When Miami couples and individuals want to work through relationship and sex issues, we feel that our private practice of clinicians are an exceptional choice. As solution-focused therapists, our goal is to help clients enjoy a fulfilling life, filled with joy and meaningful relationships.
Our Background In Couples and Individual Sex Therapy (and Sex Addiction Treatment)
8 years of training as a therapist at South Miami Hospital’s Addiction Treatment program allowed Charlene to shape her own methods for effectively treating individuals, families, and couples with addiction, intimacy issues, and trauma. A decade of private practice has enhanced her understanding of addiction as a form of maladaptive coping, and at the same time a well studied medical illness, which has led her to explore the ways in which trauma might play a roll in addiction. Although to a lesser extent, couples and individuals who are not dealing with addiction also experience huge obstacles to greater intimacy. Seeing individuals, couples, and families heal, is what gives our practice purpose.
Individual therapy – a precursor or adjunct treatment
With learned and biological (hereditary) components to addiction, she found that many of her patients experienced trauma, and disfunction which they were mostly unaware of. This was the case with her “non-addict” individuals and couples as well. Sometimes in the form of one “Big T” (catastrophic trauma) or many small “Little T’s” (negative experiences early on in life), this trauma would lead to addiction and intimacy issues that they experienced. Identifying and processing trauma and coping skills that no longer work, seemed to loosen the grip of addiction, denial, and begin the healing process for both the individual, couples, and immediate family members. Seeing the wellspring of recovery envelop individuals and entire family systems is what motivates us to continue to work develop our practice.
We will walk her patients through fear, self-doubt, negative self-talk, and negative self-fulfilling prophecy, to develop a more loving relationship with themselves, and consequently their partners. Intimacy and vulnerability can feel terrifyingly foreign at first. The process of learning how to reparent our inner child by way of reprocessing our past experiences, requires a safe environment and a well trained therapist. Among the many techniques that Charlene employs to treat past trauma and old constructs that no longer work, are EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy) talk therapy, and Imago therapy. With Charlene her patients seem to be able to uncover, discover, and discard negative thinking patterns and unhealthy coping mechanisms, in a safe environment without judgement.
Addiction as a barrier to intimacy
Avoiding intimacy through compulsive behaviors like drug and alcohol use, sex addiction, compulsive overeating or under-eating, work addiction, work avoidance, gambling, compulsive gaming, compulsive shopping, codependency and a myriad of other process addictions seems to be more the rule than the exception in today’s society. It is the new norm. Addicts and non-addicts alike, want to escape. Being present to ourselves and our partners is a skill or “muscle” that continues to atrophy as compulsive behavior gets a tighter grip. More pervasive than at any point in human history, these addictions largely go undiscussed. They go undiagnosed. Many people are suffering in silence, experiencing an existence of quiet desperation, in the wake of which their loved ones also suffer. We have seen hundreds of patients walk out of this darkness. It does require honesty, open mindedness, and willingness.
Who needs help – Calling all citizens of planet earth?
In one form or another, to one extent or another, disfunction and relationship difficulty is a universal characteristic of the human experience. Who among us does not wish to experience a fulfilling and purposeful life, with rich relationships?
We have found that a great many of our patients suffering from process addictions tend to be very high functioning executives, public personalities, and professionals with great responsibility and heavy work demands. We offer a concierge type service to help accommodate these patients who often times require special considerations and “remote tele-sessions.” The benefit and joy of treating these individuals for us, is that, when these high profile clients do recover and experience a greater joy, they are able to give back to society in a way that gives them the greatest satisfaction – serving those less fortunate.
Whether you are a couple or individual, a “stay at home mom” or a celebrity of world renown, we would be honored to help you develop better “life tools” to care for yourself and those you love.
If you feel that you are ready to become an active co-creator in your life I would be honored to help you in your journey.
Charlene Lewis LCSW, CAP, CSAT, Certified Sex Therapist, AASECT Certified.
Call 305-440-1656 for miami therapy and marriage counselor