Michele Saffier has been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1993. She is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), having completed direct training with Dr. Patrick Carnes, the
preeminent leader in the field of Sexual Addictions. She trained with Robert Weiss, LCSW, an internationally recognized leader in the field of Sexual Addiction, and worked as Clinical Supervisor and staff therapist for The Sexual Recovery Institute (SRI), the preeminent outpatient treatment program for sexual addiction in Los Angeles, for three years.
Ms. Saffier then went on to private practice and began using the trauma model, which was emerging in the second generation of sexual addiction therapists. The pioneers of the trauma model differentiate part of their approach in some very significant ways. The Carnes model sees the spouse as a codependent player, erroneously holding her accountable for the behaviors of the sexually addicted partner. The newer model appreciates the major contribution that Carnes and Weiss made, but instead views the partner as a victim of Post Traumatic Stress and offers her a more compassionate, no-blame approach, as well as distinctly different interventions.
Michele Saffier has extensive experience in working with the full spectrum of addictive disorders from sexual compulsivity and addiction to chemical and process addictions and partners and family members of addicts and compulsives. In addition, she has engaged in focused work with post traumatic stress disorder as a result of recent, childhood or relational trauma.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, she regularly works with couples and families on a wide range of issues including communication, parenting effectively, and increasing intimacy in families and coupleships. In her work, Ms. Saffier combines her cognitive-behavioral training with her Contextual Family Therapy (CFT, as developed by Ivan Boszormeni-Nagy) approach to enable her patients to understand their behaviors from the root cause level.
She has begun to integrate a CFT approach of multi-directed partiality, and in the proper clinical sequence, and to weave it into the sexual trauma model: working with intergenerational issues, understanding root level causes, and ideally, when possible, facilitating forgiveness and or exoneration.
Training and Experience
Ms. Saffier earned a graduate degree in Clinical Psychology in 1989 from College for Developmental Studies. She went on to Southern California Counseling Center, a nationally respected outpatient counseling center in Los Angeles, California, where she earned a certification in Systemic Family Therapy. She became Training Director of TEENLINE, at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she trained and supervised teenage counselors and professionals. While at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Ms. Saffier became a certified Adolescent Group Psychotherapy Facilitator.
Ms. Saffier began her work in the field of Sex Addiction and Compulsivity as a staff therapist and clinical supervisor with Sexual Recovery Institute, Los Angeles, with Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT. Ms. Saffier had the privilege of training directly with Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., to become a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist.
In 2008, Ms. Saffier trained with Laurel Parnell, Ph.D., internationally respected EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)trainer and master therapist. Participating in an 80 hour didactic training and 20 hour supervision process, Ms. Saffier became a Level III trained EMDR practitioner.
Ms. Saffier has trained in Vipassana, or mindfulness, Meditation with Shinzen Young.
Ms. Saffier continues her training and education as a contextual family therapist with Dottie Higgens-Klein, LMFT, master therapist and trainer, Family and Play Therapy Center of Philadelphia.
Ms. Saffier has conducted training for mental health professionals on Sexual Addiction and Partner Trauma atThe Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, The National Conference of Gay and Lesbian Therapists, the Los Angeles Free Clinic, Family and Play Therapy Center of Philadelphia, Council on Alcohol and Drug Addiction, Philadelphia Association of Marriage and Family Therapists of Bucks County, University Medical Center at Princeton, and Seabrook House.
- American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- Philadelphia Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association
- Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health