Debi Hartwell - MA, CCC, CSAT-S, CMAT

Partners of Sex Addicts Rebuilding and Healing

If you are the partner of a sex addict you are experiencing sex-addiction-induced trauma. This is a specific type of trauma that comes from the impact of the sex addict’s chronic pattern of sexual acting out, emotional abuse, deception, betrayal and manipulation. According to Dr. Minwalla, of the Institute for Sexual Health, “partners of sex addicts often present to treatment with symptoms similar to rape trauma Partners of Sex Addicts Rebuilding and Healingsyndrome (RTS) and complex post-traumatic-stress disorder (C-PTSD). This includes a re-experiencing of the trauma, social and emotional constriction, frequent triggering and physiological and emotional reactivity, anxiety, emotional arousal and hyper-vigilance. Some partners experience fears of exposure to sexually transmitted disease or concerns for the safety of their children. Social isolation, shame, and disruption in the ability to trust their spouse, self, or others are common. Psychological pain for partners of sex addicts is particularly intense upon new discovery of sexual acting out, deceit, or relationship betrayals”.

“I couldn’t believe that this was happening. The man I said my vows to was not the man I believed him to be. Turns out he has had this problem since before we met. I was in shock. I felt broken. I couldn’t tell anyone I felt so ashamed. I was alone and afraid. I found Debi on the internet and she listened to my story and she got it! Over some time I was able to see the effects of the trauma. I could not have done it on my own.” - D, 38, Vancouver, BC

If you are experiencing;

You are not alone! I understand and can help.

Discovering a partner’s sexual betrayal can be shameful, overwhelming, frightening and infuriating. I can help you cope with the fear, anger, concern and confusion that inevitably comes from the trauma experienced when one has been impacted by sex addiction. I offer individual counselling and supportive groups that will provide you with information, direction and help. The model that I follow treats the significant and profound trauma that is experienced by the partner who has experienced the consequences of sex addiction and the associated patterns of relational perpetration, violation and abuse in the context of an intimate relationship. I do not use the term “co-addiction” to understand the partner.

I provide a safe and supportive environment for both straight and gay clients of any race or religion.

If you are interested in couples counselling please call me at 604-318-2351 or contact me through email

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