The pathway of life can be a difficult one. Sometimes in life, we find ourselves lost and confused . . . we are not on the path we intended to take. Suddenly the path has gotten small, dark, and frightening. At these times, it is often helpful to have a companion; someone to encourage, guide and provide an accepting presence; someone to help you back onto a new path. This is what I strive to provide.
My work focuses on individuals dealing with compulsive sexuality or sexual addiction and their partners. My clinical work is a blend of psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral interventions which provide clients with insight into their difficulties, and ways to ease their symptoms.
During difficult circumstances, spirituality can provide a foundation for healing, and it can also be a source of confusion and pain. My training as a pastoral counselor has equipped me to address spiritual concerns and integrate them into the healing process at the client's request.
My name is April Kriz, and I am the therapist at Inner Peace Counseling, LLC. I am a Board Certified Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in the state of Maryland and a Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor. I have also received certification in Advanced Trauma Treatment by The Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy and Education, Inc. and certification as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, by the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.
I began my own journey into counseling at Loyola University Maryland in the Pastoral Counseling Program. During my time at Loyola, I had the opportunity of learning from an incredible team of professors. These professionals not only challenged me intellectually, but also spritually and psychologically. Their encouragement and guidance are the inspiration for the work I do today. During this time, I also had the opportunity of interning at a Crisis Center working predominantly with women and children emerging from situations of physical and sexual abuse. These experiences were transformational in my development as a counselor and my theoretical perspective. In working with the individuals in this environment, I became acutely aware of the impact of early experiences on people’s choices and relationships with others. Along with this, I learned of the necessity of cognitive behavioral interventions to aid in emotional regulation and understanding of self and others. Recently, I was trained in brainspotting and I now also utilize this in the treatment of trauma.
The counseling profession has proven to be a wonderful choice for me. It combines my love and compassion for others with my love of learning, as psychological knowledge is always expanding. I am fortunate to be able to do what I love!.
“The first step is admitting you have a problem.” You may have heard this phrase and wondered if this applies to you. After all, most people have a relationship with sex that is … well … complicated …. Right? It’s a good question. How do you know if you have a problem with sexual behavior/thoughts? In the same way that not everyone who drinks alcohol is an alcoholic, and not everyone who smoked marijuana is addicted, not everyone who has an affair or watches porn is addicted to sex. So, how do you tell?
Just like other addictions, there is a list of criteria that a therapist will look at to determine if an addiction is present. They will look at how often you have tried to quit and failed; they will look at if you continue your behavior despite harm it is causing; they will look at if you set limits for yourself only to exceed them. These are a few of the symptoms they will look for that will indicate an addiction is present. Sexual addiction experts have come up with a useful acronym that can help you determine if an addiction may be present. The acronym is “PATHOS” and it stands for:
· Preoccupied: Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
· Ashamed: Do you hide some of your behaviors from others?
· Treatment: Have you ever sought help for sexual behaviors that you didn’t like?
· Hurt Others: Has anyone been hurt emotionally because of your sexual behavior?
· Out of Control: Do you feel controlled by your sexual desire?
· Sad: When you engage in sexual activity, do you feel depressed afterwards?
A positive response to one of these questions would indicate the possibility of an addiction and the need for additional assessment. Two or more positive responses indicate the probability of an addictive problem. If you answered “yes” to some of these questions, an appointment with a therapist who specializes in this area can help you determine whether or not an addiction is present and what you can do to have a healthier relationship with sex. Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSATs) have access to assessment materials and can be helpful in determining if an addiction truly is present. All of those who are CSATs have attended 120 hours of intensive instruction, received at least 30 hours of supervision in working with sexual addicts and their families and receive at least 15 hours of continuing education focusing on sex addiction every 2 years. If you are in need of a CSAT, a list of these therapists can be found at https://www.sexhelp.com/therapists-search/.
Betrayed . . . Disgusted . . . Angry . . . Confused . . . These are some of the words I’ve heard individuals use to describe how they felt after finding out their partner was acting out sexually. They had wondered why their partner spent an inordinate amount of time on the computer or away from home, or why their money seemed to disappear faster than it used to. They had even suspected once or twice that their partner was having an affair. But they had never guessed that they’d been played for a fool for that long. Their partner’s denial had seemed so convincing; they had even been told that theywere the crazy one. But the truth had come out and now they were left to deal with the fallout.
If this is something that you have experienced, you know the chaos that this kind of revelation can bring. Out of the blue, you begin to question yourself, your relationships and especially your partner; you are faced with decisions that you never expected to encounter and, worst of all, you’re torn between wanting to tell everyone about your hurt and being afraid to tell anyone. Who would understand?
Early in my clinical career, I began to experience women coming in and telling me of their experiences with spouses that were exhibiting what seemed to be out of control sexual behavior. These women were understandably baffled, angry, hurt, and wondering what their husbands were looking for that they lacked. More and more women came in with this problem, and then men came in too, exhibiting the same emotions and describing the same problem. In my search for answers and in my quest to help these individuals, I discovered a training program for something called “sexual addiction” and this soon became my goal. As a result, I have developed a passion for working with sexual addicts and their partners and this has developed into one of my specialties.
If this is something you are dealing with and you have decided to reach out for help, I would love to have the opportunity to speak with you. Please feel free to explore my web page and look at the links I have provided; and when you are ready, give me a call or send an e-mail. I look forward to hearing from you.