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215: Never Again: Treating Extramarital Affairs from an Attachment Framework

W. Jesse Gill, Psy.D.
Psychological Health Affiliates
108 South Main St.
Manheim, PA 17545

Few things in marriage are more painful or destructive than the betrayal that comes from an extramarital affair. Attachment theory instructs us to understand what has been injured in the marital bond and what must be restored following infidelity. The betrayed spouse must have a series of corrective experiences, which are only made possible by a dramatic shift in the posture of the offending spouse. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is an evidence-based treatment model that describes the nature of the attachment injury sustained during betrayal while also substantiating through research the steps and postures that spouses must take for healing. Learn the Attachment and EFT map for this important work and learn how this marital crisis can also be used as an opportunity for spouses to draw closer to Christ.

Learning Objectives
Participants will:
• Summarize the principles of Attachment Theory to describe the bond that was formed during a couple’s initial attachment and the elements that are shattered in moments of betrayal
• Identify specific attachment needs which are violated by marital infidelity and how this violation creates an attachment injury
• Name two dimensions of the corrective emotional experience that must be created to restore a betrayed marriage, along with ways to activate the power of attachment to catalyze this healing within therapy for a psychologist or licensed mental health professional

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