Couples Intensive Workshops

The Oak Centre conducts Two-Day Couples Intensive Workshops that are designed for couples where one partner is struggling with porn or sex addiction and the other partner is struggling to cope with the ‘fallout’ of such behaviour, which often includes feelings of betrayal, distrust, anger, sadness, self-loathing, depression, anxiety and hopelessness.

For some couples, our workshop provides important knowledge and skills to help the relationship move in the direction of reconciliation and healing. We also recognise that for some partners, our workshop may be viewed as a way to assist in answering the question “Should I stay or should I leave?” However, regardless of the initial motivation for attending our workshop, valuable knowledge and skills will be acquired by both partners and greater clarity on the ‘way forward’ will be achieved, especially in terms of becoming one’s healthiest and best self. 


“Your Couples Workshop was like a life raft in the middle of a storm. We were constantly at “make or break” in our relationship up until we saw you. The workshop offered  calm , tranquil waters , soothing our pain. We really were lost at sea. But the days of intense focusing and learning about our problems , helped us on our healing journey”

– Melbourne professional couple

Who should attend?

Our workshops are ideal for couples seeking to accelerate their healing and recovery journey. Two full days of structured tasks and exercises allow for ‘unpacking’ of the key issues and also undertaking several important tasks for the ‘Re-Visioning’ phase, including the development of a Relationship Constitution.

Usually, one partner in the relationship is struggling with sexual acting out behaviour while the other partner is struggling to cope with the ‘fallout’ of his or her partner’s behaviour, which can include feelings of betrayal, distrust, anger, sadness, depression, anxiety, self-loathing and hopelessness.  

Key outcomes include: 

  • Rebuilding trust – principles and practices
  • Understanding the relationship recovery process
  • Developing healthy non-sexual and sexual intimacy
  • Establishing healthy relationship boundaries
  • Enhancing communication using ‘Intimacy Dialogue’ skills
  • Increasing understanding of the underlying factors of the sexual acting out behaviour
  • Supporting each other by learning the Do’s and Don’ts of relational healing
  • Re-Visioning the relationship, including developing a Relationship Constitution

We recognise that the strength and health of a relationship is largely determined by the strength and health of each partner. Research and clinical experience have shown that relationship counselling works best once each individual is engaged in his/her own ‘healing’ and has gained sufficient momentum to enable relationship counselling to have a positive impact. When dealing with porn or sex addiction, commencing relationship counselling too early is “putting the horse before the cart”.

Our Facilitators

Our Couples Workshops are facilitated by John Larkin (CSAT), Director of The Oak Centre. On occasion, John is assisted by his Associate Counsellor, Lauren Hedley (CSAT).

John is the first Australian to qualify as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), having graduated from the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) in the United States. John has also completed training in developmental trauma with Pia Melody at The Meadows in Arizona, USA.

In addition to The Meadows, John has also gained hands-on practical experience at several other addiction recovery treatment centres including The Banyans, Brisbane, South Pacific Private, Sydney, Cumberland Heights, Tennessee and The Cabin, Chang Mai, Thailand.

John also holds Masters and Post Graduate Degree qualifications in counselling from the University of Canberra, Australia. John’s Masters Degree was based on a research project that evaluated a variety of methods and protocols used for assessing and treating sex addiction.

Lauren Hedley is the first female counsellor in Australia to qualify as a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and has a particular interest in relational trauma that affects partners of sex addicts. Lauren also holds Masters Degree and Post Graduate Degree qualifications in counselling from the University of Canberra, Australia.