How to change the behavior of a cheater

Sex addiction expert Kenneth M. Adams, PhD offers advice on what treatment may be helpful for a serial cheater
Relationship Advice | How to change the behavior of a serial cheater
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How to change the behavior of a cheater

There can be some differences in treatment between somebody who has multiple affairs and who is a sex addict from somebody who has multiple affairs say a serial cheater who has, doesn't really have an addictive profile is more a character problem opportunistic lacks alot of ability being pathic. In those cases, we work in treatment to increase the level of appropriate shame. So we have them look at their behavior through the eyes of their spouse or partner. We might even have them write a letter from their spouse to a partner to them about what that's impacted, and what we look for in somebody who has had multiple affairs is a sincere level of regret and we want that to be intregrated. And sometimes if we can get that person in there, sometimes we can break into the fact that their mother or father had affairs and they witnessed it, and they were told to keep it secret. And they were exposed to parents who were also narcicistic, or had character problems, and if we can get them in touch with their feelings about how they were raised, then sometimes the empathy can increase and that's a much more workable person to be intimate with, but without empathy, it's hard to really extend your trust to somebody because it's always the risk that even if they don't intend to hurt you, they will miss the signals that they are going to hurt you.

Sex addiction expert Kenneth M. Adams, PhD offers advice on what treatment may be helpful for a serial cheater


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Kenneth M. Adams, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Kenneth M. Adams, Ph.D., CSAT, is a Licensed Psychologist, the Clinical Director and Founder of Kenneth M. Adams and Associates in suburban Detroit, Michigan, as well as a faculty member at the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. As previous Clinical Director for the Life Healing Center in Sante Fe, New Mexico, a residential treatment center for trauma and addiction, Dr Adams created the first inpatient program exclusively for partners of sex addicts. In addition to maintaining an active clinical practice, Dr. Adams is a national lecturer, workshop leader, and consultant in the areas of child abuse, dysfunctional family systems, and sex addiction. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications, the books Silently Seduced and When He’s Married to Mom, as well as co-editor of Clinical Management of Sex Addiction. In 2011, Dr Adams received the “Carnes Award” for “outstanding work in the field of sexual addiction and compulsivity”. He is a certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), a CSAT supervisor, and CSAT training facilitator as well as an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner. Dr. Adams is a member of the American Psychological Association, Michigan Psychological Association, Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH), and International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) as well as an advisory board member to SASH and IITAP, and an editorial board member of Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention. For more on Dr Adams visit


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