Addiction, Partner Trauma & Betrayal, Eating Disorders

As a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) with The International Association for Trauma and Addition therapists, (link) Tara specializes in the treatment of compulsive or problematic sexual behaviour, as well as providing services for partners who experience trauma as an aspect of ‘collateral damage’ from the impact of addiction, betrayal, gas lighting etc. Her practice includes work with teens adults, including partners and families.

Tara’s work is informed by the latest research in neurobiology and addictions medicine which defines addiction as a “link- ASAM . As part of arriving at a diagnosis of sex or love addiction, Tara fully supports the notion of diversity in healthy, mutual, and life enhancing sex while also endorsing that addictive processes are real, harmful to the impacted person as well as to the partner and family. Without education and intervention, the likelihood of these processes becoming more ingrained and problematic is high. Tara’s work with porn and sex addiction, involves careful assessment and history taking, use of diagnostic tools and, where permission is granted, obtaining collateral information from a partner, family member or other professional.

Philosophy of Practice

Tara’s practice with addictions, like all of her work is integrative, and within a neurobiologically informed, attachment and trauma based approach, she uses EMDR as well as the Task Centered Model developed by Dr Patrick Carnes. Her work with partners is strengths and resilience based as she helps partners identify and progress through stages of healing associated with the usual complex trauma (link) that goes along with living with an “unseen” addiction. This may include assisting a partner to identify and learn effective responses to gas lighting (link) and /or narcissistic abuse which are frequently an aspect of the cognitive and emotional distortions which accompany addiction.

Disordered Eating & Relationship Addiction

Tara is also certified as a Certified Multiple Addictions Therapist (CMAT) and recognizes that addiction typically has more than one face and can involve “cross addictions” e.g. food, gambling, ” bonding to unhealthy relationships,” alcohol, drugs. This awareness is carefully incorporate into her assessment and therapy work which also include services for relationship addicted and eating disordered individuals. In her work with disordered eating, Tara collaborates with physicians, dieticians, nutritionists to assist the client to restore healthy eating patterns. As nutritional stability is restored, Tara assists the individual to do the underlying healing work that set up vulnerability for the eating disorder in the first place.

Safety in a ‘Pornified’ World

Believing that prevention and education is fundamental strategy for preventing addictions, Tara is also passionate about protecting youth and children from porn, cyber bullying and other forms of online exploitation. To this end, she offers workshops to parents, educators and other health professionals on protecting children in the digital age.