I have worked in the field of recovery with all ages and populations for close to twenty years. Throughout the years, my amazing clinical team and I have had the honor of healing generations from sexual and other addictions and aversions; women, men, couples, their parents (grandparents), along with their children.
As our mission states: "At Namasté Center for Healing, we assist individuals in learning how to recover their true selves, their relationships, and their lives." Similarly, "Our vision is to help individuals, couples and families in achieving lasting recovery from addictions, aversions, and trauma so much so that the course of their lives are changed for generations to come."
One of the realizations I have had throughout the years is that if we only help people stop individuals addictive sexual behavior but don't have a phase in our program where we teach couples about healthy intimacy, sensuality and sexuality, we are only treating part of the whole person and coupleship.
I tend to dislike food detoxes/cleanses because of my love of food as well as my tendency to get really cranky when I am hungry. I also often feel tired and sick for the first 5 days of the process. Yet, I admit, when I surrender to it, what I love about doing a food cleanse or detox is that after the yucky (body/emotional withdrawal) symptoms pass, my skin begins to glow, my mood improves, I feel mentally clearer, and I have a lot more energy. It resets my entire body, mind, spirit, and energy system.
What if a food cleanse/detox had similar benefits as a relationship detox? First, when we hear the term "relationship detox" we tend to think it's related to a past relationship. Examples of comments people have made to describe their experience of a "post" relationship detox include, "I am going to take a break from dating [my marriage, relationships]" or "I am only going to date myself for awhile" or "I need to focus on self care and figure out who I am before I am with anyone else." Interestingly with those individuals I have worked with I think two out of hundreds were able to actually do this for a year (both were women and watching them transform was REALLY beautiful!).
This Blog is written by our full time therapist Annie Jacobs (edited by Candice Christiansen):
The question, “Am I polyamorous?” is one that at times we hear at Namasté Center for Healing when we are assessing people to determine if they have problematic sexual behavior including sexual addiction. I am here to offer you some clarity around this subject.
If you’re struggling with compulsive porn abuse, having multiple affairs, or sexual acting out in other ways that are a secret outside of your relationship, the answer to the question, “Am I polyamorous?” is “no”. If you find yourself compulsively wanting to have sex at times when you are expected to be fulfilling other obligations (working, spending time with your spouse or children, etc.), the answer is “no”. If you find yourself wanting to have sex with multiple people, are indeed having sex with multiple people, and it is causing you and your primary relationship harm, the answer is still “no”.
As a recovering love addict, I am well aware of the reasons why we are told to hold off on getting in a relationship for at least one year when we first start recovery. The main one being that we need to work on ourselves and second to that is that the stress of another person (i.e., worrying about their needs, relying on them to meet our needs, etc) can cause us to continually relapse.
Yet, there is another reason that I appreciate which is directly related to our brain. By now, we have all heard of dopamine, the "reward" chemical which gets released in the brain when we use substances, or experience infatuation, new relationships, and sex. The latter, sex, gives us the biggest spike of dopamine which often fuels our desire to experience increasing amounts of sex and love.
Victor Frankl was an Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor. He was a courageous man who knew a lot about resiliency.
In his timeless book, A Man's Search For Meaning, he explains, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
Choosing one's attitude in any set of circumstances can feel extremely difficult, especially when it comes to a traumatizing event. Finding the inner strength to overcome the emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, religious, and sexual abuse one has endured can seem unbearable and insurmountable at times. Many find ways to escape in unhealthy ways (sex, food, spending, video games, dysfunctional relationships).