Michele Saffier, LMFT, CSAT-S
Michele Saffier has been a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1993. She is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and Supervisor, having completed direct training with Dr. Patrick
Carnes, the preeminent leader in the field of Sexual Addiction Treatment. She trained extensively with Robert Weiss, LCSW, an internationally recognized leader in the field of Sex Addiction , author of several books on the treatment of sexual addiction disorders and Senior Vice-President of Clinical Programs for Elements Behavioral Health. Ms. Saffier 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 has maintained clinical practice and is a pioneer in the use of the trauma model in the treatment of partners of Sex Addicts, which has gained acceptance as a sound treatment model for partners among sexual addiction therapists. The pioneers of the trauma model differentiate their approach in some very significant ways. The Carnes approach, initially modeled after traditional drug and alcohol treatment, identified the spouse as a “codependent “, erroneously holding a level of accountability for “enabling” the behaviors of the sexual addict The new model integrates the major contribution that Carnes made, and recognizes the partner as a victim of Post Traumatic Stress and offers a more compassionate, no-blame approach, as well as distinctly different interventions.
Michele Saffier has extensive experience in working with the full spectrum of Trauma and is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional. She regularly works 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.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Clinical Fellow with The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, she specializes in treating couples and families on a wide range of issues including communication, parenting effectively, and increasing intimacy in families and coupleships. Ms. Saffier trained extensively as a contextual family therapist with Dottie Higgins-Klein, LMFT, master therapist and trainer at Family and Play Therapy Center of Philadelphia. Ms. Saffier has trained as a psychodramatist with The Hudson Valley Psychodrama Institute, New Paltz, New York. Currently, Ms. Saffier is completing a three year training and certification as a Gottman Method Therapist.
In her work, Ms. Saffier combines her cognitive-behavioral training with her Contextual Family Therapy (CFT, as developed by Ivan Boszormeni-Nagy) approach of multi-directed partiality in the proper clinical sequence, enabling her patients to understand their behaviors from the root cause level. Incorporating Gottman Method exercises and interventions, Ms. Saffier guides couples from a foundation of betrayal and mistrust toward integration, reconciliation, exoneration and, ultimately healthy emotional and sexual intimacy.
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 maintained a twenty year personal meditation practice having trained in Vipassana, or mindfulness, Meditation with Shinzen Young, Jack Kornfield, Tara Brach as well as completed a ten week Mindfullness-Based Stress Reduction training through University of Pennsylvania.
Ms. Saffier has conducted training for mental health professionals on Sexual Addiction and Partner Trauma at The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH), The International Association of Sex Addiction Therapists (IITAP), 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, Clinical Fellow.
- Philadelphia Association of Marriage and Family Therapists
- International Association of Sex Addiction Therapists
- International Association of Trauma Professionals
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing International Association