Saturday, March 1, 2014

Half-Day Workshop: The Affair

The Affair: A Life Shattering Experience

Challenges for Therapists

A New Approach to Marital Therapy


Joan Jutta Lachkar, Ph.D.

Saturday, March 29, 2014
Sherman Oaks, CA
8:30 am to 12:30 pm 

A Half Day Workshop

Lachkar Professional Seminars (LPS)

Continuing Education for Mental Health Professionals


This presentation is based on a compilation of many previous published volumes. This workshop draws from many theoretical perspectives including classical psychoanalysis, self-psychology, ego psychology, object relations, attachment theory, contemporary theorists and others. It describes various aspects of infidelity as it links to various personality disorders. The very nature of the affair offers many therapeutic challenges not only to the therapist, but to the couple as well. It also includes many treatment points and procedures and many cases examples, including how each specific personality type is psychodynamically driven. Aside from this work, it has applicability to all kinds of couples, including many of the ones described in my previous publication. There is also plenty of opportunity for role play and discussion. 

  • To understand the intent behind the affair
  • To understand how old archaic injuries (“V’ spot”) impairs the couples’ ability to maintain an intimate, loving connection
  • The challenge when to tell or not to tell
  • To understand how the affair is motivated by various types of personality types, e.g., how the narcissist may seek an affair as opposed to someone with a borderline personality
  • To understand the different types of “affairs”
  • To integrate various psychoanalytic theories

Limited space. Sign up now!
Joan Jutta Lachkar, Ph.D.
5009 Woodman Ave, Ste 205
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
(818) 290 3390, (310) 413-9593

One of the most life-shattering experiences that get revealed in couple’s therapy is infidelity.

One of the most life-shattering experiences that get revealed in couple’s therapy is cheating and infidelity. In the back of every therapist’s mind is the fear that lurking in the shadows is the discovery of “the affair.” There is not only the revelation of the affair, putting both therapist and the victim of the affair in a most uncompromising position; there is also the problem of what to do after the revelation.

Paul and Mary (fictional names) initiated treatment after Paul lost his job. Mary reports that since he has lost his job his behavior has been strange. Aside from feeling depressed and discouraged he also has been withdrawing from the relationship. After being in practice for several years I have come to learn the danger signs/the red flags when a man is predisposed to having an affair. Here is a powerful strong “alpha type” domineering female with a passive submissive husband.

I am the main bread-winner. I work hard and after I come home, cook and feed the babies, I’m exhausted!

A few days  later I saw his telephone number on my iPhone. I just knew he was confessing to an affair. My heart began to pound as I listened to the confession. Shortly after, Mary called asking for an emergency session. She was in shock.

Most Common Reasons for an Affair

  • Falling madly in love with someone else.

  • Feeling something is missing in the relationship.

  • Acting out of revenge or as an expression of anger.

  • Needing many different people for adulation and attention.

  • Being perverted and looking for excitement in lieu of love.

  • Losing contact with his/her inner passion and turns to excitement as a superficial substitute.

Mary described her marriage as a storybook one.

We have been married for six years, were high school sweethearts always madly in love. Now we have a lovely home and two beautiful babies along, with doting grandparents. Mrs. A. comes into session sobbing her eyes out in shock and traumatized upon her discovery. “We have loving and supportive families, I have always been the love of his life, the one and only. When we are together, he cannot keep his hands off me. There isn’t a day that goes by when he doesn’t call me to tell me how he can’t wait to come home to me and our babies. I don’t know what got into me but somehow I had a premonition to check his email. I was shocked. For two years my husband has been fucking another woman! How is this possible? How can a man with any sort of conscience come home and sleep next to me?

After hearing her story, I had the sense the woman he had been seeing was not someone he was in love with, but more about the replacement for some missing part in the relationship. Mary validated this perception when she described “the affair woman” as someone who was the complete opposite of herself.

I know I am strong, domineering, and controlling. I am also the breadwinner in the family. He works part-time, and at times is a stay at home dad. This woman he was sleeping with was the complete opposite of me, passive, compliant, needy, dependent. I just don’t get it! I am the alpha woman — independent, self-sufficient. I don’t need anything from anybody. Guess he must have felt that with all my strong attributes I was cutting his balls off. I don’t know if I will ever take him back or forgive him, but if I do I guess I will have to take some responsibility for making him feel like a nothing.

After the revelation, the problem is how to deal with the initial shock, how to explore the reasons for the affair, and how to deal with the threats of divorce or the reparative process. I reassure Mary that even if she did do something to “turn him away,” it still does not justify his aberrant behavior and in no way validates her husband’s betrayal. On a more positive note, I let Mary know how this affair has brought to the fore some real important developmental issues. We then go on to explore Paul’s difficulty with his dependency needs, how he had to seek out a meek, passive woman to recapture his “maleness,” the missing part of him. 

Written by Dr. Joan Lachkar, Ph.D.

Joan Lachkar, Ph.D is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist in private practice in Sherman Oaks, California, an affiliate member for the New Center for Psychoanalysis, the author of many books, and is also a psychohistorian. She has published numerous publications on marital and political conflict in the Journal of Psychohistory, Frontpage, Family Security Matters, including her paper, “The Psychopathology of Terrorism” at the Rand Corporation, as well as the books below.
How to Contact:
Joan Jutta Lachkar, Ph.D.
5009 Woodman Ave, #205
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
818-290-3390 (office)
310-413-9593 (cell)

Books by Dr. Joan Lachkar, Ph.D. Available on Amazon