions (e.g., Aftermath of a Regrettable Incident, Dreams w/in Conflict/Navigating Perpetual Problems, Identifying the Negative Cycles/Patterns & creating healthy patterns of communication and emotional expression).
Friendship System Interventions: (e.g., Exploring Love Maps & Sharing Fondness & Admiration) and creating/reinforcing habits of connection).This step involves both partners acknowledging that the old relationship didn’t meet either of their needs fully and working together to rebuild friendship, emotional intimacy, communication skills, and a shared vision for the future.
Step 3: Attach
Being able to speak openly about needs within and outside of the bedroom is some of the work can be helpful during this step, along with creating a deeper level of emotional and sexual intimacy once a level of trust and forgiveness has been established.
Couples also complete the Gottman Relationship Checkup 90-Day Post-Test to asses treatment progress along the way.
Phase III: Maintenance
The total length of treatment can vary significantly based on the needs and goals of each couple. After 6-9 months of treatment, though, there is typically a clear sense of what additional treatment might be needed and how to best support couples in their goals moving forward, whether that includes maintaining regular meetings or meeting for occasional check-in sessions to maintain and build on progress. Since it can take years for couples to move through these phases, our goal is to give couples momentum where they can continue to successfully move through this process even after therapy is complete.