We here at Feed the Right Wolf do not label the spouses of sex and porn addicts as co-dependent. Coach Michelle takes offense at the notion and did not experience this label to be in any way empowering.

In the article below our friend Omar Minwalla, Licensed Psychologist, Clinical Sexologist and Clinical Director of The Institute for Sexual Health, argues against this label and advocates a PTSD related model for spouses and significant others – we agree. He had tears in his eyes when he talked about the harm inflicted by the co-dependent label when he talked to Feed the Right Wolf Coaches Craig and Michelle Perra at the last conference for the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health. He’s passionate about this issue and is a leader in this field.

Answer in the comments below: What do you think about this shift towards using a PTSD model for the spouses, away from the codependent one? Has someone labeled you co-dependent? Did it help or hurt? 

Read part of the article below and then click over the the Institute’s website for the full article.


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A Call for Action: Help for Partners of Sex Addicts

Partners of Sex Addicts Are In Need of Treatment.

The field of clinical treatment and therapeutic intervention for the spectrum of disorders related to compulsive sexual behavior and sex addiction is still a newly emerging field, yet to even gain legitimacy within the larger psychological community. Research, professional debate and clinical development have been predominantly focused on the nature of sex addiction, how to describe and classify it diagnostically, and how to best treat the addict. In the context of such advancements, there has concurrently been a profound neglect of spouses and partners of sex addicts.  Traditional treatment models for sex addiction have systematically excluded partners.  Current clinical models that actually do address the spouse or partners of sex addicts have developed and are fundamentally organized around the single-concept and diagnosis of co-addiction or codependency, which basically understands the partner as having her own disease termed co-addiction or co-dependence.  The concept of co-dependence comes directly out of Alcoholics Anonymous, and was adopted by the sex addiction field and applied to spouses and partners of sex addicts.  Codependency is defined as a process addiction — an addiction to certain mood-altering behaviors, such as a tendency to behave in overly passive or excessively care-taking ways that negatively impact one’s relationships and quality of life.

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