You Are Not Alone
Are you having a difficult time finding a good Christian therapist who can help you with the current sexual struggles in your marriage?
If so, you are not alone! A couple of recent articles highlight the very widespread shortage of therapists who have been well-trained to deal with the issues that come along with sexual addiction, infidelity and pornography use in a marital relationship. And the search is even more difficult if you’re looking for a Christian therapist. The hunt for someone who can help can be exasperating – but there is hope.
A Good Christian Counselor is Hard to Find
Research shows that there are as many as 37 million Americans who are currently struggling with some kind of sexual behavior. In fact, 70% of Christian men and 30% of Christian women admit to a problem with hardcore pornography use. And Haggedorn pointed out that there is a serious shortage of qualified, trained clinicians to work with the individuals, couples and families represented by that statistic of 37 million. As of 2010, there were only 606 certified clinicians and only 25 privately owned treatment facilities that specifically desire to help couples with sexual addiction issues. This study also revealed that the vast majority of Masters-level counselors are not graduating from their academic programs having been adequately prepared to work with sexual addiction.
A similar finding was uncovered in a recent bit of research conducted by Ayers and Haddock. They compiled a survey of 99 members of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT). Their survey revealed that 49% of AAMFT clinicians received no information on the effects of pornography use during their studies in graduate school. As well, when AAMFT clinicians were asked if their graduate training had adequately prepared them for dealing with pornography use in relationships, 42% said “not at all” and 78% said that they feel unprepared to work with clients who struggle with sexual addiction. Perhaps more surprising is the fact that nearly 80% of professional therapists who are trained specifically in Marriage and Family Therapy have little to no idea how to help people deal with sexual addiction issues that involve pornography!
Interpreting the FactsWhen the findings of these two articles are considered in light of the widespread (and growing) problem of pornography use, it uncovers a very sad state of affairs facing the current generation of married couples. More and more of us are being confronted with the destructive effects of pornography and the accompanying sexual compulsivity and addiction. More and more of our families are being shattered by the painful cycles of pain, anger and confusion when sexual sin is introduced to a relationship. On the other side of the therapeutic equation awaits a precious few clinicians who have adequate training and experience to help, though the vast majority of the therapeutic community is woefully unprepared to help.
Counseling for Sexual Addiction at Seattle Christian Counseling
Seattle Christian Counseling has a number of experienced, trained, caring counselors who know how to help couples who have been impacted by sexual sin, especially if you are looking for a counselor who can incorporate a Biblical worldview into your treatment. We have several locations throughout the Puget Sound region and a wide range of hours available to meet your schedule.
With the help of a Christian marriage counselor who understands sexual brokenness, you and your spouse can begin to find the solutions you are seeking. Christian marriage counseling can help you learn how to move beyond sexual brokenness, re-open lines of communication, and rebuild trust. A Christian marriage counselor can provide both spouses with new skills to manage difficult problems. If you and your spouse wish to explore Christian counseling together, please do not hesitate to contact me at Seattle Christian Counseling. I would be delighted to partner with you and your spouse as you enter this challenging and important healing process.
Ayers.M., Haddock, S. (2010). Therapists’ approaches in working with heterosexual couples struggling with male partners’ online sexual behavior. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 16, 55-78. DOI:10.1080/10720160802711952.
Haggedorn, B. (2010). Sexual addiction counseling competencies: empirically-base tools for preparing clinicians to recognize, assess, and treat sexual addiction. Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 16,190-209. DOI: 10.1080/10720160903202604.
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