About Bethesda Workshops

“I feel on the way to restoration for the first time.”

Mission and Vision

Bethesda Workshops encourages sexual wholeness by ministering to those damaged by sexual sin and addiction. We provide a place of healing where people can begin a process of restoration with God, themselves, with others, and within their marriages. We use the best clinical strategies, coupled with Christian principles, to achieve spiritual, emotional, and relational healing for sexual addiction.

As a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt non-profit organization, Bethesda Workshops provides Christian-based, clinical excellence at an affordable price to those in need.

Our vision is of restored lives and marriages. We believe fellowship with God and with others is vital. We pray for safe churches to bring grace and help to those who are sexually broken and those they have harmed, and we want to equip churches with tools for that purpose.

History

Christian-Based Focus

Bethesda Workshops couples the best clinical practices with a Christian worldview. Our approach is grace-based and emphasizes a relationship with God over rules-based religion. We draw on familiar stories from Judeo-Christian scripture to illustrate recovery principles, and we weave Christian principles into every facet of our work. As a non-denominational program, we make no distinction between Protestants and Catholics.

Individuals struggling with sexual addiction (whether personally or in relationship with an addict) often suffer from profound spiritual shame. Addicts correctly view their behavior as morally wrong, yet most have found little help within their Christian communities. Partners of addicts also frequently find the church poorly equipped to respond to their needs.

Bethesda Workshops is sensitive to the spiritual wounding many addicts and partners have experienced, and we specialize in attending to that pain. We gently invite participants into a personal relationship with a loving God. We don’t get sidetracked by controversies about religious tenets or practices.

All are welcome at Bethesda Workshops regardless of their religious beliefs or lack thereof. Participants of Jewish faith, Muslim faith, other faiths, and those without any specific faith affiliation have found a Healing Workshop to be a welcoming, comfortable environment.

Testimonials

“I thank God for this place!” - Workshop Participant
"The faith-based foundation is a major strength of the workshop." - Workshop Participant
"The workshop balances spiritual concepts with psychology very well." - Workshop Participant
"The Christian aspects were done really well, especially with people coming from all different backgrounds." - Workshop Participant
"The workshop is nonjudgmental, informational and Christian-based." - Workshop Participant

What We Offer

Our primary focus is offering clinical intensive workshops for male sex addicts, partners of sex addicts, couples affected by sexual addiction, and teen females who are acting out sexually (along with their parents).

Other Ministry Areas Include
  • Training for clinicians in the areas of sexual addiction and trauma
  • Education for churches, specifically about pornography and sexual addiction
  • Consulting and crisis intervention assistance for churches and Christian agencies confronted with sexual sin on the part of leadership
  • The sale of books and other resources, visit our shop
  • Referral to recommended resources such as support groups and suggested reading

Speaking Ministry: Providing education and seminars on topics including:

  • Healthy sexuality
  • Healthy families
  • Sexual addiction
  • Sexual abuse
  • Talking to your kids about sex
  • Healthy churches
  • Pastoral sexual misconduct/abuse

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Christian-based treatment (non-denominational, grace-based)
  • Facilitated solely by licensed clinicians; majority are Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSATs)
  • Similar intensive workshops available for sex addicts, partners and couples
  • Help for adolescents who are acting out (the only intensive workshop of its kind in the country)
  • Convenient 4-day workshop program provides huge jumpstart or boost to recovery process
  • Multiple staff at each workshop offer different styles and therapeutic expertise
  • Affordable fee includes all lodging and meals for duration of workshop
  • No interest payment plans and limited scholarships available

Staff & Board

Most of our clinical staff are Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSAT®) or CSAT® candidates through the Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). This training, developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes, requires attendance at multiple training modules and supervision with a CSAT® supervisor. It also requires ongoing education requirements so that CSATs are experts in providing the latest innovations in sexual addiction therapy. CSAT® training is a rigorous process designed to help professionals best serve their clients.

Led by Marnie C. Ferree, the Bethesda Workshops’ clinicians are described by a participant as “professional, incredible counselors who are passionate, compassionate and exceptional at what they do.” Another attendee said, “The office staff were efficient and helpful from start to finish. They made me feel comfortable about attending and were great at communicating all the details about getting here.”

Meet the caring professionals who are ready to invest in your healing.

Meet Our Staff

The Pool of Bethesda

The name “Bethesda” is taken from a New Testament scripture in John 5: 1-9:

The Healing at the Pool:

“Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem. Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people – blind, crippled, and paralyzed – were in these alcoves. From time to time an angel would stir the waters, and whoever was first in the pool would be cured of his disease.

“One man had been an invalid there for 38 years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, “Do you want to get well?”
– The Message as translated by Eugene Peterson

The account continues to describe the healing Jesus did in this paralyzed man’s life. He took up his bed and walked! It also outlines the criticism Jesus received by the so-called religious people because he performed this healing on the Sabbath, which was a day when no one was allowed to work. Sadly, for some, the rules of religion are more important than the relationship with Jesus.

For those who struggle with sexual brokenness and those paralyzed by sexual sin and addiction, Jesus’ question rings clearly:

Do you want to get well?

Jesus, the Great Physician, challenged the man at the Pool of Bethesda to embrace the healing that was offered. Jesus extends the same opportunity for wholeness today.

In a religious climate that often condemns sexual sinners and the sexually broken without providing any help, Bethesda Workshops exists to provide a place of healing. We point the wounded toward the grace of Christ and provide them with knowledge and tools for a lifetime of healing.