It takes two healthy individuals to build a healthy coupleship, but it’s not an automatic process just because both of you are in personal recovery. Couples’ healing takes the same focused attention, tools, and commitment as your individual process. The Couples Workshop is the best – quickest, most powerful and cost-effective – way to get a jumpstart on your growth as a couple.
Each spouse must have attended his and her own individual Bethesda Workshop before they can come to the Healing for Couples Workshop. This preparation gives both spouses the same information (usually delivered by some of the same facilitators) and Bethesda Workshops’ experiences. It gets them on the same page about our approach to sex addiction, its roots, and the healing journey. It allows each spouse to begin his and her individual journeys of recovery before addressing issues in the coupleship.
In rare cases, a couple may meet this requirement if one spouse has attended a Bethesda Workshop and the other has received individual treatment at an appropriate inpatient clinical facility. Individual or group counseling or other intensives or workshops do not meet the prerequisite.
About the Workshop
A Healing for Couples workshop provides the same boost for your coupleship that the individual workshops did for personal healing. Healing for Couples is the same intensive setting that maximizes your investment of time and money.
Healing for Couples is geared for those who are relatively new in their process of recovery. Because the workshop’s focus is on building non-sexual intimacy, husbands and wives do not room together at the workshop. Husbands stay with other husbands and wives stay with other wives. All participants, including Middle Tennessee area residents, stay at a nearby hotel. Bethesda Workshops staff are onsite to provide overnight support, if needed.
The workshop is clinical, meaning all the leaders are at least master’s level, licensed counselors who are specifically trained in treating sexual addiction. This workshop uses a comprehensive approach that gets beneath the specific issues in the relationship to look at the roots of the problems.
Couples are divided into small groups and work with the same Bethesda Workshops leaders throughout the workshop. The normal group consists of three couples led by two counselors (usually a male and female).
Bethesda Workshops comes from a Christian perspective that emphasizes grace and God’s unconditional love. Everyone is welcome and will find an accepting, non-pressuring environment.
Dates & Times
Thursday, 9:00 am – Saturday, 6:00 pm, Central
UPCOMING WORKSHOP DATES
The workshop fee of $4,000 includes all lodging and meals for both spouses. A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 is required at registration. See Financial Information for details.
- Trauma-based coupling
- Couples’ interactive patterns
- Rebuilding trust
- Healthy communication
- Healthy sexuality
- Couples vision
Important Workshop Information
- Workshop Format
- Technology Free Environment
- Lodging & Meals
- Travel & Flight Information
- Workshop Leaders
- What to Bring
The workshop is a group experience, and individual counseling sessions are not part of the intensive. During the small group breakouts, though, each participant has extensive time to share personally. Sessions normally begin at 8:00 a.m. and continue until around 8:00 p.m.
The workshop format is intense and specifically designed to maximize time and investment. This is not a retreat. Participants move between educational segments, individual work, and small groups. The approach consists of a combination of instruction, writing or drawing, small groups, interactive exercises, and activities.
The workshop is a technology-free setting that we call the “Bethesda Bubble.” Participants take a total time-out from contact with the outside world, including family and friends, by turning in all electronic devices – cell phones, laptops, smart watches, tablets, iPads, etc. – for the duration of the workshop. Participants refrain from watching tv in their hotel rooms and are not allowed to make or receive calls or use the business center at the hotel.
Participants are required to arrange all work and home responsibilities before arriving so that they are totally off the grid during the duration of the workshops. Communicating with anyone or any type of work-related activity is not permitted, including during overnight hours. If participants aren’t willing to be completely disconnected from work and home, they are encouraged to attend a future workshop when they can dedicate time.
If you’re concerned about not talking with minor children, we suggest you leave notes that can be opened each day you’re gone or leave video messages the child can listen to.
Bethesda Workshops will provide participants with emergency contact information to share with immediate family so that you can be reached in the event of a serious family emergency. Staff will not interrupt your process for a work-related situation.
The workshops are held in Nashville, Tennessee. All participants (including Nashville area residents) stay together in a nearby hotel. This total time-out from normal responsibilities and distractions is an important “container” for the intensive work.
Each person shares a room with another workshop participant; there are no private rooms. Having a roommate forces you to break the isolation that’s part of the picture for both addicts and partners. It also provides accountability and safety. It’s wise to bring ear plugs in case your roommate snores. All hotel rooms are non-smoking, and smoking is only permitted in a designated outside area at Bethesda Workshops.
The hotel has a small exercise room you may use before breakfast or late evenings when you return from the workshop. You aren’t allowed to leave the hotel to use another exercise facility like the YMCA or a health club.
The Bethesda Workshops staff will handle your hotel reservation, and all lodging and meals are included in your workshop fee. If you have to stay over the day the workshop ends or need to arrive a day early, the Workshop Coordinator can arrange lodging at your expense at the workshop site. Meals during the times before and after a workshop are also at your expense.
Participants eat breakfast at the hotel, which is a complimentary buffet of continental and hot items. Lunch and supper are served at Bethesda Workshops. Fresh fruits, vegetables, and a green salad are available daily. Lunch is usually some kind of hearty sandwich, salad or soup; and supper is a meat entree with vegetables and salad. Dessert or sweets are limited to the supper meal. Beverage choices include coffee, soft drinks, iced tea, and water.
Bethesda Workshops can accommodate a vegetarian or gluten-free diet with advance notice. You must make your own arrangements for vegan meals or other special dietary needs by bringing food that can be quickly prepared in a microwave, if necessary. A refrigerator and freezer are available.
It’s critically important that you be present for the entire workshop. As a group intensive, everyone needs to begin and end together. You WILL NOT be admitted to the workshop if you plan your travel in such a way that you arrive late or leave early, even if that means you get to Nashville the day before the workshop starts or leave the day after it ends. You shortchange yourself and disrupt the workshop process if you arrive late or leave early.
It’s in your best interest to arrive rested. Please arrange to arrive the day before the workshop instead of flying overnight or leaving at dawn to travel the day of the workshop. Don’t arrive exhausted before these intense, long days.
Once you register for a workshop, a Travel Arrangements Form is one of the documents you’ll receive, and it provides space for you to communicate your travel plans and lodging needs to the Bethesda Workshops staff.
Bethesda Workshops will be prepared to welcome participants beginning at 12:15 pm Central time. You should arrive no later than 12:45 pm.
If you’re flying you should arrive in Nashville no later than 11:15 am Central time on Wednesday so you’ll have time to eat lunch and get to the workshop site. The Healing for Men workshop ends at 4:00 pm on Saturday, and participants are free to leave then. Don’t schedule a flight before 5:15 pm at the earliest; ideally your flight should be 5:30 pm or later.
Transportation from the airport is provided, and participants carpool back and forth from the conference hotel. There’s no need to rent a car.
If a participant is flying, Nashville is the destination airport (airport code BNA). The following are the suggested flight arrangement times (all Central) for each workshop:
Healing for Couples Workshop Flight
Latest flight arrival time on Thursday: 9:00 am Central time
Earliest flight departure on Saturday: 7:30 pm
Workshops are staffed by licensed clinicians who hold at least a master’s degree. Many have earned the CSAT designation, a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, which is the highest certification recognized in our field. Workshops are primarily led by same-gender therapists, though most workshops also have at least one opposite-gender therapist. All workshop leaders are committed Christians with specific clinical training in treating sexual addiction and related issues. The majority of the workshop leaders are in some form of personal recovery as an addict or a partner.
Meet Our Staff
Bring clothes for four days, personal toiletries, medicine, and any other essentials you’ll need. Plan to dress in layers and bring a light jacket or sweater even during warm weather, because some find the meeting rooms cold. If you like, feel free to bring a Bible, a journal, recovery related reading or personal devotional materials. It’s helpful to bring a watch since you won’t have your cell phone. We’ll provide everything you’ll need during the workshop itself, including a workbook, paper and pen.
Participants are not permitted to use cell phones, laptops, tablets and similar items at the workshop. Please do travel with a cell phone so you can communicate with us in case there are travel difficulties. Staff will collect all cell phones and other electronics and keep them until the workshop ends. No weapons are allowed at the workshop site, at the conference hotel, or in participant vehicles.
Some participants are highly sensitive and/or allergic to perfume, cologne, and essential oils. We ask that you not use any fragrances of essential oils during your time at the workshop, including at the hotel. Please leave them at home.
Attending a Bethesda Healing Workshop is best viewed as a huge jumpstart for recovery. A specific aftercare plan is crucial. The intensive workshop often identifies core family and trauma issues which need further healing. Each participant – whether an individual, couple, or family – is helped to outline a personalized aftercare program before leaving the workshop. In general, a recommended aftercare plan consists of four main components:
• Behavioral measures to address acting out and other forms of unhealthy coping
• Regular connection with a supportive community (a 12 Step program is recommended)
• Continued counseling for core issues, especially around trauma and relationship concerns
• Cultivation of a deeper connection with God and spirituality
• Active self-care regarding nutrition, exercise, sleep and recreation
Participants are also strongly encouraged to maintain contact with each other. Many groups text or video chat regularly, and some groups even plan reunions to celebrate their recovery and connection.