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“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

Mary Oliver

 

Addiction & The Family

In a mobile hanging above a child's crib, each dangling object must be even, in order for the mobile to remain upright and balanced.  Whatever the shapes and sizes may be, they must carry equal weight in the mobile, or it will tip and potentially fall.

So it is for a family system - each family member must carry equal weight (as appropriate for their age and stage of development), in order for the system to remain upright and balanced.  If a family member is in struggle, they may not be able to hold their own or support others, and inevitably may take the whole system down.

Addiction to substances or behaviors brings struggle, inevitably to the whole system.  Whether it's a substance addiction (alcohol, illegal/legal/prescription drugs) or a behavioral addiction (food, exercise, work, sex, love, caretaking others, spending, gambling, etc.), the whole family system is impacted and deserves special care.

Elizabeth Ogren has worked at every level of addiction treatment, and has created and directed family departments and programming for treatment centers nationwide.  She has expertise in addiction stabilization, assessment for appropriate level of care, healing the trauma of addiction and underlying issues for both addicts and families, and bringing families together in intensive healing workshop formats.

  • Individual therapy

  • Couple/family therapy

  • Intensive Healing Workshops for individual family members, as well as for the entire family system (often called a "family week" or weekend)

Careful processes are necessary when family relationships and boundaries have been violated by the havoc that addiction wreaks - - help is available

Sex Addiction & Betrayal Trauma

 

Addiction & Betrayal Specialty Needs

Sexual addiction, sexual anorexia, and the secret world that goes along with it has a devastating impact on families.  When betrayal occurs, it is often leaked out in staggered disclosures or discoveries.  Your family deserves much better:

Elizabeth Ogren specializes in treating sexual addicts and anorexics, as well as partners and family members who have experienced betrayal trauma.

  • Individual therapy​

  • Couple therapy

  • Intensive Healing Workshops

  • Therapeutic Disclosure processes and repair work​

    • Often recommended, a comprehensive therapeutic disclosure allows the addict or betrayer to carefully share the reality of what has happened, with the support of a therapist specifically trained to do so in the context of sobriety.  This helps avoid painful ad-hoc disclosures outside the therapy room, which are traumatic and can quickly escalate into conflict.

    • A therapeutic disclosure allows a betrayed partner or family member to have all the necessary information about what they're up against, with the support of a therapist specifically trained to move through betrayal trauma and grief.

    • ​Children may also need a form of disclosure, to eliminate unspoken tension and family secrets in a safe and age appropriate way.

As a highly specialized Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), Ms. Ogren has co-facilitated sessions with Drs. Patrick and Stefanie Carnes and Dr. Claudia Black, who founded this field and created the gold standard for disclosure and care.  She works with addicts, betrayed partners, and the family system, to guide the process in the safest way possible.  Ms. Ogren may serve primarily as either an addict or partner's therapist, and she will collaborate with another CSAT so that each member of the relationship feels fully and autonomously supported.  If a family is new to therapeutic support, she offers preliminary couple crisis sessions to determine what care and disclosures may be needed.  And she will support care throughout the entire continuum:

1) Crisis Management

2) Disclosure from addict to partner/family  

3) Trauma Impact Letter from partner/family

4) Restitution of Impact from addict to partner/family  

5) Grieving the old and beginning the new relationship