Getting Started in the Couple's Recovery Workshop

Welcome to the Couple's Recovery Workshop offered free through Recovery Nation. This comprehensive workshop was developed by Jonathan Marsh to guide committed couples through the rebuilding of a partnership traumatized by the discovery of a sexual addiction. It provides everything a couple will need to successfully transition from the emotional volatility of the discovery through the rebuilding of intimacy and partnership.

This workshop is divided into six separate stages of progressive learning. Additionally, it integrates both the Individual Recovery and Healing workshops into these stages — as well as having absorbed the Couple's Intimacy Workshop into its lessons. In all, this is a process that will require a minimum of six months of active, sincere effort to complete. And another twelve months to ingrain. That doesn't mean you will be struggling for that length of time, merely that that is how long it will take to naturalize and evolve the skills you will be learning. The chaos should begin to subside towards the middle of Stage Two.

The Couple's Workshop was written for two audiences:

1) Those couples just starting out in recovery who have already made the decision that they will be working together to heal from the discovery of addiction in their marriage/partnership. This does not necessarily mean that they will remain intimate life partners, though that is the ultimate goal; but it does mean that there is enough commitment from both partners to work together in healing the trauma and rebuilding friendship. If you are new to recovery and can't talk about the above calmly and comfortably with your partner; if you can't look each other in the eyes and commit to working through this; then proceed directly to the Individual Recovery and Healing Workshops. Do NOT attempt the Couple's Workshop.

2) Those couples who have completed the Individual Recovery and Healing Workshops who are now ready to rebuild their relationship. Here, there is a mandate that the shared goal is to rebuild a lifelong, intimate partnership.

Caution! Do not force, coerce or pressure your partner into participating in the Couple's Workshop. This is not a process where one partner can pacify the other by going through the motions. Many of the things that each of you will be asked to do must come from the heart, not the head. And so, you will each be asked to reach areas of your awareness that only you can access. Without a sincere desire to do so — this process will simply be too much. It will become a chore, rather than a privilege. And that doesn't just threaten the relationship, it threatens the health of the individual who is actively pursuing their own healing/recovery.

Getting Started in the Couple's Workshop

Step One: Register for the Site

Both of you must register for the site separately. This registration is free and is required to provide access to the individual recovery and healing tools. Remember to select User Names that are anonymous. Also, each registration will require a separate email address. If you two are sharing a single email and can't gain access to another, contact Recovery Nation and let us know. We will establish an email address for you. Also, if you have already registered with Recovery Nation, there is no need to re-register.

For those new to Recovery Nation: register by clicking here.

After you have registered, site administration will validate your account and you will receive an email stating that your account was successfully registered. You should then be able to successfully login to the site and access those features that you are eligible to use.

Step Two: Consider your Coaching Options

There are many potential coaching options — from online individual coaching to comprehensive couple's coaching — though none are required. You can make it through this Couple's Program (including the Individual Workshops) without having to spend a penny. Everything you both need to heal — as individuals and as partners — is offered free. Should you choose a personal coaching option, you will receive an email with specific instructions as to how to access other features such as the audio coaching series, phone coaching sessions, hidden Couple's Support Forum and more.

Click for more information about couple's coaching options.

Special Note: These workshops were created to fill a glaring hole in today's addiction recovery community. Literally thousands of hours have gone into the development of the lessons and tools offered free to those in need. Our mission is funded entirely through Christy and Jon's savings, through coaching and through your donations. If you find value in what you are receiving, consider donating to the site. Without the community to help us, the mission of Recovery Nation dies. With that help, we will literally continue to change society one person, one relationship and one generation at a time.

Click here to donate to Recovery Nation: Donate to RN (suggested donation: $50/person)

Step Three: Create a Lesson Response Thread

Whether you are in coaching or not, many of your individual lesson responses will be reviewed by the support community and feedback offered. This feedback will come from volunteer coaches in both Recovery and Healing. Each of you should create your own lesson thread in your respective Recovery/Partner's Forum. Throughout the Couple's Workshop, you will be asked to post your shared responses 'in your Couple's Healing Thread'. This applies only to those in personal coaching. If you are in coaching, you will gain access to a private, hidden Couple's Forum that will be monitored personally by your Coaching Supervisor. For the rest of you, because our current resources stretched to the limit with individual support, additional support for the self-help couple's workshop will be minimal. You may add your responses to your individual threads for occasional feedback, however.

Step Four (those new to recovery/healing): Begin the Couples Workshop

Start with Stage One: Lesson One of the Couple's Workshop. Upon completion of this stage, move on to Stage Two. Upon verification of Stage Two completion, you will be granted password-restricted access to Stage Three. Then Stage Four. Then Stage Five. Then Stage Six. This is a progressive learning environment where serious damage can be done to a relationship without the fundamentals in place. For instance, a couple moving ahead to the lessons on Conflict Management because that is what they were struggling with at the time would be disastrous. The skills necessary at that stage haven't been properly developed. Similarly, those currently focused on rebuilding sexual intimacy would do grave disservice to their partnership by jumping to those lessons. A foundation has not yet been established for the implementation of the specific activities involved with that stage and so, they could end up perpetuating sexual objectification, ritualization or worse.

Step Four (those having already completed the individual workshops): Begin the Couples Workshop

Start with Stage One: Lesson One, but read the material for reinforcement and clarification — rather than for new insights. There is a good chance that a lot of the information — information directly intended for those in early recovery — will no longer apply to your situation. Let's hope. Additionally, some of the more gentle intimacy workshop activities are included in these early workshop lessons — make sure you complete them. When you reach Stage Two, examine the workshop overviews — seeing it almost like you would a checklist. Look for your own healthy/unhealthy patterns. And, complete the ceremony as written. You will then proceed stage by stage as it is laid out.

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