Hope Source and Steffens Counseling Form Partnership Specializing in Intensive Outpatient Treatment of Sex Addicts & their Spouses

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Two certified sexual addiction therapists are launching an intensive outpatient treatment program for sexual addicts and their spouses. Kent Ernsting, CSAT, certified through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, and Dr. Barbara Steffens, CCSAS, author of Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal (New Horizon Press 2009), are establishing a center for relationship healing in a safe, confidential environment.

Author of Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal (New Horizon Press 2009), Dr. Steffens is nationally recognized for her work helping women recover from sexual betrayal.

We are able to offer complete services to the couple, as well as the individuals reeling from the reality of compulsive sexual acting out and the resulting betrayal and trauma for the partner.

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Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one's work environment. Sex becomes the organizing principle of an addict’s life to the extent they are willing to sacrifice what they cherish most in order to preserve and continue their unhealthy behavior. The Society for Advancement of Sexual Health, (SASH) makes a conservative estimate that 3-5% of the population of the United States meets the criteria for sexual addiction and compulsivity. In order to aggressively address this issue and provide help, hope and healing for sexual addicts and their spouses Barbara Steffens of Steffens Counseling and Kent Ernsting of Hope Source Counseling and are forming a strategic partnership.

Ernsting and Steffens, certified sexual addiction therapists with separate practices in Cincinnati, Ohio, will offer intensive outpatient treatment, as well as individual therapy, group therapy, seminars and consulting. Both Ernsting and Steffens have been assisting addicts and their partners for more than thirty years combined. Steffens, recognized as a national expert in the treatment of the spouse/partner is also co-author of Your Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal (New Horizon Press 2009). Ernsting was trained and certified by Patrick Carnes, PhD, considered one of the pioneers in the treatment of sexual addiction. Steffens and Ernsting and can be contacted through their web sites, http://www.steffenscounseling.com, and http://www.hopesourcecounseling.org, where additional resources are also provided, including a link to a free Sexual Addiction Screening Test.

By partnering, Steffens and Ernsting are creating a center for relationship healing in a safe and confidential environment. “The benefits of intensive outpatient treatment is the ability to deliver assessment, addictions counseling and assistance with the deeper work of therapy in a concentrated format,” says Ernsting. “Intensive outpatient treatment can help patients get traction in their recovery when regular outpatient therapy or group therapy is not achieving the desired level of intervention.”

“We are able to offer complete services to the couple, as well as the individuals reeling from the reality of compulsive sexual acting out and the resulting betrayal and trauma for the partner,” adds Steffens.

Intensive outpatient treatment can be arranged for the individual sex addict, as well as for the addict and spouse to take place over the course of several days, whereas inpatient hospitalization requires four to eight weeks. These clients may return to their home for the night or stay in one of the hotels in West Chester, Ohio – north of Cincinnati and convenient to two major airports.

Both Steffens and Ernsting have worked with dozens of couples whose relationships have been restored. “When a sexual addict is ruthless about achieving recovery and his or her partner is willing to help work out the issues together, they can achieve a new trust and reciprocal respect unknown to many other couples whose relationship was never fundamentally tested.”

A recent participant in the intensive outpatient treatment program provided this testimonial, “It was all I was hoping for to help my husband and me jumpstart the recovery process in our marriage after disclosure of relational betrayal. In addition to education about sex addiction with its deep reaching traumatic effects on partners, we learned to speak to each other’s hearts to communicate tenderness and encouragement on very tough issues. The relaxed, supportive atmosphere carefully allowed us both to feel safe to experience and reveal deeply guarded feelings never before expressed…It feels wonderful to be on the right track toward health."

Dr. Barbara Steffens may be contacted at 513-644-8023 or through confidential email at her web site, http://www.steffenscounseling.com. Kent Ernsting can be reached at 513-644-8024 or email hopesource1(at)gmail(dot)com. Their offices are located in West Chester, twenty miles north of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Barbara Steffens, Ph.D., LPCC, CCSAS, has provided mental health counseling in diverse clinical settings, including private practice, non-profit community mental health services, therapeutic foster care agencies and a university for nearly twenty-five years. A former Vice President of Victim Services of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families (NCPCF), she specializes in helping women recover from sexual betrayal and is a sought after speaker and presenter on special issues related to partners of sexual addicts. In addition to her practice, Steffens teaches courses at three universities.

Kent Ernsting, MA, MS, MA, PCC, LSW, CSAT is both a Professional Clinical Counselor and a Licensed Social Worker with experience in both inpatient and outpatient treatment settings. He has been working full-time as a therapist for more than twenty years, specializing in the treatment of sexual addiction for the past fifteen years. He began his counseling career at an inpatient hospital working with a team of mental health specialists for three years. Since then he has treated clients in outpatient private practice settings. He has extensive experience in the treatment of both addictions and trauma and became a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist (CSAT) through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.


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Robyn Allgeyer
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Barbara Steffens, PhD, LPCC, CCSAS