Lee University’s Dr. Kirstee Williams, an assistant professor of psychology, published her article, “Strategies for Understanding and Treating Online Emotional Infidelity,” in the November/December 2017 issue of American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy magazine.
“One of the subjects I love talking about is affairs,” said Dr. Williams. “There are few less challenging subject matters to tackle from a relational and clinical perspective. I think one of the most difficult aspects is to help my students understand how serious even online involvement can be for couples and how traumatizing it is for the partner whose significant other is connecting with someone else.”
In her article, Dr. Williams discusses the redefinition of an extramarital affair in the digital age and how to work with clients who have had online emotional affairs. The subject of infidelity is a challenging one for both clinicians and couples, yet it is a subject with which most clinicians have experience.
“Because our marital relationships mirror our relationship with God, affairs are symbolic of our unfaithfulness to God. This is why the Bible recognizes infidelity as divorce worthy,” said Dr. Williams. “Unfaithfulness to God or a significant other severs our relational connection. It doesn't mean reconciliation is not possible, but it is always a long journey to recover the joy we once had.”
One question posed in the article is whether different types of affairs require different treatments and which strategies are the best and most effective ones. Dr. Williams’ article assists in the navigation of these questions and the relation to the complex issue of infidelity.
Dr. Williams joined Lee’s faculty in 2012. She earned her doctorate and master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Loma Linda University in Southern California and her bachelor’s degree from Southern Adventist University.
In addition to teaching, she is also the program and clinical director of Lee’s Marriage and Family Therapy graduate program.
A licensed marriage and family therapist, her areas of expertise are infidelity treatment, sexual health related concerns and adoption-related processes. She is a clinical fellow of the AAMFT, an AAMFT-approved supervisor, and just completed her five-year term on the editorial board for the Journal of Marital and Family Therapy.
To read Dr. Williams’ article, visit: https://dx5br1z4f6n0k.cloudfront.net/imis15/Documents/FTM/ND17.FTM.Singles.pdf