VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Loving Kindness Meditation and Couples Therapy: Healing After an Infidelity
Laura Cunningham and Yuleisy Cardoso
Counselors working with couples who have experienced infidelity report the difficulties in current treatments. Infidelity is said to be one of the top three reasons couples report for counseling. In a study by Whisman et al. (1997), infidelity was ranked as the third most difficult therapeutic problem to treat. According to the authors, counselors often approach infidelity cases with apprehension because of the intense emotional reactions infidelity elicits from couples (Whisman et al., 1997). Furthermore, in the treatment of infidelity, forgiveness is a crucial component that aims to help couples move forward from the painful emotions towards a healthier adjustment (Fife et al., 2008). However, introducing this concept to couples proves challenging for counselors, as clients have their own experiences, beliefs, and definitions of forgiveness. In fact, research suggests counselors must be meticulous even in the words they choose to portray the concept of forgiveness to couples, especially where the feelings of betrayal may still linger (Olmstead, Blick, & Mills, 2009).