by Donna Meredith Dixon, of A Door of Hope ministries.
Headlines like “Sex addiction may affect 10 percent of men, survey finds: Women make up 40 percent of those affected," are fairly common across news outlets and social media. However, for the most part, awareness of what life is like for the millions struggling with sexual or porn addiction—as well as for those impacted by their relationship with their ‘addicts’— is limited. As in all, complex relational and societal issues, statistics alone do not—indeed, cannot—capture the emotional, physical, social, financial and spiritual impact experienced as a result.
Instead, gaining awareness and understanding begins by becoming educated about those complexities, sharing and listening to stories, and walking alongside another on the long road of recovery (for the addict) and healing (for the spouse/partner, family and friends).
Education and Connection
So how might attending the upcoming Redeeming Sexuality and Intimacy Conference help build awareness and increase understanding?
Because C-SASI brings speakers and presenters who are experts in their niche to bring clarity and insight into those complexities. Plus, the conference schedule provides opportunities to network. Connecting and gaining understanding is the heartbeat of the conference.
As a coach and trainer, my primary commitment and focus remain centered on equipping and supporting those going through ADOH peer facilitator training. At the same time, I am also committed to-and focus on–the work of Christian Sex Addiction Specialists International (C-SASI) along with the other dedicated, experienced and dearly loved volunteer board members.
C-SASI is a non-profit, Christian organization with a mission of equipping Christian therapists/clinicians; life coaches; pastors/ministers; lay church leaders and peer facilitators with the resources they need to effectively and ethically help those whose lives have been impacted by sexual addiction and sexual brokenness. You can find out more about who we are here.
There’s still time to register, and here are two more reasons why …
My New Zealand colleague, friend and fellow C-SASI board member, Lisa Taylor, describes why she’s looking forward to the conference:
“Because as Dr.Barbara Steffens, who is one of the leaders of our pre-conference says, ’we are strong together.’ The Conference is an excellent place to be with your peers and feel the love and support of others who have ‘been there’. It's also an amazing opportunity to see some of the leaders in the partner trauma field: learn from them, benefit from their care and wisdom. For those who feel they may have a calling to someday minister in this area, this is an excellent opportunity to talk to those who are already seeing their ashes turned to beauty... and understand more about how that's come to be.
Lisa is also one of our conference workshop presenters. She and her husband Michael will be speaking on managing tech-based environmental triggers, or from the wife's perspective (rather than the counselor's): how to lock down the technology and make my home/life safer.
Lisa is also the author of Beyond Betrayal: How God is Healing Women and Couple's from Infidelity. In addition to covering a wide range of topics herself, Lisa's guest posts/interviews are not to be missed.
Another colleague and friend, Catherine Etherington, describes why she’s traveling from Durham (the United Kingdom) to attend:
"The conference is an opportunity to get refreshed. This mission (redeeming sexuality and intimacy) is a big one and requires us to pour out of ourselves all the time – and this is an opportunity to be poured back into, to be reminded of our passion for the afflicted and to renew hope and energy."
Catherine, Head of Partner and Spouse Development at The Naked Truth Project (UK), is another conference workshop presenters and I have the joy and honor of joining her and our colleague, Fran Hopwood in presenting: Spectrum of Spiritual Experiences within Relationships Impacted by Sexual Betrayal. This workshop is described as exploring and addressing some of the more common experiences faced by those seeking recovery from sexual sin, and their partners.
*"We will unpack some of the factors that influence our positioning on that spectrum, such as images of God, spiritual abuse, theological teaching and the quality of supportive Christian relationships. In concluding, we will suggest ways in which we, as Christians, helping professionals, and church leaders can positively engage with anyone on this continuum and increase the likelihood of an outcome that strengthens faith, understanding of God and relationship with Him."
A Conference for Partners of Sex Addicts
I'm already looking forward to gaining more insight and understanding, connecting with colleagues, friends and peers and hope to see you there. To learn more about the conference (and register) head to the C-SASI website conference page.
Lisa adds: this event is also an excellent opportunity to connect with the foremost trainer of peer-group facilitators for PSA (partner of sex addict) support groups (i.e. Donna, the author of this post). For my friends and colleagues in New Zealand who are not going to be able to make it to this conference, know that Donna is scheduled to give her trainer here later this year. If you are not able to attend the conference because of location, finances, etc. but you want to know more about becoming a group facilitator, I recommend reading more about her online training.
I'll just add that I have been attending this conference since 2014, when I attended to do research for the Beyond Betrayal Book. Every year it has been a financial miracle that has gotten me there... so know that if you're meant to be there, our Father (the one who owns the cattle on a thousand hills) can get you there: whatever the current obstacles.
Donna sent this song to the C-SASI board last month as it seemed to capture some of our heart for the conference.