In Recovery from Sexual Addiction and Betrayal Trauma, Daily Balance is Key

From a conversation with Dr. Floyd Godfrey, PhD, LPC, CCS, CSAT-S, Executive Director and Debbie McRae, LPC, CSAT

The Need for Daily Balance

Family Strategies therapists recognize the need for daily balance in recovery from sexual addiction and betrayal recovery. Because of this, we constantly seek the latest research and strive to integrate valuable tools to help our clients heal.

“It’s important to talk about balance for the couples and individuals in the Sexual Addiction and Betrayal Recovery Program (SABR) in order for the programming to stick and to get through the recovery as smoothly and quickly as possible. It’s all about daily progress and we don’t talk enough about what that looks like,” says Dr. Floyd Godfrey, PhD, LPC, CCS, CSAT-S, Executive Director of Family Strategies and a founding member of the SABR (Sexual Addiction and Betrayal Recovery) program team.

Will Daily Balance Help My Recovery?

This concept is not just about the addicts and what they need to do to get better,  it applies to the coupleship and partners as well. Those couples and individuals who strive for daily balance do the best and get through recovery more quickly.

Debbie McRae, LPC, CSAT, an integral member of the SABR team, shares, “What I typically see with a betrayed partner is that they come into the office in a state of crisis. So the first thing I do is assist them in getting grounded and getting out of physical responses that they are experiencing in their body as a result of being outside their window of tolerance.”

Window of Tolerance

When we’re in our window of tolerance, we feel grounded, living in the moment, feeling good. However, once one experiences betrayal trauma, because of the relationship and disconnection in the attachment, we go outside our window of tolerance (typically it narrows). This means we can’t handle the stresses we normally handle, let alone the stress created by things that come up  due to discovery or disclosure.

Increasing the window of tolerance to lessen the hyper aroused state of the betrayed partner becomes the focus. This is done by developing tools to help create daily balance in sexual addiction and betrayal recovery. The tools help clients calm down and come back into their bodies in order to begin working their own recovery.

Tools to Help Create Daily Balance

Tools for controlling physical responses to trauma include:

  1. mindfulness, living in the moment
  2. breathing, controlled breathing to bring physical calm, clarity, and grounding
  3. dailies, four focus areas to help maintain daily focus on balanced living
    1. personal – things you do for fun that are distracting and positive
    2. physical – things you do for your body: eating well, getting enough sleep, etc. 
    3. spiritual – however that looks to you; connecting with God, the Universe, a higher power
    4. relational – meaningful connections with friends and family on deeper emotional levels than acquaintances

Focusing on Balance

Becoming and remaining balanced through recovery can be difficult. “It can be like standing up in a row boat – the recovery process is never standing on completely solid ground. Sometimes things are moving.” relates Dr. Godfrey.

For partners especially, life gets out of balance. Focusing on the four dailies categories as quickly as possible increases their window of tolerance. Doing so helps them to handle not only the betrayal trauma, but all the other stressors in life.

Daily Balance Basics

In summary, in order to get through the healing and recovery process as quickly and smoothly as possible, those in the Sex Addiction and Betrayal Recovery program need to find daily balance in their lives. Focusing on the four areas of personal, physical, spiritual, and relational will help bring peace and clarity.

Looking for More?

Click here to watch the full conversation with Dr. Godfrey and Debbie.

If you’d like more information about our Sexual Addiction and Betrayal Recovery (SABR) class and program, click here.