We hope you enjoy this special edition of the Helping Couples Heal Podcast. This is a repost of an interview on Sex Help with Carol the Coach where Carol interviewed Marnie about the Helping Couples Heal Online Couples Community and why community is so important for couples recovering from betrayal trauma.


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Special Episode – Carol The Coach interviews Marnie about the HCH Couples Community

Helping Couples Heal: Welcome to the Helping Couples Heal podcast, a place for healing and hope for couples impacted by betrayal resulting from infidelity and or sex addiction. Your hosts are Marnie Breecker and Duane Osterlind licensed marriage and family therapists, certified sex addiction therapists, and founders of respective treatment centers in Long Beach Los Angeles and San Diego, California Marnie and Duane co-created, Helping Couples Heal.

Helping Couples Heal: A comprehensive program for couples recovering from betrayal trauma, including an in person two day workshop, an online aftercare program. And this podcast series is the first component of the program. Thank you for listening, Marnie and Duane are committed to helping you recover from the devastating impact of betrayal trauma, and are honored to support you wherever you may be in your healing.

Helping Couples Heal: If you’ve lost hope you’ve come to the right place. Now take a slow deep breath and let’s begin with the helping couples heal podcast.

Duane Osterlind: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the helping couples heal podcast. My name is Dwayne Australand. And today we have a special episode with our guests, Carol, the coach, where she interviews Marnie Breecker about our helping couples heal community.

Duane Osterlind: Now, this is a repost from Carol’s own podcast. Sex help with Carol the coach. So I really want to thank Carol for graciously, allowing us to repost this episode on our own podcasts feed. Thank you so much, Carol. And it’s a great episode that goes into all the details about the helping couples heal community and why community is so important in helping couples heal from betrayal trauma.

Duane Osterlind: So let’s go ahead and start this episode.

Carol The Coach: Now, if you are sex addict, listening to this show and you aren’t in a relationship, you still want to work on these skills with the people that you love and care for might be your kids.

Carol The Coach: That might be your parents that might be dating relationships. These are great relational skills. and so I can just really appreciate the fact that if you are in a relationship, the coupleship is the most important relationship that there is. And, you know, there’s so many people that says that needs to come first.

Carol The Coach: That’s why we’re focusing on that today. You all know this book helped them heal is to help you to have a healthier relationship. It actually is a manual on how to do that. Well today on the show, I’m having a special guest Marnie Breecker, and Marnie has just such a longstanding history with sex addiction and partner betrayal.

Carol The Coach: And she has made it her mission to create this incredible community. And I asked her to come on the show and talk about that couples community, because it’s like, she’s been able to strategize. From all angles, what will help you heal? You remember Marnie and Duane have that incredible podcast helping couples heal.

Carol The Coach: But this community that she’s built has so much inherent support. And so I said, Hey, come on the show and talk about this. And she said, I would love to, we’ve had her on before I’ve been on her podcast. That’s what this is all about. It’s helping, you know, what resources are out there. That means so much to couples when they’re walking through partner betrayal.

Carol The Coach: And when they’ve gone through the three stages of partner betrayal. So Marni, welcome to sex health with Carol the coach.

Marnie Breecker: Thank you, Carol. I’m so happy to be here with you again.

Carol The Coach: I know it’s been too long girl.

Marnie Breecker: I know it’s been a long time. It’s been a long time. I’m really glad that you asked me to come back and, and be here with you and your guests.

Carol The Coach: Well, I have been so impressed. So many of the coaches that I work with, um, that actually do work, they are loving what they’re doing for your community and it’s making such a difference. And so I said, okay, Marnie you gotta come on and help us. What your community is all about and how couples can join that community. So tell me a little bit about what inspired you to create this community.

Marnie Breecker: Okay. So, um, as many of your listeners probably know, uh, Duane and I have been doing this helping couples heal workshop, um, for probably four years together. And this is a workshop that I originally started doing way back when in 2010, with Dr. Omar Minwalla when I was working with him and that workshop brings couples together. When I did it with Dr and wallet, it was for three days. And then when I started to do it with Duane we, we changed it into a two day workshop. And what we saw when we were doing that workshop every time was that the couples being in community with the other couples was probably the most valuable part of the workshop. You know, when we created the workshop, it was more like, um, the valuable part was really gonna be the content we were providing. Right. The information, the skills, all of that. But what we saw over and over was that the couples being able to hear from other couples, the partners being able to hear from other addicts, the addicts being able to hear from the other partners and really hear things in a different way than they were able to when it was their own partner saying these things.

Marnie Breecker: That’s where the gold was and we just kept seeing it. And so I remember so, so vividly finishing up one of these workshops with Duane it was before COVID and we were still in person and he and I were just talking about the workshop in the parking lot afterwards and how, just how rewarding we found it.

Marnie Breecker: And, um, cuz we saw so much healing and I said, Um, Duane we we’ve gotta do something bigger. We’ve gotta do something bigger. We’ve gotta be able to help people that aren’t able to fly to California, who aren’t just, who aren’t able to do these workshops. So we created the podcast and then after the podcast, I said, okay, we’re still, there’s something, there’s something else we have to do.

Marnie Breecker: When we went back to that whole dynamic that we saw in our workshops, which was. Couples healing with other couples. And literally this was about two years ago that we started to truly plan this community, um, and sort of burst it and create it and develop it and redevelop it and go through many iterations of what it would look like.

Marnie Breecker: Um, but that’s the reason Carol. It was really because we, we found out firsthand that that’s what couples needed. That that took them into a different place in their recovery that I don’t know that they could get without that. I mean, I’m sure they could get some version. I shouldn’t say that that somebody who’s not, or a couple, not in a community is not going to be able to heal.

Marnie Breecker: But what we saw is that it really promoted that healing. It really gave it, um, something that it didn’t have without it. You know what I mean.

Carol The Coach: Well, yeah, what I heard you say is that it’s not just what they learn in a workshop. It’s not even what they learn on our podcast. It’s really the compliment of everything they’re learning and especially when you have couples helping each other heal. And so you develop this community so that they could all be a part of giving back as well as receiving if they’re not quite at that place yet.

Marnie Breecker: Exactly exactly. It really. I mean, the, the, the emotional, um, what, what should I say? The, for instance, the men in the workshops that we’ve done, who really had so much shame that they were not ever able to tolerate hearing their partners pain, right. Would come into this workshop and they would hear other partners express their pain and share their stories, and that is what got them to truly be able to understand the depths of what their behavior and their addiction did to their partner. Um, and you know, this makes sense, but a lot of partners actually got very upset, um, by that, because they would say, I’ve been saying the same things to you for years.

Marnie Breecker: And why is it now you’re able to, you know, cry or feel so, so sad or remorseful or empathic, when you’re hearing a story from another partner, but as you and I very well know, Carol, you know, the shame is a, it’s a big, big barrier. And, um, so I think that this, the community being with other couples and everybody being able to share it really challenges the shame and it gives each member of the couple, an opportunity to develop empathy and compassion and learn from the other couples that are on the same path.

Carol The Coach: well, yeah, and you know, I mean, this is just human nature and I don’t mean to be sexist, but the truth of the matter is that I tell my couples this all the time, it, the garage door is creaking in a way that says, you know what, we need to get garage door out here and get this fixed or replaced. And I mentioned it to my husband and he kind of. um, disagrees because I think it’s fine. I don’t wanna say it. It’s not fine. Listen to it. And he, any discounts what I’m saying, you know, I used to just go ahead and do it. I still sometimes do, but definitely will talk to his best friend and say, listen to this. What do you think? And say, oh man, you’re, they’ll say, oh man, your, your spring is ready to pray.

Carol The Coach: And I go, oh, so then he does. And then Eric comes back and says, Hey honey. Can you give them a call? I think we better get those things fixed right away. And, and it wasn’t an insult to me. I believe that men need to hear it from other people in general. And if they do have that shame factor that you and I are well aware of, they go right into that shame.

Carol The Coach: And so they’re not open vessels for hearing what she has to say and sometimes hearing about it. Um, removed from the person that he’s caused pain, whether it’s from the other addict or the other partner is so powerful in, in really understanding and making it sick. And that’s what I believe you’re saying is that it really has been a key to bridging that communication problem that just naturally occurs because of shame and, and just, uh, maybe the different genders. I don’t know.

Marnie Breecker: Yeah. I absolutely agree. You know, there’s in our workshop, we share a lot of quotes with our participants, from other addicts and partners who have taken the workshop in the past. And one of them, one of those quotes from one of the addicts was something like, I don’t have it in front of me, but something to the effect of my partner has said all of this before.

Marnie Breecker: And I didn’t either, I didn’t hear it, or I didn’t understand it, or I didn’t listen to it. Um, now, um, I understand the depth of it and I’m embarrassed that I didn’t understand, or I didn’t get it before. Right. But that’s what it took. Just like what you’re saying. It’s like, and that’s so painful for a partner who’s been betrayed.

Marnie Breecker: Like, just listen to me. Why won’t you just hear me? Right. I’m I’m bleeding out on the floor. I’m not, I’m not kind of doing this very subtly. You know, you, you should see it. You can see it. It’s right here in front of you and you’re not seeing.

Carol The Coach: Yeah. And so let me ask you, um, it sounds like you’ve been building this community, what, for a couple years

Marnie Breecker: mm-hmm yeah.

Carol The Coach: And how many couples do you think are in your community?

Marnie Breecker: So we opened, um, we, we launched the program, I think May 1st, if I’m not mistaken, so it’s new. And we decided that we were gonna do it in cohorts so that we didn’t let too many couples come in at once, because I think that can be incredibly overwhelming.

Marnie Breecker: So we were open to 25 couples joining, uh, the first cohort and we actually have 26 couple. That are in there now. And, um, our next cohort will be open in September and we’ll let 25 new couples come in at that time.

Carol The Coach: Wow. That is amazing. And so what services does your community involve? I mean, I said before you came on that, it’s my understanding that, you know, not, are they not only are they in group together, but they can also follow up with a coach that can help them work on their couples issues and the coaches can refer them to more individual help. I mean, it, it really is a team approach from what I understand. So tell us a little bit more about the services.

Marnie Breecker: Yeah. And you’re right. It is a team approach. So. The, the members get a lot, to be honest. Um, when we launched the program we were offering, um, we had like this, you know, this list of services that the couples would be getting. And shortly after we launched, we just started to see other things that we could provide. So we’ve already added a lot to the program.

Marnie Breecker: So now, um, what’s being offered is a weekly live call or webinar. Um, and one of those. Per month is, is with me and or Duane so I just did one yesterday, actually a community call and it was all about Imago therapy, safe conversations. And then once a week, I’m sorry, once a month. Uh, one of those calls is with Zoe Kors who’s our resident, uh, sex and intimacy coach. She’s fantastic. She just released this amazing book called radical intimacy. And she’s doing basically once a month and ask me anything, you know, Call, and then one of our calls, hopefully we’ll be with you Carol it’s for experts to come on and special guests and to talk about, you know, various topics relevant to relational healing, and then the last call mm-hmm , um, will be from one of our staff members, um, to talk again, to talk about something relevant to our curriculum. So that’s the second piece of the, of the program, which is a 12 month curriculum that is very structured. And, um, we sort of follow along with that curriculum as we go.

Marnie Breecker: So every month there’s a topic. Um, for instance, this month, June is, um, the betraying partner. What does it take? And then every week we have that, we have like subtopics that talk about, okay, what are the things that it takes? And so our calls during the month are in some way linked to our curriculum. And then we have, um, we have a relational check in and meditation every week as well with one of our moderators.

Marnie Breecker: And, and then finally, there’s this, there’s a platform where everybody is, it’s an online platform and there’s tons of ongoing communication with all the couples and we as the, um, the moderators. Are constantly putting in there some prompts to get people to talk and to open up dialogue, there is a lot of active conversation and we are also posting content in there.

Marnie Breecker: So I think that probably gives you a good, a good idea of what we’re, what we’re providing.

Carol The Coach: Well, absolutely. And that’s what I think I was referencing when I, I seemed to approach it from every angle that a couple would need to heal. Cause you know, we know that healing typically take somewhere from two to five years and certainly his recovery in conjunction with, uh, their willingness to work together really makes a difference. I wanna know. What are some examples of the topics that you do cover in this community? I mean, it sounds like you talk about. . And what are some of your experts talking about?

Marnie Breecker: Um, well, we just had, um, John McNamara come in, who is one of my therapists at the center of relational healing. And since the, the, we, that, um, the part of the curriculum we were on was empathy. He did mm-hmm, a whole piece on empathy. He also included information and training on, um, Dr. Manuel’s mountain work. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with. mm-hmm mm-hmm and it’s, it’s just such a great way to talk about how to build empathy. Um, and so, you know, so that’s what he talked about. And then as I, and then again, empathy and validation being so important. I did the Imago training yesterday, and I taught about safe conversations and how to provide empathy and emotional attunement. When communicating about difficult conversations with your partner. We’ve talked about humility, um, and accountability. Um, trying to think of the first month what we were, oh, the first month was really about relational healing. Um, and sort of from the beginning, what is, you know, what does that take? Um, and we also, we had some holidays since we started this community. We had mother’s day and father’s day. And obviously as we, we know, holidays and special occasions can be really challenging and painful for people when they’re, when they’re recovering or dealing with betrayal, trauma. And so. Did some special posts and had some conversations around those holidays to help people navigate them and give them an opportunity to share about what their experiences are. Um, as we move further through the curriculum, you know, we will get to co-regulation and activation. and, um, definitely, you know, sex, sex and reintegration around sex. And, um, I mean the list goes on and on it’s it’s, as I said, it’s 12 months and it’s pretty comprehensive.

Carol The Coach: Yeah. It really sounds like you are giving, um, these couples a lot of hope for healing and for education that will bring about that healing. Uh, what happens after, after 12 months?

Marnie Breecker: That’s a great question.

Marnie Breecker: Um, and we’re still sort of working that out, you know, Duane I, I do wanna say that I’m doing this community with my partner, Duane Osterlind um, and he’s just fantastic. And we talk all the time about how do we continue to support people. So we have decided that if people want to come back into the community or stay in the community and sort of go through it again, They’re absolutely welcome to do that.

Marnie Breecker: Um, but we’re also talking about, do we then start a second, a second community, which is for people after that first year for ongoing support? Um, that’s not something we’ve, um, we’ve officially decided yet, and we do have some time since we’re only into month two of the curriculum, but I would say certainly by months, eight or nine, we will have our plan about what’s gonna be next.

Carol The Coach: Well, that is exciting. And you two are always cooking. I mean, you’re always thinking about what would up their experience. So I love that. Um, can anybody just join this community or is there certain criteria?

Marnie Breecker: There’s definitely certain criteria, but before I tell you that, I just have to say you’re always cooking too. I mean, you are really cooking and I appreciate everything you’re doing. Um, and I want you to, I just want you to know. Um,

Marnie Breecker: so you’re welcome.

Marnie Breecker: Um, in terms of criteria. Yeah. We, we really need to put the, um, the integrity of the whole group, you know, as number one priority. And so we, we needed to make sure that people have some basic, um, self-regulation skills that the relationship or, or individuals in the partnership are not in an active acute state of trauma.

Marnie Breecker: That that a disclosure has already happened. Right. So we’re not getting the trickle truths anymore and really at a place where we can start to rebuild. Um, I’m trying to think, and we do. A, an actual 15 minute interview with every person that applies. So people, when they want to join, they, they complete our assessment form.

Marnie Breecker: And then Courtney, who’s our like our, basically our client, our client manager will look through those forms and. any clients that seem like they would be a great fit. We then pass along to Micheline who, um, is our, our number one moderator in the community. And then she goes ahead and schedules a phone call with the couple.

Marnie Breecker: And so we’re really making sure that we are, um, you know, responsible about. Who we’re putting into the community. And in the case that somebody’s not ready, we don’t say you’re not welcome to be in the community. We say, this is likely not the right timing. These are the things that we see as, you know, being important for you now.

Marnie Breecker: And then we would love to have you join the community. At a later time, you know, like we’ll open up the we’ll hold you a spot in the second cohort, for instance. So no active crisis, some relational healing. Oh. And you have to certainly have to have, um, individual and couple support outside of the community.

Carol The Coach: Okay. So they should have a therapist or a coach that’s actually working with them past.

Marnie Breecker: Exactly.

Carol The Coach: Somebody that’s good work.

Marnie Breecker: Yeah. You know what we’re finding that’s happening. We’re seeing some partners really get, um, this is really interesting. We’re seeing some partners have some big feelings and emotions because their partners are now because they’re getting all of this sort of, um, Coaching in the community to be vulnerable. And they’re seeing other men be vulnerable. They’re starting to really come out now with some, you know, some really big topics feelings, and the partners are really like struggling with what’s coming up, but it’s exactly what they want to happen, but having it happens, bringing stuff up. So it it’s important for those people to be able to go back to, as you said, their therapist or their coach, and be able to, to process that and get support around it.

Carol The Coach: So then can therapists or coaches refer to you?

Marnie Breecker: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, unfortunately again, we are, we’re keeping the cohorts some somewhat small, um, but we always appreciate, um, referrals. And if like, if you called me Carol and you said, I have a couple that I think would be great for the community, to be honest, we probably wouldn’t do the interview.

Marnie Breecker: I trust you implicitly and know that you would not. Referring a couple who you did not feel were in the space to join this kind of a community. Um, so yeah, people can absolutely refer to us.

Carol The Coach: Okay. Well, I appreciate that screening process because you know, like you said, if they’re in that first phase and they are, do not feel safe and stable, They may be overly activated and hypervigilant and not be a good fit for the community yet.

Carol The Coach: And, you know, understandably, sometimes some diagnostic criteria that also makes them not a good fit or maybe they’re just not, um, accessing their position. Like they could. There’s just a lot of things that you have to kind of rule out or rule in. Now I do wanna ask you, cuz obviously I said. can therapists or coaches, um, refer, um, how can people find out about the next community?

Carol The Coach: I mean, where do they go and how do they, what’s the process?

Marnie Breecker: So the, the process is fairly easy. Um, they would go to our website, which is helping couples heal.com. And I believe on the, on the first page, on the homepage, there’s a button that says join our community, and then it takes you to another page that answers questions gives you some information. We actually also have information there. Who is the community for, and, and when would it not be right? And then if it looks like a good fit, you can just submit, you fill out a very short contact form. And it comes to us telling us that you’re interested in that in the second cohort. And then when we open up enrollment. So for this next cohort, we’ll, we’ll open enrollment probably mid to later August. That’s when they would hear from us mm-hmm and we would send them the consent and assessment form and get that, that process started.

Carol The Coach: well, I’m thinking about when you and I did a workshop together, and I remember that we were doing a couple’s workshops, but actually mm-hmm for that workshop, we allowed individuals who couldn’t get their partner to join in.

Carol The Coach: And although we didn’t have any, everybody that, that came on board happened to be a couple I’m wondering mm-hmm can. Join or it got to be a couple’s thing

Marnie Breecker: has to be a couple’s thing. And, and I, I do wanna say that. , you know, if somebody somebody’s partner is not willing to come in or they’re doing it in a begrudging way, then we would suggest that the partner join a, um, you know, a partner’s group, something else where they can get support, but this is a couple’s community.

Marnie Breecker: Um, you know, it, it, it would be sort of to let somebody come in on their own would be sort of like letting a couple, join a partners group, right. Or letting a couple come into a men’s. Um, a men’s addiction group or any men’s group. So yeah, that’s the reason we are just, you know, there’s so many resources out there for the, the ones who’ve betrayed so many groups and there’s so many groups thank thankfully for the betrayed partner.

Marnie Breecker: Um, so, but we were looking at where, where is there a deficit and it’s really in the couple’s work. Like, I don’t know that if someone were to call me and say, do you have a referral for a couple’s group? I never really had that. I would always say, um, RCA recovering couples anonymous would be, um, you know, my go to referral.

Marnie Breecker: And so, um, it’s really a, so that’s why we developed it as a couple’s community. And, um, Yeah. So, so, and people might not be there right now, but it doesn’t mean that they won’t get there. You know, our hope is that over time all couples would be ready to join a community like this

Carol The Coach: mentioned RCA, and there’s just, it’s a, that’s a beautiful, false up group, four couples. And, you know, you donate a buck and it’s just very, very affordable and. I I had, and our RCA group start here in Indianapolis and eventually they just became their own couples group. They moved out of the RCA world. They weren’t able to follow the structure and mm-hmm yet there wasn’t anybody helping the community from a professional standpoint.

Carol The Coach: Right. And it sounds like. Amazing help from a variety of professionals. I mean, so it’s not just you there one week, but you’ve got a whole set of eyes on these couples and their issues. And I would imagine when you’re staffing and when you’re thinking about what else do we need to do? It’s like, you’ve got not only a team approach for the couple, but you’ve got a team approach for the professional I mean, I love that idea.

Marnie Breecker: Oh, Carol. It is so amazing after I did my call yesterday with the community about Imago. Um, and by the way, 24 of the 26 couples showed up. So to me, that really speaks to their level of commitment. You know, they’re in this and they are, they don’t wanna miss anything. And then when it was over and everyone signed off, um, myself and Micheline, who I said, kind of runs the group.

Marnie Breecker: And then Chris. Who also is our like kind of co-facilitator in that with Micheline and he’s in the UK, he stayed on. And then Courtney, who, you know, does all the administration and client care stayed on. And the four of us talked for about an hour and we just talked about the community and we talked about what we’re seeing and how we can continue to support them and what’s missing. And I love that. I love. Um, the commitment and the passion that our staff have about this community and making it successful. It’s, it’s, I’m so proud to have something to do with with this staff that we have, um, and how they show up for our clients. It’s really incredible.

Carol The Coach: Yeah. I would think that camaraderie would really feel good. And what I hear you doing is having a lot of gratitude and appreciation. Everyone’s passion. I mean, it, it, this is hard work and there is no doubt that watching a couple go through sexual betrayal can be excruciating. And I think you and I have both learned ways to decrease, um, the pain of them going through that. And, uh, it sounds like there’s a lot of trust, a lot of trust in you, a lot of trust in your staff. it’s that trust that helps to support the program? Because I was saying earlier, I, I hope you heard me fumbling. I could not remember the pyramid of intimacy, but it starts with honesty. And then it goes to, um, this safety because honesty creates safety. Mm-hmm honesty is at the, the foundation of any kind of addiction. Mm-hmm relational. after that, it really morphs into a, a, a type of couple’s truth, where they’re both working together with an intention to get over, to post traumatic growth. And when they do that, they have to be vulner mm-hmm and then that leads to that intimacy.

Carol The Coach: And I bet that these couples are watching each other become more and more truthful, vulnerable. And even intimate and you, and I both know if you’re doing that in the group, it is gonna happen in each individual home. I mean, that’s just the beauty of group work. Wouldn’t you agree? It. It’s uh,

Marnie Breecker: 100% as you were talking. I was just thinking about, um, a message I saw in the, you know, the online platform yesterday, where what I’m seeing now is an addict, you know, expressed something, which is of course, very vulnerable, especially in a community with lots of other partners who’ve been betrayed and then partners responding, saying, thank you so much for speaking, and really connecting to them and being supportive. That to me is mind blowing and it’s so important. So yes, watching and listening to the other couples to each other talk. Gives each other sort of the permission and the encouragement to also share and be vulnerable. And I’m, I’m really seeing that, you know, in the beginning of the, um, the program, which was just about, you know, a month ago, we were seeing that partners were very, very willing. The partners were very willing to share. There was a lot of posts from the partners and very. From the addicts or from the, the, the men who have betrayed. And, um, I will say in this cohort, well, by the way, we will accept of course couples where the betrayer is the, is the woman in the relationship. And the one who’s betrayed is the man.

Marnie Breecker: We don’t have any, any couples like that yet. Um, so for, you know, this for, for our purposes, it’s all men who’ve betrayed and we are seeing. That, you know, they, weren’t very willing to share. There was very little by them, you know, posted by them at the beginning. And then Chris, who is our, um, one of our coaches, our HCH coaches, and he lives in the UK. He is also a recovering addict and he, he says that openly, he tells all of his clients and he’ll go into the group and he will encourage very lovingly he’ll encourage and explain why to the men. It’s so important. To be willing to take that risk and be vulnerable. And what we have found is when they get that little encouragement, you know, we wanna hear from you, then they start posting. And so it’s been much more balanced in terms of, you know, both members of the coupleship now posting asking questions, connecting, sharing their experiences and their feelings. And that to me is really where the healing’s gonna come in. Of course the content is valuable, but they could get the content. Elsewhere, they can, you know, they could pick up your book for instance. Um, there’s lots, there’s podcasts out there. There’s books, so they could get that content elsewhere. They couldn’t get this community elsewhere. Unless somebody else builds the same community, then of course they could get it there. Um, but that’s where the value is.

Marnie Breecker: And I think putting it all together with the content and then having the calls sort of be, you know, in sync with those topics and then having the weekly relational check ins, um, and, and constant support from our coaches and our staff and me and Duane. I just think all of it together is that’s that’s, what’s making it. Successful. And for anyone who’s considering, as they’re listening, maybe this community would be for us. I would want you to know that we are so committed to making sure that the community is safe. That really it, we will not just let couples in to make our, for instance, our number that 25, like we would rather have 15 couple in the community then have 25 couples where we’re, we’re knowing that there’s going to be a lot of chaos and emotional overwhelm and, and, you know, traumatic responses. So truly safety is our number one priority.

Carol The Coach: Well, I appreciate that because I’m sure there are some naysayers. I remember when I was writing about empathy and I got them a couple of pretty unhealthy people. Statement. And these were professionals and they’d say, oh my gosh, you’re just gonna be teaching empathy to narcissist. And I said, that’s not my experience, my experience that when people come to see me, they want to work and they wanna heal. And that they’re not narcissistic, although certainly addiction can look narcissist. But, but that being said, I wanna say to you, have you gotten any NA thes that. oh my gosh. Aren’t you running into a community that that’s filled with overactivation and hypervigilant and trauma response.

Carol The Coach: You know, I am so happy to say no, not yet. I, I would not to come. Um, we we’ve been lucky. There’s been very little, um, what’s the word pushback or attacks criticism towards us at this point.

Carol The Coach: But again, that stuff can happen. I think that the reason why people are not challenging it is because it’s so clear. Like if you try to apply or if you go to apply, you will see really that we’re, that we’re following exactly the protocol that I shared today. That we are really committed to the safety and making sure that the people that are coming in do have those skills on board.

Carol The Coach: And honestly, Carol, there’s only so much as, you know, you can learn in a 15 minute conversation. So the truth is if a couple got into the community and then we were starting to see evidence, you know, consistent evidence that really they’re not appropriate for the community, right. Where they possibly don’t have. Um, some stabilization and the skills necessary to regulate, and maybe there is more crisis at home. We, our plan is immediately to, um, is to, I hate to say, remove them from the community, but it’s really having a very, you know, loving and candid discussion with them, letting them know that this is not the right time, but that we will absolutely make a space in the next cohort.

Marnie Breecker: Right. If they’re able to come back at that time, uh, with the necessary skills in place to join. So you’re not going to come in and see that level of, of, you know, of dysregulation and trauma.

Carol The Coach: Yeah. And again, that makes so much sense because very clearly things can happen where a couples comes in, pretty stabilized and maybe something really does set him or her back. And that’s the beauty of having a possessional involved. Listen, Marnie I am just so impressed with what you’re doing. I thought what you were gonna say to me is Carol. I don’t get much pushback at all because we are a couple starved community in terms of professionals, professionals don’t really know what to do with couples. And so they are more than happy to have a support group and community like you are offering. So one more time reminder listening audience, how can they get ahold of. And what’s their next step.

Marnie Breecker: So, um, for any services at HCH or to contact me Duane, just go to helpingcouplesheal.com and fill out the contact form. And that will come directly to us. And if you are interested in getting on the wait list for the second cohort, which again, will open up, well, it’ll open in September, but enrollment will open the end August. Again, go to helping couple field.com and click the button, join our community, and it’ll take you to the contact page where you can, um, you can submit your interest and be put on the waiting list.

Carol The Coach: Excellent. Well, so appreciate you and Duane’s work. And the couples that you’re working with, uh, you know, it’s just, uh, amazing stuff. Keep us posted and let us, let us know what new and creative things you’re doing here in the future.

Marnie Breecker: I will carol and you too. I, I really appreciate your work and I wish all of your listeners, the very best in their, in their recovery and their healing.

Carol The Coach: Thank you much. You take care. You too. Bye-bye bye. Okay, so obviously she’s got a gift for figuring out what couples need and then putting that together for him. So I am Carol Juergensen Sheets, AKA Carol the coach. And the next time I come back, I’m gonna be in Florida. Remember I told you our times are gonna be a little bit different, but that’s okay. You subscribe anyway, you’ll get. And as I say, at the end of every show, there will only be one of you at all times. So fearlessly, fearlessly, fearlessly have the courage to be yourself and practice those boundaries.

Carol The Coach: And we’ll talk to you soon, make it a great week.

Helping Couples Heal: Thank you for listening to the helping couples heal podcast, where your healing is the number one priority. If you’d like additional resources about betrayal, trauma, or to learn more about the workshop, please visit helping couples heal.com. If you’re finding the podcast helpful, please support Duane and Marnie in continuing to reach others impacted by betrayal trauma.

Helping Couples Heal: If you are finding the podcast helpful, please support Marnie and Duane in continuing to reach others impacted by betrayal trauma. By leaving a review on iTunes and sharing this podcast with someone you care about. Once again, thank you for listening. We’re grateful for your trust and look forward to continuing to support you on your journey of healing.