Partners / Spouses

Partners of sex and pornography addicts are innocent bystanders in the path of destruction created by the behaviors of their spouse or partner. At Colorado Sexual Recovery Center, we have two main goals regarding partners of sex and pornography addicts.

  1. Treating the partners with individual, group and couples counseling based on the Multidimensional Partner Trauma Model.
  2. Educating the sex and pornography addict about your trauma and pain, and helping him/her learn empathy and accountability.

Honor Ashbaugh, MD, directs the partner’s program at Colorado Sexual Recovery Center. She is trained in the Multidimensional Partner Trauma Model, which was created by Dr. Barbara Steffans of the Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS). Dr. Ashbaugh and the staff at Colorado Sexual Recovery Center understand that the partners of sex addicts have been betrayed by the one they count on and love the most, and we believe that adverse partner responses are due to trauma from being betrayed by their spouse or partner. Your life has been shattered by the discovery of sex or pornography addiction in the one you love the most and have committed your life to, and we understand that you are seeking “safety in an unsafe situation” (APSATS, 2012).

Your Feelings are Normal

The overwhelming feelings you are experiencing as a partner of a sex or pornography addict are completely normal. You are not crazy. You have just experienced a type of trauma known as “betrayal trauma”. Betrayal trauma is a severe type of psychological trauma that threatens your survival and safety.

Most partners of sex addicts display symptoms of an “Acute Trauma Response” and sometimes meet the criteria for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. Common behaviors and emotions include but are not limited to anxiety, hypervigilance (i.e.: checking phones or computer history), intense sadness and grief, anger, inability to concentrate, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts. A typical response from a partner of a sex addict is, “I feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster!” They feel there is no safety in life and that everything they thought to be true about their relationship was a lie.

You Are Not Alone

At the Colorado Sexual Recovery Center, we have helped hundreds of partners heal from and transcend the pain and grief of betrayal trauma. Since our treatment of partners is based on a trauma model, we do not assume that you were a part of the problem, or “co-addicted”. We understand that discovering your partner’s secret sexual behavior has been devastating, and that betrayal trauma has resulted in your once secure life being shattered and replaced by feelings of insecurity, confusion, and despair.

The Colorado Sexual Recovery Center offers you several options for treatment modalities that can all help you heal, recover, and begin again.


Individual Partner’s Counseling

Our individual partner’s counseling is designed to provide immediate relief from your pain and confusion. Our partner therapists are specifically trained in the Multidimensional Partner Trauma Model that was designed by the Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists (APSATS). We address your trauma, help you set boundaries and keep your families safe, and assist in your understanding of how this could have happened.
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Partners’ Counseling Groups 

When betrayed partners come together with other betrayed partners, they can find much needed support, safety, friendship, and healing. Our group work is designed to be a supportive, safe environment where you can express the shame, fear and sadness that may have become a constant companion. You can find healing in a confidential and safe environment with others that are experiencing the same trauma and pain.
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Couples Intensives 

The Colorado Sexual Recovery Center offers Couples Intensives for the sex or pornography addict and their partner. The intensive is held over a span of three days, and is facilitated by Dr. Barta and Dr. Ashbaugh. This block of time allows for psychoeducation, therapy, and exercises designed to give you and your addict partner a significant jumpstart towards sobriety, healing, and repair of the relationship.
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