Therapist Observer Program
As part of its mission to educate professionals about sexual addiction, partners of sex addicts and associated marital and family issues, Bethesda Workshops allows approved clinical or pastoral professionals to obtain training by observing a workshop.
Description of the Experience
Today, the sex addiction field has evolved far enough that excellent training is available. The CSAT program (Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist), developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes and offered through the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP), is considered the gold standard in the field. Clinicians who want to specialize in this area are highly encouraged to obtain this kind of specific, rigorous training.
Observing a workshop is a “value added” experience on top of academic training, because observers witness how the clinical principles are put into action. Instead of only listening to lectures, observers witness the treatment process itself. An observer attends all teaching segments, observes a small group led by a Bethesda Workshops leader, and joins the workshop facilitators for meals and staffing. Individual instruction is not part of the Therapist Observer program.
An Observer will receive all of the registration paperwork that participants complete, along with follow-up messages from Bethesda Workshops after the event so that the Observer experiences the Healing Workshop process from beginning to end.
Certification and CEUs
Observing a Bethesda Workshop earns 35 clock hours of continuing education. While Bethesda Workshops is at times a NBCC (National Board of Certified Counselors) education provider for seminars and conferences, the Therapist Observer program is not specifically covered as a Continuing Education Unit event. However, because all instruction is provided by licensed clinicians, a number of state boards have approved CEU hours for observers. It is the clinician’s responsibility to request approval from his or her state board and submit any required paperwork. Bethesda can provide documentation of attendance upon request. Observing does not count toward any of the required hours of clinical supervision.
Parameters for Observers
The Therapist Observer will be in a spectator role during his or her participation at a workshop. The Bethesda Workshops staff maintains clinical responsibility for all participants and each small group.
Observers are encouraged to interact freely with the staff anytime clients are not present. An observer may ask questions, make observations or process anything outside of group. An observer will refrain from any question or comment during lectures or activities, and he/she will exercise caution while sharing in the small group and accept the direction of the Bethesda small group leader. An observer must be careful to avoid any clinical intervention, which is the responsibility of the Bethesda staff.
The Bethesda Workshops executive director reserves the right to ask a Therapist Observer to leave if he/she is personally unready to process the workshop experience or unable to maintain the stated boundaries. In the event a Therapist Observer is asked to withdraw from the workshop, he/she will still be responsible for paying all fees associated with his/her participation as a Therapist Observer.
The Bethesda Workshops staff may have a closed staff meeting, meaning a Therapist Observer is not present. The staff may also engage in some additional activity limited to staff only. Observers will be notified of closed staff activities.
Limitations of Endorsement
Participation as a Therapist Observer does not imply endorsement by Bethesda Workshops. A Therapist Observer may only claim he or she has participated in the Bethesda Workshops Therapist Observer program.
Cost of Observing Bethesda Workshops
$600.00 * Therapist Observer participation fee (includes all meals). *As a point of reference, each segment of clinical training referenced above is well over twice that amount, excluding lodging and meals.
$250.00 On-site lodging at workshop hotel (optional)
Price is for single occupancy. If there is another Therapist Observer and both are willing to share a room, the lodging fee is reduced to $125.00. Potential facilitators – those who are observing a workshop as the first step in applying to join the Bethesda staff – are required to stay on-site.
Half of the total fee (participation fee plus lodging, if applicable) is due before arriving at the workshop. If desired, the remaining half payment may be delayed until 30-60 days after the workshop.
An individual may observe a Bethesda Workshop only by permission of the Bethesda Director.
You must observe an individual workshop (Healing for Men (male sex addicts), Healing for Women (female sex addicts) or Healing for Partners (those in significant relationship with a sex addict) before you can observe a Healing for Couples workshop.
Only male observers are allowed at a Healing for Men workshop; only female observers are allowed at a Healing for Women workshop; and both genders may observe a Healing for Partners workshop.
To submit an application, first determine which workshop and which date you want to observe. Next, complete the Therapist Observer form and submit as directed. After the application is accepted, you will be contacted and your payment will be processed.
Applicants who met the criteria are selected on a first come-first serve basis. Only one observer is allowed to sit in on a small group, which limits the number than can attend any one workshop.
Additional Requirements for Bethesda Workshop Staff Applicants
Any clinician interested in applying for a staff position with Bethesda must first sit in as a Therapist Observer and therefore must meet all the associated requirements and parameters. In addition, the following conditions must be met before observing a workshop:
Must have at least one year’s experience leading sex addiction or co-addiction groups
Must have at least two years of uninterrupted personal sobriety if in recovery from addiction or co-addiction
Must have attended at least six months of weekly 12 Step meetings (May attend a mixture of open AA and Al-Anon meetings if not personally in SA recovery)
Must have completed a course of personal therapy with a clinical professional
Must tell his or her story to the workshop staff
Must stay on-site with the workshop staff (even if living within driving distance)
Must submit a resume
Must provide personal references
1. Personal current or former therapist
2. Clergy reference
Must provide clinical references
1. Current clinical supervisor (if applicable) or a clinical colleague
2. Clinical professor of highest graduate degree program if completed within the last 3 years
After attending a Bethesda Workshop as a Therapist Observer, the executive director may invite a clinician to intern at a workshop by co-leading a group with a Bethesda staff person. After successfully completing an internship, a clinician may be invited to facilitate a small group as the need arises.