About Disclosure with Mari Lee: Mari Lee is an author of best-selling books Facing Heartbreak and Healing Betrayal, speaker, and LMFT, a Sex Addiction Therapist, Specialist, and Supervisor. She also is the founder of Growth Counseling Services and Shine Women’s Retreat. She talks...

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About Disclosure with Mari Lee: Mari Lee is an author of best-selling books Facing Heartbreak and Healing Betrayal, speaker, and LMFT, a Sex Addiction Therapist, Specialist, and Supervisor. She also is the founder of Growth Counseling Services and Shine Women’s Retreat. She talks...

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Mari Lee is an author of best-selling books Facing Heartbreak and Healing Betrayal, speaker, and LMFT, a Sex Addiction Therapist, Specialist, and Supervisor. She also is the founder of Growth Counseling Services and Shine Women’s Retreat. She talks with Rob about what it is like to be a woman in her job working with both partners and addicts healing from betrayal, and how she helps her clients feel heard, resources for hope and healing, and why she loves working with addicts.   TAKEAWAYS: [2:37] Mari didn’t always want to work with sex addicts. When she came into the work, her passion was about supporting traumatized partners. There wasn’t a lot of support or knowledge about working with betrayed partners, and much of it was based in codependency rather than prodependence. [4:31] Mari began to understand that the choices the addict was making had little to nothing to do with their partner. [7:25] Mari does a lot of psychoeducation with her clients about what is going on in the limbic and nervous systems. [8:55] If a partner grows up in an environment where there is shaming and much negativity, hiding and deceit become coping mechanisms and they develop a core belief that they are unloveable. Their actions then reinforce that behavior, and they need to first get help for the relationship they have with themselves. [13:18] It is often more difficult for the partner who has to look at their spouse as troubled because they want to have empathy but they are so hurt, shocked and angry. [16:45] The disclosure process, or “clinical formal disclosure” can be a very painful and traumatic time. This is a very thorough process where the addict and partner agree to come into a sacred healing space to disclose all the betrayals and hidden secrets. [17:43] Over time, a partner that is being gaslighted feels fear, obligation, and guilt. One of the most healing tools is for the addict to work with a therapist and give their partner full disclosure and truth, and the power to decide if they want to continue the relationship. [26:45] Mari wrote Facing Heartbreak for partners who can’t afford to see a therapist, or are unable to see one due to logistics, insurance or financial means. [30:14] Mari refers to her clients as survivors and thrive-rs. They may be scared at first, but she helps them move away from the idea of victimization and towards empowerment and understanding how to set tangible boundaries. RESOURCES: Sex and Relationship Healing @RobWeissMSW Sex Addiction 101 Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency Rob@sexandrelationshiphealing.com Shine Women’s Retreat Growth Counseling Services Facing Heartbreak Healing Betrayal QUOTES: “I knew I wanted to be somebody that created healing spaces, materials, support, and community for partners in pain.” “Therapists need to educate their clients in what is going on in their nervous system and brain.” “I help a partner understand how she can share her truth.” “The intuition of human beings is one of the most powerful gifts we have. When you send a woman out in the world doubting her own intuition, you make that woman very vulnerable.” “We need to have a focused roadmap for the treatment team.”
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