Attachment, Addiction, and Recovery: Conjoint Marital Therapy for Recovery from a Sexual Addiction


Zitzman, Spencer T.; and Butler, Mark H.


2005 in Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, Vol. 12, pp. 311–337

  • This study evaluated the effectiveness of conjoint therapy for married couples recovering from husbands’ addictive use; with particular emphasis on restoring trust and the attachment bond.
This study evaluated processes of conjoint therapy for married couples recovering from husbands’ addictive use of pornography. We hypothesized that through conjoint couple therapy clinicians are able to help organize the relationship to sponsor recovery while also promoting essential relationship and individual healing for both spouses. Results demonstrated an increase in (a) marital trust and confidence in the future, (b) mutual softening, (c) the ability to discern key points of intervention sponsoring and supporting... READ FULL ABSTRACT
  • "Altogether, consideration of the several findings of this study lends significant support to our hypothesis that couples perceive specific, meaningful individual and marital benefits from conjoint marital therapy for recovery from self-reported pornography addiction. Spouses’ interview data linked these benefits to the context of conjoint marital therapy. Benefits linked to conjoint therapy were: (1) restoration of trust; (2) softening of emotions which prepared the couple to be mutually supportive in recovery; (3) beneficial shifts in recovery approaches and attitudes; and (4) secondary marital gains or enhancement. We suspect that these clinical gains likely produce a relationship context and scaffolding strongly supportive of recovery work."
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