Certified Gottman Couples Therapy
Helping Marriages is a division of CrisisCare Counselling
Copyright © 2007 -  All Rights Reserved - Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited.
Dr. Ross Plews
Certified Professional Counsellor Supervisor #20140046
Certified Gottman Couples Therapist #214

#205 5101 48th Street  Lloydminster, Alberta T9V 0H9


Affair Recovery
Life as you knew it has undergone a dramatic pain filled interruption.  The affair is something you never thought would happen to you.  It only happens to other people right?  Your pain confirms the false narrative, but there is hope!

At Helping Marriages, We Provide Therapy For Affair Couples.
The process Includes Three Phases

Copyright © 2017 by Dr. John M. Gottman and Dr. Julie Gottman.
Set Up an Appointment
Phase 1: Atonement
Peggy Vaughan's research
(Vaughan, P. (2002). The Monogamy Myth. NY: William Morrow ) found that couples who stayed together spent a lot of time talking about the affair while couples who broke up tried to move forward without discussing the affair. At the heart of these discussions was remorse.  Dr. Vaughan found that the Betrayer`s expression of remorse was essential to the healing process.  The Betrayer needed to listen non-defensively to the Hurt partner's emotions and answer the Hurt partner's questions with absolute transparency. 

Phase 2: Attunement
In this phase, the therapist helps the couple process past incidents of failed communication. Repair is very important.  Couples learn how to process their past failed bids for connection and their regrettable incidents so they can understand how their communication went wrong.

Phase 3: Attachment
In the attachment phase, the therapist seeks to establish trust.  This is based on transparency, truth, constructive conflict, processing past emotional injuries, and attunement.  Commitment is explored as couples talk purposefully about what values give their lives meaning, what dreams they have for their future individually and together, and their goals for fulfilling those dreams.

Total Separation from the Affair

Dr. Willard F. Harley compares an affair to the world of addiction.  He says, "Several years ago, I owned and operated ten chemical dependency treatment clinics. At first, we used several different treatment strategies. For some, we tried to encourage moderation, and for others we tried to achieve total abstinence. Eventually, all of the counselors agreed that total abstinence was the only way to save drug or alcohol addicts from their self-destructive behavior.

Unless they completely abandoned the object of their addiction, the addiction usually returned. For these people, moderation was impossible. The conviction that their drug of choice was off-limits to them for life, helped end their cycle of addiction-treatment-addiction.

My strategy for ending an affair with total separation from the lover developed after my experience treating addicts. And, over the years, Iíve found my total-separation strategy to be very effective in ending affairs in a way that makes marital recovery possible. Without total separation, marital recovery is almost impossible". 
(Harley, William F.  Total Separation: The Right Way to End an Affair (https://marriagemissions.com/total-separation-the-right-way-to-end-an-affair/)

In order for therapy to be successful, there must be a total disconnect and separation from the affair partner.