An intensive workshop is a great investment of time and money. Most professionals estimate someone needs a minimum of 2-3 years in therapy to adequately address the issues related to addiction. Attending a workshop provides a huge jumpstart for recovery and lessens the time spent in counseling. Significant research validates the proven effectiveness of a group setting. You’ll be with leaders who understand your pain, and you’ll find that you’re not alone!
IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE
Bethesda Workshops is now fully BACK TO IN-PERSON WORKSHOPS with the use of extensive COVID protocols.
For the protection of participants and staff, everyone must provide proof of full vaccination, or either an antibodies test that shows prior infection or a negative PCR test (at the individual’s expense) taken within 72 hours of coming to a Bethesda Workshop. ALL individuals are required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status. A description of other protocols in place for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 are available by contacting Bethesda Workshops.
About the IN-PERSON Workshop
The Healing for Partners workshop is a four-day, intensive setting that provides the equivalent of 8-12 months of weekly counseling. The group environment forges deep connections with other partners who have experienced betrayal, which is healing in and of itself.
The workshop is clinical, meaning all the leaders are at least master’s level, licensed counselors who are specifically trained in treating sex addicts and partners of addicts. We use a comprehensive approach that addresses both the trauma of betrayal and specific steps toward personal healing. Each person develops an individualized recovery plan to guide her or his process after the workshop.
Participation is limited to a maximum of 18 people. The majority of attendees are female, but male partners are encouraged to attend select workshops when a male leader is present. For group processing, participants are divided into small groups of no more than six and work with the same leader throughout the workshop. Individual counseling is not part of the workshop.
All participants, including Middle Tennessee area residents, stay at a nearby hotel. All participants have a roommate, and Bethesda Workshops staff are onsite to provide overnight support, if needed.
Participants may be referred by a therapist or clergy person, or they may self-refer, which means you simply sign up on your own. You don’t have to be working with a counselor before attending the workshop.
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.
- Grief and loss
- Trauma of betrayal
- Family of origin dynamics
- Childhood abuse
- Partner’s coping
- Tools of recovery
- Disclosure and when to extend trust
- Couple and family issues
- Spiritual concerns and growth
Dates & Times
UPCOMING WORKSHOP DATES
PARALLEL WORKSHOP STRUCTURE
Healing for Partners workshops are held simultaneously with Healing for Women workshops. All participants meet jointly for devotionals and some core teaching, but the majority of a workshop experience is segregated into the two groups. All small group work is separate, and your roommate will be from your own workshop.
STANDARD WORKSHOP COST
The therapeutic in-person workshop fee of $3,000 includes all lodging and meals. A non-refundable deposit of $800 is required at registration. See Financial Information for details.
Additional 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 Partners Workshop Flight
Latest flight arrival time on Wednesday: 11:00 am Central time
Earliest flight departure on Saturday: 7:00 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.