What Is Most Helpful For Addicts In Recovery?

addiction Apr 25, 2023

In 1998, Jennifer Schneider, M. Deborah Corley and Richard Irons conducted a study of 164 Recovering Sex Addicts and Partners.  The results were a powerful look into the raw data of what is and is not true for most couples in the healing journey.  One of the many interesting outcomes was a clear picture of exactly what was most for each party during the healing process. 

In this second post of the series, I'll share with you what addicts found most helpful in their recovery journey.  If you missed last week's post, here is what betrayed partners found most helpful

Here's the results of the study:


Most helpful recovery items for porn/sex addicts:

  1. Therapy/counseling 35 (48.6%)
  2. 12-step meetings/groups 29 (40.3%)
  3. Spirituality/religion 27 (37.5%)
  4. "The 12-step Program" 24 (33.3%)
  5. Relationship w partner 22 (30.6%)
  6. 12-step Sponsor 21 (29.2%)
  7. Friends/recovery friends 20 (27.8%)


There are multiple noteworthy things to highlight here.

1) The most helpful was therapy/counseling.  I can attest that the power of a trained sex addiction specialist is unique among all forms of help.  It provides something support groups, friends, recovering peers and spouses cannot.

2) Also notice that almost HALF of the most helpful items are connected to a 12-Step Support Group.  First are the weekly meetings, Second is the content of the program itself, Third is the 1:1 relationship with a sponsor, someone to guide and mentor.

3) After professional therapy and 12-Step related  support, the number three most helpful item for recover was spirituality/religion.  This is not coincidental, as we are spiritual beings made in the image of God and best outcomes occur when this truth is integrated into the recovery process.

4) After therapy, 12-Steps and Spirituality comes relationship with partner.  Yes, it is the very interactions with the person the addict betrayed that play a huge role in how well they can navigate their recovery.


These four highlights are exactly what I have seen and experienced during 16 years of recovery and 11 years of counseling couples professionally.  It's why my model integrates every one of the truths revealed by this study.  I call it the...

"Rubik's Cube of Recovery"

... which call calls for...

    1) solo work Daily
    2) group work weekly
    3) professional therapy regularly

... all being done by three "clients"...

    1) addict
    2) betrayed
    3) marriage system

 ... over time focusing on...

    1) sobriety
    2) recovery
    3) identity/theology


Notice the three sets of three, like three sides of a Rubik's Cube, each with three squares.  It's a complex puzzle to solve, but it CAN be done.


Also notice how many parallels there are between the results of the 1998 study and the model I teach clients.  It's no wonder that couples who fully embrace my approach regularly achieve better outcomes than the majority.

Since not everyone has access to a therapist who understands this complex approach and is willing to work with the addict, the betrayed AND the marriage system, fully-informed care can be difficult to come by.

If you're interested in what this comprehensive approach to recovery looks like, then check out the Marriage Recovery Course.

In this course, I package up all the high-priority concepts, action items and psychoeducation needed to jump start your recovery exactly the way this study reveals is MOST EFFECTIVE.  I then deliver to you whenever and wherever you like at the pace that suits your life. Plus you can watch it as many times as you need, unlike traditional therapy.

To learn more, click below. 

Marriage Recovery Course





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