Friday, September 18, 2015

Infidelity

■ Begin with confronting the couple on whether the purpose of therapy is to rebuild the marriage or help with the termination.

■ Interpersonal trauma model
o Process leading to recovery and forgiveness.
o Establishes safety and addresses the painful emotions and traumatic symptoms.
■ Extramarital affairs are attempts at resolving conflict through triangulation.

■ Establishing Safety
o Affair must be over to begin true marriage counseling.
◆ This means more than not just having sexual intercourse.
◆ All personal contact in person, on phone, or in writing must be ceased.
◆ Any unplanned encounters should be shared with spouse.

■ Discussing the Affair
o Make it clear to the clients that the purpose of sharing is healing and to keep this in mind before sharing details.
o In order to relieve the pressure, the who what where when questions should be dealt with in the beginning to some degree.
o More personal questions regarding motivations and emotions should be dealt with later in the process when a net of safety and trust has been established.
o The goal of treatment is empathic mutual exploration.

■ Goals of Treatment
o The marriage is stronger and is couple-centered rather than child-centered.
o Risk signs for infidelity are recognizable, acknowledged, and handled as they come up.
o The marriage is one of trust, commitment, mutual empathy and shared responsibility for change.