THE JOURNEY BEGINS
I’m Michelle Mays, the founder of PartnerHope.
Years ago, I went through my own betrayal trauma journey. My healing and recovery coincided with my enrollment in graduate school in Seattle, Washington to become a counselor. This “coincidence” was exactly what I needed and created a boot camp of healing and recovery for me as my classes and all that I was learning dovetailed with my personal growth and therapy to create a whirlwind of transformation in my life.
Since then, I have spent 19 years as a counselor in private practice and have honed and refined a systems-based approach to treating individuals and couples impacted by betrayal that addresses the addicted partner, the betrayed partner and the couple all at one time, moving the whole system toward healing together.
THE CENTER FOR RELATIONAL RECOVERY
In 2005, I crossed the country and moved back to Northern Virginia where I opened a private practice in Leesburg. In 2011 I founded the Center for Relational Recovery (CRR). CRR is centered around the belief that all change happens in relationship and that our attachments to others are both the most meaningful and at times the most challenging parts of our lives. Our programs are grounded in a systems and attachment-based relational model that leads to transformed lives and relationships.
In 2017 I launched PartnerHope, an online portal offering authentic hope and a healing pathway to betrayed partners around the world through information, resources, tools, and connections with one another, subject experts and inspiring pathfinders. The PartnerHope blog is read by betrayed partners all around the globe united in their search for healing and restoration.
OTHER THINGS TO KNOW
I am a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist and Supervisor trained under Dr. Patrick Carnes. I am also trained in Post Induction Therapy by Pia Mellody for the treatment of relational trauma and am in the process of completing my certification in Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples. I am a registered Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor in Virginia and Washington DC.
I am a member of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health, the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy, the American Counseling Association, and the Northern Virginia Licensed Professional Counselors Association.
On a personal note, here are a few things to know about me. Snow makes me happy. Reading is my favorite. I hate asparagus with the fire of 1000 suns. The beach is the happiest place on earth. I have a large family with four siblings and ten nieces and nephews scattered around the country as well as chosen family who live in New England. I said a final goodbye to my epic black lab Zoka (“her labness”) earlier this year and have been alternately delighted and exhausted by my new lab puppy Lyla. I would rather not be bored. Ever. A night out with friends can’t be beat. Music makes life worth living. Interior design is my secret fixation and I want to come back as Joanna Gaines in my next life. A morning spent writing on my sun porch is the best morning ever. A tent and a campfire almost always end in tears (usually from laughter but sometimes not). And I really wish I could teleport.