Marnie C. Ferree


Marnie C. Ferree is the founder of Bethesda Workshops and has a national reputation as a leader in the field of sexual addiction. Effective January 1, 2024, she has semi-retired and stepped away from the roles of executive and clinical director as Mike Vaughn becomes the new Bethesda Workshops leader. She remains active with ministry in talking with potential participants and referral sources, writing, teaching, and sharing her story with workshop participants.

In 1997, Marnie established a workshop program for female sex addicts that was the first of its kind, and today draws participants from across the United States and Canada. That program expanded in 2001 to include workshops for male sex addicts, partners, and couples, and it was renamed Bethesda Workshops. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a certified sex addiction therapist (CSAT).

Marnie’s book about female sexual addiction, No Stones: Women Redeemed from Sexual Addiction, (Intervarsity Press) is the first Christian book on the subject by a woman personally in recovery. No Stones has been widely acclaimed as a pioneering work and is considered the standard in the field. Her second book is L.I.F.E. Guide for Women, a workbook for female sex addicts.

She is also the editor of Making Advances – A Comprehensive Guide for Treating Female Sex and Love Addicts, which is the first book to address this population. Making Advances was written by 10 female leaders in the clinical community, and Marnie shaped the volume, edited the entire project, and contributed to several chapters. In 2018, she co-authored Out of the Doghouse for Christian Men – A Redemptive Guide for Men Caught Cheating.

Marnie is a frequent lecturer at professional and recovery conferences, churches, and schools. She also consults with Christian churches and organizations about sexual integrity, especially when a leader has fallen into sexual sin or committed clergy sexual abuse. Marnie is a member of several professional organizations, including the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, which is the certifying body for the CSAT (certified sex addiction therapist) designation, which is the highest in the field. She is also a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (clinical fellow), the American Association for Christian Counselors, and the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, where she served nearly 20 years on the editorial board of the professional journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity.  She received her master’s degree in counseling from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville.

Marnie has published dozens of articles in a variety of professional journals, magazines and newspapers. Of particular note is a comprehensive series on childhood sexual abuse, which was published in 1993 in The Tennessean. The series was ground-breaking in telling survivors’ first-person stories on the record, including her own, and it generated hundreds of responses.

Marnie is the mother of two married adult children and “GrandMarnie” to four grandchildren.