The Treatment Process

The LifeStar program is designed to provide addicts and their families with the tools and support to find hope, healing, and lasting recovery from sexual addiction and compulsive behaviors. Through individual and group therapy, addicts learn how to reclaim their lives, reestablish trust, and restore hope in their future. Effective and long-lasting recovery is more than temporarily stopping the behavior.  Effective therapy addresses the underlying issues in creating a permanent, long lasting recovery.

To accomplish this, the LifeStar program is divided into 3 levels of intensive group therapy.  We strongly suggest that participants also participate in individual and/or couples therapy, along with a 12-step SAA program.  Highly trained and licensed therapists lead each group and phase.  Workbooks, along with other materials and exercises, are used throughout the program and are included in the price.  The program is divided into the following phases:

Phase I:    Getting Started
Phase II:   Recovery
Phase III:  Advanced

Phase I: Getting Started

Who Attends: – The addict, the spouse when applicable, teens and parents (for the YouthStar Program).  We strongly recommend that married couples come together so they can begin the process of education and healing together. However, the workshop is also for single adults and for those clients whose partners are not able or willing to attend.  Various LifeStar staff members and interns may participate from time to time for training purposes, but are held to strict confidentiality guidelines.

Pre-requisites:  –  All participants are screened and assessed by a trained and licensed LifeStar Therapist before attending the program.

What is the duration:  –  6 weeks, once per week (usually in the evening but could vary office to office), 3 hours long.

What is the format:  –  Larger group workshop and educational environment with group sizes of 15 to 40 people.  ALL participants agree to and sign confidentiality statements promising to safeguard the confidentiality and privacy of everyone attending the program.

How much does it cost: –  The price will vary from office to office, and city to city.  Some locations can be as low as $400 per person, while others can be closer to $1,000 per person.  Economic factors drastically affect the pricing of the program from city to city and office to office.  Payment is required prior to, or at the first session – Please confirm with the LifeStar office in your area. Price should include all workbooks and materials used in the 6 week program.

What should be expected:  –  Please expect to actively participate in the group process.  We realize that this is a delicate subject and that emotions will be close to the surface for most, yet deep and closely guarded by others.  Come with a nonjudgmental and open attitude and a willingness to be open and vulnerable.  THIS IS HARD WORK!  Expect to struggle and find yourself outside your comfort zone!  With struggle comes great strength and healing.  Be prepared to be loved and cared for – Prepare for a safe environment to share your experience and begin on the road to a long lasting recovery!

What is covered:  –  Tools and principles will be taught that will help participants better understand the underlying causes of addiction.  The basic structure is established for both individuals and couples for long-term, life-changing recover.  The primary focus is to educate. When clients are well-informed about the underlying issues that influence unhealthy behaviors, they become empowered to take a more proactive approach to recovery and life.

Phase II: Recovery Group

Who Attends:  –  The addict, the spouse when applicable, teens and parents (for the YouthStar Program).  Various LifeStar staff members and interns may participate from time to time for training purposes, but are held to strict confidentiality guidelines.

Pre-requisites:  –  Participants are required to attend and complete Phase I before participating in Phase II.

What is the duration:  –  Approximately 6-12 months (this will vary from office to office and group to group), once per week, 90 minutes long.

What is the format:  –  Small group workshop and educational environment with group sizes of 4 to 10 people. The men are combined in all men’s groups and the women are combined into all women’s groups.  The youth are similarly separated while parents meet together in parent groups.

How much does it cost:  –  The price will vary from office to office as mentioned above for Phase I.  Typically, pricing is based on a tuition scale where a monthly payment ranging anywhere from $150 to $500 per person is paid at the beginning of the month. Once again, pricing depends greatly on economic factors from city to city. Please confirm with the LifeStar office in your area.  The price should include all workbooks and materials.

What should be expected:  –  Continued active participation in the group process is crucial.  Deeper, and more personal work is done in this phase for all participants.  The addicts get to the root of their addiction, become accountable for their actions and sobriety, and form a close-knit support group with the other group members.  The partners focus on deep recovery work from the trauma they have experienced.  This safe environment and group support is vital as they support one another through recovery.  In the YouthStar program, teens and parents engage in deeper understanding of addiction and recovery.  They too, benefit from the support of the group environment.  Once again, expect to work hard and expand beyond your comfort zone.  This is where the real recovery work is done!

What is covered:  –  Phase II shifts from an educational approach, to a ‘working recovery’ approach.  Participants will complete tasks and assignments, and hold one another accountable.  These tools and principles lay the groundwork required for lasting recovery. The workbooks in Phase II focus on providing a deeper look at denial, the addiction cycle, fantasies and objectification, relapse prevention, and healthy living. Participants should stay in Phase II until they have established a solid sobriety, are implementing an effective treatment plan – including a network of support – and have a detailed understanding of their addictive system. Partners in Phase II take a deep look at their own issues, and learn to recognize co-dependent behaviors and establish healthy boundaries.

Phase III: Advanced Group:

Who Attends:  –  The addict, the spouse when applicable, teens and parents (for the YouthStar Program).  Various LifeStar staff members and interns may participate from time to time for training purposes, but are held to strict confidentiality guidelines.

Pre-requisites:  –  Participants are required to attend and complete Phases I and II before participating in Phase III.

What is the duration:  –  Approximately 12 months (but may vary from office to office and group to group), once per week, 90 minutes long.

What is the format: –  The small group workshop and educational environment continues with group sizes of 4 to 10 people.  Typically, a Phase II group graduates to phase III and the group stays together.  The men are still combined in all men’s groups and the women are still combined into all women’s groups.  The youth are similarly separated while parents meet together in parent groups.

How much does it cost:  –  The price will vary from office to office but should still continue to be somewhere between $180 to $220 per person, per month.  Please confirm with the office in your area.  This includes all workbooks and materials.

What should be expected: –  By now, continued active participation in the group process should be routine.  Phase III addresses the issues that underlined the addiction in the first place, such as faulty core beliefs, trauma, and abuse. Once the addiction has been stopped and the underlying issues have been addressed, healthy lifestyle changes are reinforced in order to keep the addiction from reappearing. For Couples in the program, this is the time to practice their new lifestyle and new way of relating to each other.  In Phase III, they put into practice all of the identity and boundary training they have received throughout the first two phases.  Once again, expect to work hard and expand beyond your comfort zone.  This is where the true lifestyle change occurs to ensure lasting recovery.

What is covered:  –  The addicts in the third phase of treatment have demonstrated a solid sobriety from the sexual acting out behaviors and are ready to do the more delicate work of healing shame, attachment, and other emotional issues that the addiction covered up. Once the underlying issues have been addressed, healthy lifestyle changes are reinforced in order to keep the addiction from reappearing in the future. Men also learn how to improve their relationships with their wives, children, extended family, co-workers, and friends.  Most women have moved past the crisis of betrayal in Phase III and are now able to work on healthy emotional expression, healing trauma, decreasing shame, and improving their most important relationships. Women in the third phase re-discover their best selves and build patterns for long-term healthy living.

For both men and women, Phase III is a chance to practice living life without the constant threat of the addiction and helps each of them secure the gains from the two previous phases.