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Vicki Tidwell

Vicki Tidwell Palmer, LCSW, CSAT, is the author of Moving Beyond Betrayal: The 5-Step Boundary Solution for Partners of Sex Addicts, and a psychotherapist in private practice in Houston, Texas. She specializes in working with betrayed partners, and helping people heal from childhood trauma.

Vicki hosts an international online community for betrayed partners, offers several online courses for partners and therapists, and holds 4-day Reclaiming Wholeness Intensives for healing childhood wounds. She has presented at national conferences, for The Meadows Lecture Series, 12-step communities, as well as professional, healthcare, and faith-based organizations on a variety of topics including boundaries, relational trauma, and mindfulness.

Making Your Amends: Why “I’m Sorry” Isn’t Enough -Vicki Tidwell Palmer LCSW, CSAT

Sometimes recovering addicts feel unworthy of respect and love. This feeling can be especially strong with spouses, children, and other family members. Many addicts think they don’t deserve to have loved ones in their life at all after everything they’ve put them through. As a recovering addict, it is perfectly normal and understandable to feel this type of shame (“I am inherently bad, defective, and unworthy of love”) and guilt (“I did something awful that I deeply regret”). In fact, shame is likely the underlying driver of your addiction, and guilt is the result of your addiction-related misbehavior. Although you’ve made mistakes, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person and you are unworthy of love. If you need evidence, consider the fact that you’re working so hard to change and to become a better individual. That, in and of itself, makes you a worthy person. Still, you may be… Continue reading

Why Is It So Hard to Stay Sober? – Vicki Tidwell Palmer LCSW, CSAT

According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), addiction is characterized by: “an inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavior control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response.” The “inability to consistently abstain” is a concept that sometimes confuses loved ones and family members of addicts. They wonder, “How can we ever expect the addict to establish and maintain sobriety if ‘addiction’ means that’s something he can’t do?” This confusion is understandable. What ASAM really means is that on their own addicts lack the ability to consistently abstain from addictive behaviors. They struggle to establish and maintain sobriety without help. Most addicts would stop their compulsive behaviors on their own if they could, but they can’t. An addict’s inability to establish and maintain sobriety manifests in many ways. For instance, he might make promises to himself and others (loved… Continue reading

Are You a Victim or a Volunteer? – Vicki Tidwell Palmer LCSW, CSAT

  The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any. − Alice Walker Don’t get me wrong, as a human being you have been victimized. Any time another person violates one of your boundaries, there is the possibility of victimization. Being lied to, cheated on, and ignored because of another person’s addiction are common forms of victimization. It is likely, if you are reading this article on this website, that you may have both experienced and perpetrated these types of victimization. The good news about victimization is that once you become aware of the fact that one of your boundaries has been violated, you can make choices that prevent further victimization. So, except in rare circumstances like unjust imprisonment or being held against your will, the experience of victimization lasts only a brief time (unless you become a volunteer by allowing it to… Continue reading

Are You a Love Addict? – Vicki Tidwell Palmer LCSW, CSAT

  Love addiction sounds like it might be a fun thing to have. But it isn’t. It’s a serious form of codependency where you place such a high value on a romantic partner (or more than one romantic partner) that your relationship with that person (or people) becomes all-consuming and the primary focus of your life. Basically, love addicts spend inordinate amounts of time obsessing, ruminating, and seeking information about the other person—to the detriment of their own life. Like other addicts, love addicts typically come from abusive, addictive, or otherwise dysfunctional homes. Usually, they experienced emotional neglect and/or abandonment by one or both parents. This experience of neglect or abandonment creates within them, as children, intense anxiety—mostly because children depend upon their parents for their very survival. This anxiety surrounding important relationships becomes ingrained over time, and is carried forward into adulthood, manifesting as codependency and/or love addiction, until… Continue reading