Dr. Jake Porter's

Couple–Centered Recovery®

Know the difference...

Traditional Addiction Treatment for Couples

In traditional treatment for addiction recovery, marriage or couples work is typically engaged minimally at the beginning of the process, with both individuals being told to pursue their separate recovery plans. In this model, those in relationship have disconnected, but parallel movement toward recovery and healing. They are instructed to keep their respective sides of the street clean. Research conducted in traditional models has found most individuals require 3-5 years to reach the final stage of the recovery process.

The Partner Trauma Model

The most recent research reveals that partners of addicts have often been misdiagnosed as codependent or having an addiction of their own. We now know that for many of these partners, their emotions and behaviors are actually a reaction to trauma experienced within the relationship. Sensitivity to partner trauma is essential to avoid further trauma brought on by the treatment process and to promote healing for the partner and the relationship.

The Couple–Centered Recovery® Model

Addiction is many times a manifestation of, or at least co-exists with, an intimacy disorder. By placing the clients’ primary relationship at the center of the recovery process, we believe couples can experience healing faster and deeper (hence, the couple-centered recovery model). With an emotionally-focused, attachment-attentive process, the relationship that was the source of injury can become the very place of healing. Through rigorous honesty, addicts learn to respond differently to their internal shame and grow in their ability to give their partners the intimacy they desire and deserve.

Couples need more than communication. Couples need connection.

Many couples think communication is the number one problem in their relationship. But plenty of people who are fine talkers and listeners are miserable with one another, and plenty of couples fight like cats and dogs all day and go to bed every night feeling very much in love.

Communication is not the problem. Lack of connection is.

We believe that learning to connect deeply, to experience real intimacy, is not just the goal of the relationship. Connection is the pathway of reaching the goal, as well.

couple-centered recovery

Learn more about Couple–Centered Recovery® by joining Dr. Jake for this FREE webinar.

A word from the Creator of Couple–Centered Recovery®


The traditional model of recovery from sex addiction or chronic infidelity leaves little room for the healing of the relationship. Old school thinking, well intended, teaches couples to “keep their own sides of the street clean,” and not to interfere with one another’s recoveries.

But we have learned a lot in the last two decades, and it’s past time for couples dealing with the fall out of sex addiction and chronic betrayal to have the benefit of this new research brought to bear on their healing journeys.

My Couple–Centered Recovery® Model does just that. After years of studying adult attachment science, addiction, and trauma, I’ve created this relational-psychobiological model, built on evidence–based strategies, to foster healing for individuals and couples suffering from the aftermath of addiction and trauma who desire to stay in and transform their relationships.

The Couple–Centered Recovery® Model embraces the Multidimensional Partner Trauma Model taught by the Association of Partners of Sex Addict Trauma Specials (APSATS), refusing to pathologize the traumatic responses of betrayed partners as codependency or co-addiction. 

We also recognize that many of those who have struggled with addiction need help overcoming developmental deficits so that they can expand their relational capacities. In Couple–Centered Recovery®, we do not see addiction recovery and relational recovery as separate objectives, but as one and the same goal that leads to deep healing and transformation.

I know deep within me that relationships can come back from the wounds of chronic betrayal, not to merely survive but to thrive and flourish.

It's that passion and conviction that drive the development and practice of Couple–Centered Recovery®.

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