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This year has been a whirlwind! It is June already (as I write this) and I cannot believe how time has flown by. In the course of this year we have had many exciting events and occasions. I want to recap what we have been up to. This year we were honored to have Dr. Rory Reid at our facility talking to our clients and staff about the field trials for hyper sexuality. This is an exciting time for our field as a whole and, I believe, a new beginning for research and furtherance of study to best serve our clients. While all may not agree with the diagnosis, my hope is that people (clinicians, clients and the public) will take this as an opportunity to look at what we do and how we can improve. Further, I think it can help to get treatment for those who may not have been able to before, as others will begin to understand that this is a legitimate issue for those struggling. We at the ECU only hope to continue to be a part of research in the field. We have our own studies in progress and look forward to the results. Also this year, our staff has had many opportunities to present and attend wonderful conferences. Last fall, Dr. Tanisha Ranger and I presented at the annual SASH conference on the use of schema informed therapy with sexually addicted clients and the presentation was well received. This year our family therapy team, Michael Morton and Karen Martin, are presenting at the annual SASH conference. This is an opportunity for them to aid in understanding how to work with clients and families. I will be presenting a new conference for us, the Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders on the basics of sexual addiction. I am excited to meet new people and hope to see you there!

We had the alumni reunion this past March. For those of you who attended, it was great to see you there. I can never express how much it means to me and the rest of the team that you all continue to let us be a part of your lives. I think that every year we improve on the weekend and presentations. I hope that you will take the time to see those presentations that are on our websites. If you have ideas for next year please let us know. As I stated already, Dr. Reid was with us during the event and we were also honored by having Nina Latrello as one of our guest speakers. She has been a resource for us and a colleague for many years and to have her at our reunion only added to our view of her as extended ECU family. Also we had many former ECU staff come to the event, some to present and some to reconnect with the alumni. To know that, while staff moves on, they still believe and desire to be a part of the program, demonstrates how unique and special the ECU and you all are! I want to give special thanks to Jen Rowe, Dr. Latoya Brooks, and Dr. Jennifer Enigk for presenting and thank you to those that stopped by. I also want to thank those alumni who discussed ways to continue to improve the alumni and recovery experience, from a community “liaison” of sorts to aid those coming out of treatment to phone meetings. You have great ideas and please keep them coming.

This time of year marks the end of the internship rotations. It is a sad time for me personally but also a gift. This year we had Antoneal Swaby who was with us for a second year. Antoneal is working on her doctorate in psychology but also human sexuality and working in the neuropsychology track. She is working on her doctoral dissertation examining the executive functioning of the different levels of sexual addiction. She has completed compiling the data and we look forward to reading and gaining from the results. We also had Lucienne Pulliam as an intern this year. Lucienne is completing her doctorate in psychology and her law degree. Amongst other areas, she worked alongside me in the offending behaviors groups, which focus on empathy, shame reduction and accountability. To have such diverse interns on the unit helped the clients in many different ways from understanding healthy sexuality to understanding how to understand the legal system. We will miss them greatly and I have been amazed at how they incorporated themselves into the team to point that it is easy for me to forget they will be leaving. I wish them the best in their careers and thank them for their time, energy, effort, compassion and willingness to learn.

We have also been working on expanding our services to include outpatient services. We have started this endeavor with the couples intensive workshops and plan to add more. I look forward to working with those who need intensive help in furthering their recovery. Please stay tuned for more!

This has just been a small recap of what we have been up to and I know that I have missed some important things. I just hope that I hit most of them. This newsletter is also chock full of articles and is the biggest we have put together yet. Also don’t forget that you will find more articles and podcasts on our web page. As you will see in this article we have had submissions from spouses and alumni. I encourage everyone to be a part of this newsletter. Don’t hesitate to send in anything that you think someone would find helpful. This recovery community is important to many and shared by many. I look forward to hearing from you. Also for spouses and partners, don’t forget that we are continuing to try and find a way to connect you to more supports. If you have ideas or want to be put on the list for support of others, you can email or call me.

Thank you for continuing to let me a part of your lives: past, present and future. As always, Peace, Hope Ho!

— Mary

Psychodrama at The KeyStone Center ECU

Nancy Roberts Willis, MSW, LSW, CP is a licensed social worker in PA and a certified practitioner in Psychodrama by the American Board of Examiners in Psychodrama, Sociometry and Group Psychotherapy. She had studied Psychodrama for over 30 years and has been facilitating groups at the Keystone ECU for the past 14 years. I sat down with Nancy to discuss her work as a Psychodramatist at KeyStone.

KEYSTONE: Nancy, Thanks for joining me today. What is Psychodrama and how did you get into this specific field of group therapy?

NANCY: Psychodrama is a group therapy conceived and developed by Jacob L. Moreno, MD. It uses guided action to explore the inner worlds and outer worlds (of a client), facilitate insight and growth, develop new skills and provide more clarification to our clients about their issues. Psychodrama uses spontaneity and creativity so that people can practice responding to situations in new and healthy ways. In Psychodrama, any issue can be put into action including personality traits, memories, dreams, feelings, behaviors and relationships. It uses techniques to facilitate a great deal of insight and growth.

Psychodrama is a group therapy because while the session focuses on an issue in one person’s life (the protagonist), the rest of the group plays various roles and they also observe. Through this, the group taps into their own spontaneity and their own inner worlds. The group concludes with time for sharing and people will discuss what the work has brought up for them.

Psychodrama can be very powerful, moving, effective, helpful and fun! I got interested in this type of group therapy because in addition to my passion for mental health and Psychotherapy, I was always interested in the power of drama and theatre. Psychodrama is an effective way to combine all of these things. We all know about using mindfulness based stress reduction, trauma’s residuals in the body and that the body remembers what the mind forgets. Sometimes when people are just talking they really stay up inside their own heads. Psychodrama incorporates the entire body, one’s whole self, into an experiential method. It really yields a powerful result and helps our clients reach that “a ha!” moment.

KEYSTONE: What is the difference between Psychodrama and Drama Therapy?

NANCY: There is definitely an overlap between the two. Many Drama Therapists were in the theatre arts beforehand and then studied Psychology in order to make it helpful to people. Most Psychodramatists were Psychotherapists first and then studied Psychodrama as one modality that could be used in their psychotherapy practice. Psychodramatists tend to have individual protagonists and Drama Therapists tend to do more Sociodrama. This means that instead of having that one protagonist (as in Psychodrama) it is more of a group theme or group concern that is explored. People will play less specific roles (i.e. playing the general role of a mother vs. the role of your actual mother). In Drama Therapy’s less individualized themed approach, the entire group gets a bit more involved throughout the Sociodrama group session. They both use action methods and there is certainly a lot of overlap between the two.

KEYSTONE: You run Psychodrama group for both KeyStone Center’s chemical dependency program and KeyStone ECU’s Residential unit for the treatment of Sexual Compulsivity and Trauma. How often do you run Psychodrama group for the ECU?

NANCY: I run Psychodrama at the ECU twice a week on Monday and Thursday mornings. It’s a real pleasure and a privilege to run Psychodrama group at the ECU. It’s a special opportunity because it happens twice a week and it is a small, close-knit group. Clients at the ECU stay for a good length of time so everyone gets an opportunity to be the protagonist and explore their individual issues. Having lived together under one roof and participated in a variety of other groups at the ECU, this community really gets to know each other. It makes for a great group because everyone is really able to spontaneously play true to life roles for each other during Psychodrama.

KEYSTONE: You mentioned that the ECU community is unique because of the size of the group and how close the clients get to each other during their stay at the house. Could you tell me what some of the similarities and differences are between doing Psychodrama for the ECU’s sexual compulsivity unit vs. the chemical dependency program?

NANCY: There are some differences in the community. With that said addiction is addiction. They have more in common than they do differences. Whether it is sex, gambling, eating disorders or chemical dependency, these are all ways of numbing feelings. They are all ways of coping with life and emotions in a compulsive way when you don’t have any other alternative healthy coping skills … a way of filling up a void or emptiness that is underlying. With these similarities in mind they do have some differences. Drugs and alcohol are more black and white. You are working to abstain from the chemicals. Sex addicts need to grapple with the more grey areas. Sex addicts need to ask themselves if their continued behavior is healthy or compulsive. Sorting this out requires a great deal of introspection.

KEYSTONE: How is your work in Psychodrama a team approach amongst the other clinicians at the ECU?

NANCY: It’s really quite wonderful. I feel like clients talk and share things in other groups that warm them up to action in my Psychodrama group. Then, the action in my group gives them a whole lot more to talk about and process in the other groups to follow. The various groups really do complement each other like that! The entire staff works in harmony. I feel like I’m an important cog in the wheel. Staff will often suggest to me those clients who should be the protagonists in my groups by having observed a client’s readiness to work or seeing a real opportunity for them to benefit from being the protagonist at a particular time in their recovery. Following group, I’ll communicate what came up for that client and for the rest of the community with all of the ECU clinicians. I’ll do so through staff discussion. I’ll also make note in our shared progress notes and communication log. I’m able to give the entire ECU staff the benefit of the insights that I’ve witnessed during my groups and the rest of the ECU clinicians set me up to do that very well.

KEYSTONE: Your Psychodrama workshop at our recent Alumni Reunion was very popular amongst the alumni. With this group consisting of previous ECU clients who are further along in their recovery, can you speak to your experience at our Alumni Reunion?

NANCY: Sure! It’s great to see all the people who travel back to KeyStone for our annual Alumni Reunion. Some come when they are struggling and many come when their recovery has a very strong foundation. You know that all of them are committed to their ongoing recovery when they care enough to come back to our Alumni Reunion. It’s so good to hear everyone’s feedback when they share how significant and helpful my Psychodrama groups have been to their recovery. Seeing all these people who have now found lives that give them meaning and satisfaction, seeing them achieve contentment and freedom from addiction … it’s such an honor to be part of people’s growth. Paying witness to all those who are further along and still committed to their recovery really gives me the big picture. I’m really happy to be a part of it.

My Experience at KeyStone ECU

For those of you who I’ve not had the pleasure to meet, my name is Steven Bocchinfuso. Around three years ago I joined the KeyStone ECU as their National Marketing Representative. My focus was to be on developing a greater network of care within the behavioral health community, and boy did I hit the ground running! Fast forward to today and I am doing a significant amount of travel. In addition to my travel, I am also responsible for a variety of efforts including the development of marketing materials, maintaining an online presence, hosting events, podcasting, coordinating our Alumni Reunion and even the newsletter you are currently reading. This past month I took a pseudo break from some of my ongoing responsibilities. It was time to reconnect with the ECU’s clinical team, the work we do, and most importantly, the clients we serve … and so I began my month long stay at the ECU. The following is an account of this unforgettable experience.

On day one, as I entered the ECU, I attempted to imagine what it would be like if I were a client walking up those front steps, onto that large wrap around porch, and through those front double doors. The 16-bed Victorian mansion situated on the grounds of the industrialist and banker Robert Wetherill’s estate is filled with mahogany wainscoting, stained glass windows and opulent old world charm. It seems warm, comforting and inviting but then again I am not a Sex Addict seeking treatment here. As I try to put myself in our clients’ shoes I realized that little could be done to ease the tension of walking through these doors for the first time. What goes through the minds of our incoming clients must be a surreal experience. Perhaps they are asking themselves “how did I get here?” Perhaps in their wildest imagination they never thought they would be coming to this place. I can only imagine their thoughts of wanting to rewind time. While all of their senses must be telling them to turn away and run, they bravely push forward. I honor the courage it takes for clients to walk through these front doors and say to themselves, “this will be my home for the next month as I receive treatment for my Sexual Compulsivity.”

I spent an entire month at the ECU and one thing was glaringly obvious to me. Our clinicians have a great deal of empathy for our clients and for all the feelings I imagined as I walked through those front doors on my first day. Once inside, our staff immediately provides our clients with a structured and supportive environment for healing. First, the staff welcomes you as you stow your luggage in the main office. This is followed by a completion of all the registration paperwork and then by a lengthy and thorough clinical intake interview. A staff member then escorts you to your room and at that time you will sort through your luggage in order to identify any type of “contraband” that could interfere with your recovery. Perhaps one of the most important parts of this intake process is the Orientation Checklist. A client has 72 hours to complete this checklist by engaging fellow community members and asking for their help in getting oriented with the house and the house rules (TV hours, responsibilities, phone usage, laundry, etc … ). In a group therapy setting, it is especially important that a client does not isolate themselves when they arrive at treatment. This checklist is a springboard for non-isolating behavior. The Orientation Checklist fosters the development of relationships amongst our community members and these relationships are what make their group therapy so powerful. I completed this checklist when I first arrived and felt that it was a key component to my feeling comfortable with the existing group of clients and them with me. After completion of the checklist I contemplated the gravity of this simple action for a new client at the ECU. The journey to recovery starts here. This community will attend group together seven days a week. With a primary focus on their sexual compulsivity, these clients will not only call on the expertise of the ECU’s clinical staff for help but they will also challenge, support and help each other in unimaginable ways. In the month to come, they will share things with each other that they may have never shared with another living soul. These individuals will forever be a part of each other’s recovery and the relationships they build here can last a lifetime.

The experience, insights and expertise of the ECU staff are unparalleled. Their 12 step based program consist of the following groups; Addiction and Trauma, Grief and Loss, Here and Now, Offending Behaviors, Psychodrama, Psycho-education, Relapse Prevention, Stress /Anger Management, Spirituality and Therapeutic Art. Our Clinical Director, Dr. Mary Deitch, runs the Offending Behaviors Group and this is arguably one of the most powerful groups for our clients. One element of the group that left me with a lasting impression is the presentation of “victims lists“, “empathy letters” and “cost letters.” A person in a client’s life, often a significant other, is invited to write a “cost letter” describing how a client’s acting out has impacted them. This letter is completely voluntary and if they choose to participate, the client will not view or hear the letter until they are in the group session. In tandem with the writing of the cost letter, the client themselves will write an empathy letter. A separate victims list is also utilized in this group. These exercises outline the clients acting out behaviors, the victims of their behaviors, and the client’s empathy for those who have been affected by their addiction.

Once in Offending Behaviors group, the client will have an opportunity to read their victims list to the group. Clients will also hear their cost letters read to them for the first time by a group member of their choosing. This is a powerful experience in itself but the disclosure of the empathy letter that follows the cost letter is even more powerful. Uncovering discrepancies in perception or discovering victims of a client’s addiction that a client may have previously overlooked will leave a client with a lot to process. This is a difficult experience but in the end the discussion and openness within the group facilitates a great deal of empathy, shame reduction and a deeper understanding of self. The work done surrounding empathy here can only be rivaled by Psychodrama, a powerful group run by Nancy Willis. Psychodrama is a type of role-playing group where a protagonist selects community members to act the part of people in their lives (or family of origin) allowing the group to truly explore the dynamics of various relationships. The protagonist often spends a great deal of time playing each role and absorbing what it might be like to feel and act from a variety of points of view. I interviewed Nancy about her work in Psychodrama and hope you will take the time to read that interview in this newsletter.

There are simply too many group sessions and skilled staff to discuss in detail. Paul Greeway and Marie Hill are often the first friendly voices you might hear on the phone when calling into the ECU and they make sure that the administrative and admissions process runs as smoothly as possible. Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, Tanisha Ranger is perhaps one of our most active members in the IITAP community, consistently offering great insights during group and has introduced Schema Therapy into the ECU. Family Therapists Michael Morton and Karen Martin are admired by both clients and family members alike. Their dedication and caring for the health of those affected by addiction is evident in their daily interactions and commitment to everyone they serve. In Here and Now group, Milton Myers is able to take the discussion of something as seemingly benign as a leaky faucet and turn it into an opportunity to delve further into a client’s list of bottom lines, shed light on potential loopholes that could lead to future relapse and challenge our clients to be more definitive in their relapse prevention plan. In our Therapeutic Art group, I was left amazed at how telling a group mural could be when interpreted and discussed by Judith Curcio. She is able to look beyond what is seen on the surface and into the group process, the use of space, color, imagery and more. Her work with our clients opens up so much conversation about both community dynamics and individual recovery. Judith’s work is especially valuable with those clients who have a more difficult time expressing their feelings verbally. I would invite you to view her recent video podcast on our website at: www.keystonecenterecu.net/media_art_therapy.html. Treatment team meetings are where it all comes together. All of the clinical staff is in attendance and every one of our clients is discussed in detail. The eclectic strengths and expertise of our collective staff are pulled together to meet a client where they are at in their recovery and to define where they are going.

My month at the ECU was split between spending quality time with both our clinical staff and our clients. Without getting too specific, it’s difficult to verbalize the numerous high impact moments that I observed while sitting in on these group sessions. Each session is individualized to its participants and their input. While the groups are incredibly structured, there is an extremely organic element to how individuals move through treatment. While our skilled group of therapists guide these sessions, I think they would agree that the clients themselves are the ones who are doing the really hard work. My group community consisted of some very high-powered people, leaders in their industry, who have learned throughout their entire lives to equate vulnerability with weakness. I witnessed them challenging themselves to be vulnerable to a group of virtual strangers. I watched these same people go through a sort of metamorphosis as they uncovered the true strength that comes from being open and honest with themselves and others. I observed our clinicians working together, discussing the treatment of each individual client and how to best guide them through their destructive feelings of shame into more constructive feelings of guilt. I was filled with compassion as I listened to our clients open up about their family of origin, share in their life history and address their underlying traumas. I watched as they made strides in their recovery. I was filled with pride as they admitted to their powerlessness over their addiction, reached an unparalleled level of accountability in their lives, developed a solid relapse prevention plan for themselves and graduated our program with a life altering dedication to recovery … I was moved beyond explanation.

To be clear, my experience at the ECU did not include sleeping at the facility overnight. I spent the month observing and participating in groups, treatment team meetings, intake interviews, initial phone calls, family therapy and the like. I spent a great deal of time talking with both staff and clients. I knew I would grow closer to the staff. What I didn’t know is how strong of a connection I would develop with our clients. Towards the end of my month at the ECU we hosted our annual Alumni Reunion. I felt a greater understanding of what it must mean for our clinical staff to connect with past clients and witness, first hand, the success of their work at the ECU. I’m looking forward to next year’s reunion where I will reunite with those clients I’ve had the privilege of getting to know. It was an honor to be welcomed into their sessions and it is a gift to be a witness to their recovery.

By the very nature of participating in group therapy for an entire month, as my time at the ECU drew to a close I was considerably more self-reflective. I too changed for the better. I went through a type of withdrawal from playing a daily role in our client’s recovery. Since then I’ve toyed with the possibility of continuing to play a more active role at the facility. One thing is for sure, I have concluded my experience with a renewed passion for the work that I do. It’s hard to know where we go from here. All I know is that whether it be through direct contact with our clients, through my continued connections within the behavioral health community across the country, or some merging of the two, I am more passionate than ever to continue to provide help to those who are seeking recovery. I would like to thank our dedicated clinical staff for allowing me to sit in on their sessions and for working so hard to make The KeyStone ECU a premier residential treatment facility for Sexual Compulsivity and Trauma. Moreover, I would like to thank all of those courageous clients who welcomed me into their lives and with whom I’ve shared in this unforgettable experience. Peace, Hope, Ho, Rise Up!

 

25th Annual Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders
“Basics of Sexual Addiction”
Presentation by: Mary Deitch, JD, PsyD September 6–9, 2012

The Keystone Center ECU will be presenting, attending and exhibiting at the 25th annual CCSAD Symposium (Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders). This conference is September 6–9, 2012. Our Clinical Director, Mary Deitch, JD, PsyD, will be giving a presentation on the “Basics of Sexual Addiction.” If you plan to attend this year’s CCSAD be sure to catch this insightful presentation.

About CCSAD: The Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders is one of the oldest and largest annual meetings dedicated to continuing education and networking in the field of addictions. The ECU is a Gold Patron Sponsor of the Cape Cod Symposium and is happy to contribute to their efforts to educate the addictions community. We look forward to seeing all of our colleagues at this year’s 2012 CCSAD. To learn more about the CCSAD please visit: www.ccsad.com

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2012 SASH National Conference (Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health)
“Sex Addiction, Women and Trauma Resolution in Family Therapy.
Presented by: Michael Morton & Karen Martin
September 19–22, 201
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The Keystone Center ECU will be presenting, attending and exhibiting at the 2012 SASH Conference (The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health). This years SASH conference will be held in San Antonio, TX. We are happy to have SASH invite us back to present and share our expertise for the 2nd year in a row. The discussion, led by Michael Morton and Karen Martin, will be on critical issues involving overwhelming consequences for women, children, partners, and family members affected by compulsive and addictive sexual behaviors. Case studies will be presented in addressing gender, disclosure, boundaries, religion and recovery through the lens of contextual therapy and the role of the therapist as the facilitator of healing dialog and fairness for couples and families.

About SASH: The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health is a nonprofit multidisciplinary organization dedicated to scholarship, training, and resources for promoting sexual health and overcoming problematic sexual behaviors. The ECU is an ongoing supporter of SASH and is happy to contribute to their efforts to advance the field of Sexual Health. We look forward to seeing all of our colleagues at this years SASH Conference. To learn more please visit: www.sash.net

 

In October of 2009, the Extended Care Unit began its ongoing podcast series. The series is geared towards clinicians, assistance professionals, sex addicts, family, partners and the spouses of sex addicts. We continue to add new podcasts throughout the year. To date, we address a variety of informative topics, including a multimedia presentation on our Professional Assessment Center, information regarding self care, defining sex addiction and a discussion on healthy sexuality and intimacy. We invite you to join us online for this online series at News and Events or just go online and click on the “Presentations and Media” link. Do you have a topic that you would like to hear discussed? If you have any suggestions for future podcasts we would love to hear them! Please email your suggestions to Steven Bocchinfuso.

Some New Additions to Our Podcast Series Include…

mural
 

Art Therapy by Judith Curcio, AT, MS: KeyStone ECU’s Art Therapist shares a collection of projects in this insightful video podcast. She discusses each project in detail and what it reveals about the artist. The podcast addresses the importance of Art Therapy in the healing process as well as its place at KeyStone ECU. You will find this podcast and more at: www.keystonecenterecu.net
/media.html

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Alumni Reunion Presentations: We would like to thank everyone that attended this year’s Alumni Reunion and to extend a special thanks to all our guest presenters. Perhaps you attended and would like to review some of your favorite presentations. Maybe you could not make it and wish you could listen in on some of the presentations. Well you now have access to a collection of video and audio podcasts from our 2012 Alumni Reunion presentations! Please visit the alumni reunion page to view a presentation synopsis, learn more about past Alumni Reunions, download power point presentations, video and more. You can access our Alumni Reunion podcasts here: www.keystonecenterecu.net/
alumni-reunion.html

 

Alumni Podcasts—Alumni Tell Their Stories Of Recovery: Listen to our alumni share in their stories of recovery. This is a great resource to share with your clients and peers! The Keystone Center ECU invites you to listen to our ongoing Alumni Podcast series online. In this series, we sit down with a collection of our alumni and have them tell their stories of recovery in their own words. The result is a compelling group of individual stories that dive into the depths of struggling with Sex Addiction, exemplify the power of recovery and prove to those seeking treatment that they are not alone. Visit this powerful alumni podcast series here:
www.keystonecenterecu.net/
alumni_stories.html

 

By a Partner of KeyStone Alumni

Be honest, family members. You are in deep hurt. As you find yourself desperately flailing about for hope, you may try to minimize your hurt. "If I don't hurt as badly as I fear I might, maybe it won't be as hard to find a light at the end of the tunnel." That may be a confusing quote, but our self-talk often is confusing. The only way through this tunnel, though, is through the hurt. Find way(s) to get honest with the depth of your pain. For me, it happened through songwriting. At one point, I addressed my wife through song—being honest with my pain. At another point, I addressed through song a person who had wronged her—and along with her, me, too. I was honest with my pain. And, looking back, I recognize this honesty as a huge step in my healing process. I pray that it may be for you as well. One more thought ... my wife has experienced amazing healing. If I had not gone through my own hurting and healing process honestly, I would not be "ready" to experience the deeper and deeper fellowship and intimacy we are experiencing in our marriage.

Thanks,

Gary

 

Shrek in the park, a vacuumed up Chi
As I get to Know You, I get to know me.
An overpriced foal with a saddle of gold
The walls start to crumble
As our stories unfold.
An acoron, a tree, a pool of blue,
A monster, a tiger— I’m looking at you
A clock with no hands, a lawn mowing dad,
Your pain helps me see that we’re all good,
Not BAD.

A fungus among us, a toe almost lost.
We must open our eyes
And see at all costs.
Cuts to the flesh an effort to cope,
As you make yourselves known,
I begin to see hope.
Rocks become flowers as a volcano stirs
You grow and I grow, my child mind matures.
As one life ends and another begins
We must practice acceptance In order to win.
Only five days
You’ve all helped me to see
Telling my truth will set my soul free.

Thank you, my “original” brothers and
Peace, Hope, Ho welcoming committee.

Love,
The woman Sex Addict

 

The Keystone Center ECU recognizes how important and valuable it is to collaborate with local resources. This ongoing Case Conference Series is a forum in which you can discuss your cases with your peers and help everyone to serve our area’s collective client population in the best way possible. If you would like to attend, have a case discussion in mind or want more information on how to present case conference materials, please contact
Dr. Mary Deitch:
([email protected])
or Steven Bocchinfuso:
([email protected])
to register your free attendance.

View full details at our News and Events page here:
www.keystonecenterecu.net/
news&events.html


Remaining 2012 Dates:
August 24, 2012 (12:30PM)
November 16, 2012 (12:30PM)

Location:
Keystone Outpatient Conference Center
5000 Hilltop Drive, Brookhaven, PA 19015

 

A Guest Presenter Talks About Their Experience at Our 2012 Alumni Reunion

Alumni Weekends are a great opportunity to deepen one's recovery, connect with the original community of healing, and be a "vaccination" to the dark forces of addiction. I appreciated the invitation to be part of Keystone ECU's Alumni Reunion 2012 as a presenter. While I have knowledge of Keystone's treatment program through clients I have worked with, and staff I have met at professional conferences, I truly enjoyed the opportunity to be steeped in a community of recovery that weekend. I felt welcomed by staff and recovering community, alike. I appreciated seeing the many gifts that staff has to offer with respect to their presentations and wisdom of experience. This was my first visit to "the house". I know that when clients come out of treatment at Keystone they have been handed a strong foundation to begin their recovery process. My clients have tried to relate to me what a special place and community Keystone has been for them. I appreciated the opportunity to see first hand for myself.

Nina M. Laltrello, MFT
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Certified Clinical Alcohol & Drug Counselor
Certified Sex Addiction Therapist www.AtlantaMarriageTherapist.com
www.SexAddictTherapist.com
(770) 908-7391

 

An Essay on Childish Reasoning

By Justin (A Keystone Alumni)

“They don’t want me to have ANY fun!” This may sound like the lament of an 8 year old child referring to the rules of his teachers or parents. Actually its from the mouth of a 30 year old sex offender complaining how his judge and probation officer are interfering with his right to eat at McDonalds with play areas and pizza parlors with video arcades. He made this statement after the therapist and the rest of us in sex offender treatment group grilled him on the results of his most recent polygraph.

If you are not familiar with how sex offenders are managed on probation, let me briefly get you up to speed. Most offenders are in court-ordered treatment, which usually consists of weekly group therapy and/or individual therapy. We are also expected to obey strict rules about everything from not socializing with other known felons, avoiding alcohol and drugs, to staying at least 1,000 feet away from child safety zones. Child safety zones include schools, pools, parks, video arcades, and yes, fast food restaurants with play areas. As offenders, we are then monitored with annual polygraphs to see if we have committed any new offenses or violated the terms of probation. Although failing a polygraph is usually not enough to have an offender locked up, it can certainly lead to their therapist and parole officer losing trust in them as well as shortening of the proverbial leash.

In this case, the offender did not fail by lying but rather by telling the polygrapher about numerous violations that our therapist was unaware of. As you might expect, our therapist in sex offender group does not enjoy secrets or surprises. In fact, she says there is nothing she hates more. This holds true for the other members of the group as well since we are subject to the Vidal Sassoon standard of accountability, i.e. “If you don’t look good, we don’t look good.”

In group, when we were asked to give this man feedback about his numerous violations, I admonished him for being immature and acting on his feelings of entitlement. He knowingly violated the terms of his probation, because he felt entitled to have a little fun. He seemed to forget just how lucky he was to avoid prison and receive probation for a sex offense. I will confess, this made me angry and even a bit resentful. And rather than just admitting he was wrong and apologizing to the group, he makes the childish statement, “They don’t want me to have any fun.”

As soon as he said it, I thought how that immature and childish voice sounded so familiar. I realized I probably made similar remarks about my teachers and parents when I was a child. But after contemplating this matter further, it occurred to me that I had heard this childish voice much more recently than my youth. This voice of entitlement was probably the loudest of my inner voices when I was acting out.

Although it seems ridiculous for this grown man to feel entitled to violate child safety zones, it was even more absurd that I felt entitled to download and trade child pornography. Yet I honestly did feel entitled to do exactly that. In my career I was performing a valuable service to society, and I could not do my job well if I was constantly plagued by my pedophilic obsession. So I tried to manage my obsession by temporarily numbing it with illegal pornography. In my mind, in my sick mind, not only was I justified in breaking the law, I was entitled to break it. The rules that applied to everyone else in society just did not apply to me. I was different, special, above the law. Hell, I was above morality.

For me to chastise and criticize this man for being selfish and immature was indeed a case of the pot calling the kettle black. Just like he was not out to hurt anyone or get himself into trouble by violating his probation, neither was I while acting out. I was, however, profoundly immature, using childish reasoning to justify hideous and inexcusable behavior. I am ashamed of my behavior, but I am embarrassed by the thought process which enabled it to go on for so long. As a member of my 12-Step community so often says, “I am a grown ass man.” Yet I certainly didn’t think or behave like a grown man. This realization is just a small step in my recovery and rehabilitation. I still have a lot of work to do, and a lot of growing up to do as well. The voice of my inner child still screams when he wants something, but now there’s a grown-up in town setting limits and boundaries and making the tough decisions.

 
 

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