BETRAYAL TRAUMA – Working With Partners of Sex Addicts

May 9, 2017

The 4th Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference is on again next week at the Mantra on View Hotel, Gold Coast on 15th – 17th May.

Topics include:

  • Navigating the service system
  • Training and Support of AOD workers
  • Issues within rural and remote communities
  • Cultural safety and sensitivity when working with specific population groups
  • Emerging trends
  • Trauma informed services
  • The lived experience and their supporters

Ms Sharalyn Drayton, Owner at ARISE Counselling Solutions will join us at the conference to discuss ‘BETRAYAL TRAUMA – Working With Partners of Sex Addicts’.

Imagine being in a car accident. Out of the blue someone smashes into you. You didn’t see it coming and you were not to blame yet you are trapped, helpless, not sure who to turn to or what to do next to save yourself.  The struggle to make sense of what just happened is overwhelming.

This is exactly what it feels like for partners of sex addicts when they discover that the person they love and are in relationship with has been acting out with pornography, sex workers or other people.  Unlike a car accident, for the partner of a sex addict the trauma is just beginning. Further discoveries around behaviours, finances, people and places continue to increase the level of  confusion, fear, pain and grief.

Partners seek help when they can no longer manage feelings of pain, confusion and isolation. They seek to understand what has happened for their spouse and for themselves. They want to know how to help their loved one and themselves. They want to be able to protect and support their family and the relationship. None of this is possible without appropriate support from a therapist who understands the impact of betrayal trauma which is experienced by the partners of sex addicts. Unlike other addictions sex addiction is personal because it undermines everything that was believed about or contracted to in the relationship. Indeed the very person that should be offering support is the cause of the pain!

However with the right support partners can find ways to break free of the fog of confusion, fear and denial and, in many cases the relationship can not only be repaired but strengthened as each party learns to understand their own needs, set boundaries and take responsibility for themselves and their own recovery.

For more information on the upcoming 2017 Australian and New Zealand Addiction Conference and to secure your spot, please visit


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