Bethesda Workshops has evolved since the first workshop was offered in 1997. The ministry started when Marnie Ferree created an intensive workshop called Healing for Women, which was the first gender-specific treatment program for female sex and love addicts offered in the United States. The workshop model was developed from a similar program created by Eli Machen, MSW, and Mark Laaser, Ph.D., who began conducting workshops for male sex addicts in the early 1990s and added a program for their wives in 1995.
In 2001, the Healing for Women program combined with the men’s and wives’ workshops, which were being offered through other organizations, and the entire sexual addiction workshop ministry came under the direction of Marnie Ferree in conjunction with the Woodmont Hills Counseling Center in Nashville. Bethesda Workshops was chosen as the new name to reflect the core teaching from John 5, “Do you want to get well?”
Within a short time Bethesda Workshops had outgrown the Woodmont Hills Counseling Center and became a separate ministry of the Woodmont Hills Church. The ministry quickly grew, and from a small beginning in 1997 of three workshops offered for female sex addicts, the ministry has expanded to a full program of workshops for male sex addicts, partners of sex addicts (both wives and husbands), and couples struggling with sexual addiction. Normally, around 20 different clinical intensives are held each year.
In 2011, Bethesda Workshops separated from the Woodmont Hills church to become a non-profit corporation, and in 2012, the ministry was designated as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. This designation allows us to expand our reach to those struggling with sexual addiction through offering intensive help for those in need and training for those who assist them.
All contributions to Bethesda Workshops are tax-deductible.