and that the only way for a marriage to get on the road to recovery is through an open confession, including the details. Although total disclosure may be crucial to reestablishing trust with some couples, it can be disastrous or simply considered unsavory for others. In this workshop, we’ll examine affairs within a broader, multicultural context. We’ll consider what the affair reveals about unfulfilled yearnings, examine the meanings intimacy and fidelity may have, and discuss how to use the affair to illuminate what the relationship needs. We’ll explore a flexible approach--based on a clear confidentiality policy--that helps determine whether the affair should be disclosed. We’ll discuss how to alternate individual and joint sessions to help the therapist and partner with the affair decide whether disclosure would be helpful or harmful and uncover the crucial information needed to revitalize a connection between both partners.
Michele Scheinkman, L.C.S.W., is a faculty member of the Ackerman Institute for the Family. She’s written extensively on the topic of affairs, including “Foreign Affairs,” published in the July/August 2010 Psychotherapy Networker.