Finding a certified APSATS coach or therapist online is difficult, but it’s vital you get expert help immediately. A betrayed partner is experiencing a trauma that most people will never understand. Fear, anxiety, anger, grief, depression. The emotions are coming fast and furious, and you’re not sure how to proceed. An APSATS therapist can help guide you through this difficult process until you land in a place of peace, joy, and meaning. It is possible!
This article will guide you through some parameters of how to decide which online APSATS therapist or coach to work with.
Why APSATS therapist or coach
Discovering your partner’s betrayal can be an emotionally devastating experience that leaves you feeling lost, confused, and unsure of what to do next. In these moments, it is crucial to seek out the support and guidance of an APSATS therapist or coach. APSATS, which stands for The Association of Partners of Sex Addicts Trauma Specialists, is an organization dedicated to helping individuals navigate the aftermath of their partner’s infidelity.
APSATS therapists and coaches are specifically trained to work with individuals who have been betrayed by their partners. They understand that your feelings are a byproduct of your partner’s actions and not a result of anything you did or didn’t do. They are skilled at helping you develop good boundaries, find your voice, and create a sense of safety for yourself.
One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with a partner’s betrayal is the onslaught of emotions that can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of what to do. APSATS therapists and coaches are experienced in helping you unravel these emotions and make decisions that are best for you and your situation. They will not tell you what to do but will instead guide you in finding your own path forward.
In addition to helping you navigate your emotions, APSATS therapists and coaches can also provide guidance on practical steps you can take to protect yourself and begin healing. This may include exploring options such as therapeutic separation, individual or couples counseling, or seeking support from a religious leader.
The road to recovery after a partner’s betrayal can be a long and challenging one, but you don’t have to face it alone. APSATS therapists and coaches are there to provide the support, guidance, and expertise you need to heal and move forward. By seeking help from an APSATS professional, you are taking an important step towards regaining a sense of safety, stability, and self-worth.
Impact of Betrayal Trauma
Betrayal trauma is an emotionally distressing experience that can lead to a state of emotional free fall. It impacts the brain’s functioning, causing hyper-vigilance, restlessness, anxiety, and a sense of being perpetually on guard. This impacts the ability to regulate mood, calm oneself, think, reason, and make intelligent decisions. The experience of Complex, Dynamic, Multi-Dimensional Betrayal Trauma is characterized by emotional dysregulation and relational disconnection.
Complex trauma is defined as traumatic stressors that are interpersonal, premeditated, planned, and caused by other humans, such as violation and/or exploitation of another person. It is both relational and repeated. Complex trauma can be applied to adults who have experienced chronic relational trauma, such as ongoing sexual and emotional betrayal that destroys the foundational trust in their primary relationship. In such cases, complex trauma theory accurately summarizes the levels of stress, distress, and emotional fragmentation that betrayed partners experience.
Emotional dysregulation is a response to trauma, where the body’s Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) shifts into high gear within a nanosecond, elevating adrenaline, cortisol, and other stress hormones that prepare the body to fight back, run away, or shut down. When infidelity occurs, betrayed partners enter a state of prolonged emotional threat and danger, activating the threat response system repeatedly. The body responds to the repeated discovery of betrayal and the fear of future betrayals by keeping the threat response system activated, creating profound emotional dysregulation.
Key symptoms of complex trauma related to emotional dysregulation include alterations in regulation of affective impulses, alterations in attention and consciousness, and somatization and/or medical problems. Betrayed partners may experience an emotional rollercoaster, difficulty in concentrating, remembering things, tracking information, and staying present, and an array of health problems ranging from diagnosable ailments to mystery symptoms.
The impact of betrayal trauma is significant and far-reaching, affecting not only the emotional and mental well-being of the betrayed partner but also their physical health. Understanding the effects of emotional dysregulation resulting from complex trauma is essential in providing support and healing for those who have experienced betrayal.
Seriousness of Sex Addiction
Sex addiction is a serious issue that has far-reaching consequences for the individual, their relationships, and society as a whole. Internally, sex addicts may experience depression, suicidal thoughts, low self-esteem, shame, and anxiety. These emotional struggles can lead to broken relationships, with 40% of sex addicts facing severe marital and relationship problems. Partners of sex addicts may also develop their own addictions or mental health issues, further destabilizing the family environment and potentially leading to abuse or neglect of children.
Health consequences of sex addiction can include increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), genital injury, and even automobile accidents due to sexual distractions while driving. Financial and legal consequences may also arise from excessive spending on pornography, prostitutes, or other sex-related activities, as well as legal troubles resulting from illegal behaviors such as voyeurism, exhibitionism, or sexual harassment.
Sex addiction often coexists with other addictions, such as alcoholism or drug abuse, complicating recovery efforts and increasing the likelihood of relapse. Furthermore, societal norms that objectify and commodify sex contribute to the normalization of sex addiction and place individuals at greater risk of becoming victims of sexual exploitation or misconduct.
In light of the physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, legal, and familial consequences of sex addiction, it is crucial that society pays greater attention to this pervasive issue and works to address its root causes and provide support for those affected.
Coach vs Therapist
Coaches primarily focus on building mental fitness and providing guidance for personal growth and development. They are trained professionals who help you strengthen your mental resilience and well-being, which is beneficial for everyone.
On the other hand, therapists are trained mental health professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating mental illnesses. They can address the complex emotional and psychological issues that arise from such experiences like betrayal trauma and offer a more comprehensive approach to healing.
While both coaches and therapists can provide valuable support, it is essential to recognize their distinct roles and expertise. For individuals dealing with betrayal trauma, working with a therapist can offer a more in-depth and tailored approach to addressing the mental health challenges that may arise from such experiences. However, coaching can still play a complementary role in building mental fitness and fostering personal growth alongside therapy.
Why Online APSATS Coach
In today’s digital age, opting for an online APSATS certified coach or an online APSATS betrayal therapist offers a myriad of benefits tailored to the needs of individuals grappling with betrayal trauma. Firstly, the convenience is unparalleled. Being able to access professional guidance from the comfort of your home eradicates any geographical limitations, making it feasible for those living in remote areas or those unable to commute. This also ensures greater flexibility in scheduling sessions at times that align with your personal and professional commitments.
Moreover, online therapy can often provide a sense of enhanced confidentiality. Without the need to visit a physical office, there’s reduced risk of bumping into someone you might know, ensuring your therapy journey remains a private affair. For many, the virtual realm can also be a less intimidating environment, fostering a more open and genuine dialogue with the therapist or coach.
Furthermore, an online APSATS coach or therapist often has a broader range of resources and tools at their disposal, such as digital worksheets, video content, and interactive platforms, which can be easily shared and accessed by clients. Comparatively, traditional offline therapy sessions might be confined to the resources available within the clinic’s physical space.
In essence, online therapy combines modern convenience with traditional expertise, presenting a holistic approach to healing and self-discovery, making it an excellent choice for many navigating the turbulent waters of betrayal trauma.
Here are some good books on Betrayal Trauma. These will get you a long ways in understanding what to do next while you find an APSATs therapist to give you individual attention.
Help Her Heal: An Empathy Workbook for Sex Addicts to Help their Partners Heal by Carol Juergensen Sheets, Allan J. Katz
After the Affair, Third Edition: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful by: Janis A. Spring
Moving Beyond Betrayal By: Vicki Tidwell Palmer
Why Won’t You Apologize? By: Harriet Lerner PhD
Treating Trauma from Sexual Betrayal: The Essential Tools for Healing By: Dr. Kevin B. Skinner
Intimate Deception Healing the Wounds of Sexual Betrayal By: Dr. Sheri Keffer
I Love You but I Don’t Trust You: The Complete Guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship By: Mira Kirshenbaum
Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal By: Barbara Steffens
Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts Paperback – by Stefanie Carnes
Many APSATS and betrayal trauma specialists were affected by betrayal trauma before going into the helping industry. Some have a pro-marriage bias, some have anti-marriage bias, some try to stay neutral. I experienced all the same trauma you are experiencing while my husband went through sex addiction. I was poorly equipped how to deal with this and didn’t do it well for many years. But then I got the right help, established proper boundaries, took care of myself first, and that’s when I found lasting healing. In my case, my husband also got the right combination of motivation and good help to also recover. I have a pro-marriage perspective. A marriage where both the betrayer and betrayed have done the work can be a very fulfilling and rewarding relationship. However, I highly recommend the utilization of a therapeutic separation if it is necessary. And if the betraying partner is not doing the work, I view my main job as to build up and empower the betrayed partner to go through with divorce.
Julie Terry is the co-founder of Karuna Healing, counseling and coaching services for sex addiction and betrayal trauma recovery. Julie’s trainings include APSATS, EMDR, and IFS. She has personal experience of recovery from betrayal trauma. Julie provides hope and healing for individuals and couples with therapy (within the state of Utah) and coaching (outside Utah and all over the world).