Step Sixteen Professional Help
  1. If you continue to experience problems in your intimate relationships, this may be the time to consider entering couples' therapy. With all of the changes you have already made, you and your partner may greatly benefit from seeing a couples' therapist, even for a brief period of time. At this point, many interpersonal problems are largely habitual and reflexive and can be easily changed with the help of a good referee. Still, because you are in many ways a different person than you were when you started recovery, you may need to restructure or redefine certain aspects of your relationship. Discuss this issue with your therapist and ask him/her for a referral if necessary. As a rule, it is better for you and your partner to see someone other than your individual therapist, so that the relationship work remains separate and there is minimal chance of the therapist's favoring one partner over the other.
  2. If sexual problems persist, you may want to consider seeing a specialist in sex therapy to resolve old associations and fears that may have become habitual and that may be affecting your sexual relationship(s). You may also want to read any of a number of books to give you more information about the methods and goals of sex therapy. Some survivors give up on their sexuality when they reach this last stage because there are so many other positives to fill their lives now. However, you need not limit yourself and your partner in this area. You can reclaim your sexuality for yourself and your partner just as you reclaimed your childhood. If you need additional information or referrals, speak with your therapist.
  3. With your therapist, review thoroughly your behavior in the kinds of situations that challenge you to draw on the changes you have made. Use the discussion of these situations to pinpoint where you were successful and where you may have faltered. Look for new situations in which you can continue to practice those new behaviors that may not yet have become instinctive or comfortable to you.
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Survivor to Thriver, Page 110
© 2007 THE MORRIS CENTER, Revised 11/06