415 – Secrets and Responsibilities in Working with Infidelity (Clinical Showcase*)

Real, Terry 2016
What to Do When One Partner Won’t Give Up the Affair

Few situations feel as high stakes as healing infidelity—especially if the unfaithful partner is unremorseful or doesn’t want to give up the affair. Should we keep confidences? Should we insist on monogamy from this point forward? Transparency? What about our own feelings and convictions? Should we try to be neutral—is that even possible? How supportive should we be? Or how challenging? In this clinical showcase, two therapists will show videos of cases demonstrating two contrasting approaches to the use of confrontation of the betraying spouse and determining how—and how not—to set therapeutic boundaries. You’ll explore how to:

  • Handle secrets and issues of confidentiality without feeling trapped or drawn into power struggles
  • Navigate the challenge of helping couples rebuild trust as well as the therapist’s role in the couple’s decision whether or not to stay together
  • Use direct and indirect methods of confrontation at key junctures to encourage clients’ accountability and move the therapy process forward

Terry Real, LICSW, is the author of the bestseller I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression and has been featured on numerous national news programs. He’s been in private practice for 30 years and is the founder of The Relational Life Institute.

Michele Weiner-Davis, MSW, LCSW, is the director of the Divorce Busting Center in Colorado and author of several bestselling books, including The Sex-Starved Marriage and Divorce Busting.

* Clinical Showcases highlight the different ways well-known innovators approach common clinical problems. Master therapists will show video clips of their work and then engage in a probing exploration of their moment-to-moment therapeutic decision-making. The goal is to open up possibilities for dialogue, debate, and fresh perspectives not usually featured within more standard workshop formats.

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