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Addiction is not about feeling good; it’s about feeling less!
Sanja Rozman is known in Slovenia as a pioneer in speaking about behavioral addictions, relationship addictions and codependency. Twenty-five years ago, before the medical and psychotherapeutic community had fully recognized the growing problem of behavioral addictions, she wrote books that opened the public eye to this problem. Told in a simple and compassionate voice, the books are an original blend of expert knowledge, experience and stories of people in recovery, making the message of recovery known to the widest public. She is the founder and Expert Council Chairman of The Core Change Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to recovery from behavioral addictions and traumas. As a medical doctor, she worked in a rehabilitation institute. For several years she served on the board of an international breast cancer advocacy organization.
Make stars out of
I was born in Slovenia, which was then a part of Yugoslavia. My family taught me that taking care of others was all I needed to do to become a good person. I tried my hardest, but it was not enough to prevent my marriage getting into trouble due to my husband’s addiction to gambling. We entered a recovery program, where I learned that people can become addicted to some behaviors, not just the substances, and that my obsessive caretaking and rescuing was a relationship addiction or codependency. He could not stop gambling, so we divorced. I continued to follow my recovery path and worked hard to take care of myself and two daughters.
A year later, I finally met a man who I thought was my soulmate, and entered a very complicated relationship, underestimating at first the depth of his emotional involvement in his former marriage, so he could not commit to me. When, finally, this was resolved, I learned that he was dying of cancer. To survive emotionally, I needed to dig very deep into my soul and grow a strong spiritual connection to Higher Power. This part of my biography is described in my book “Sanje o rdecem oblaku” (Stronger Than Love).
Giving up is not my style, and I wanted to live in a happy family. I found someone trustworthy and remarried. A few years into our marriage, I was diagnosed and treated for breast cancer. Luckily, it went well, and I got to know a lot of brave independent women who called themselves survivors. I engaged in cancer advocacy movement and travelled around the world to speak on conferences and other public events.
I now live in Ljubljana, Slovenia, am married and have three daughters and two grandchildren.
& public performance
When I think about what I accomplished in my life, the faces of hundreds of my clients pass before my mind’s eye. I remember them coming to me during all these years, with hope and trust in their eyes, sharing their stories, their pain and trauma, and believing that I can help them take control of their lives. It’s a sacred mission, and one I do with the greatest respect: as a medical doctor, as a psychotherapist and as one of them who has experienced life’s struggles, and emerged from them even more compassionate and stronger.
I have worked for 38 years as a medical doctor in a rehabilitation clinic, and for 25 years as a psychotherapist (most of the time I had both jobs at once). What a unique opportunity to observe the people going through their processes of change! It never ceases to amaze me how some people can grow through adversity. They are a continuous source of inspiration for my writing. In The Core Change Institute, my nonprofit private psychotherapeutic institution, I am offering an original holistic therapeutic program for recovery from behavioral addictions and trauma.
I also served as board member of Europa Donna European Coalition, the association of breast cancer survivors. I have been performing on international medical conferences, speaking about doctor-patient relationships and behavioral addictions. For eight years I was answering the reader’s questions about relationship problems in a women’s health monthly magazine Viva. I conducted a large number of workshops and lectures, speaking about behavioral addictions and childhood trauma. More than 3000 clients have so far participated in my original recovery program for behavioral addictions.
In the course of my work, I acquired some valuable credentials that certify to my qualification:
Medical doctor, Medical Faculty, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, since 1979.
Specialization in occupational and sports medicine, since 1984.
Psychotherapist, Transactional Analysis, Group Analysis, since 2008.
Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals in USA , by Dr. Patrick J. Carnes, Dr. Kenneth Adams, Dr. Stefanie Carnes, Debra Kaplan and Rob Weiss, since 2010.
Certified Multiple Addiction Therapist, International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals in USA, by Bonnie VanDen Doven, since 2014.
Specialized in treating the consequences of childhood trauma by EMDR with Dr. Roger Solomon, and Dr. Vesna Bogdanovic, since 2014.
Member of professional organization ESTD (European Society for Trauma and Dissociation).
"Dr. Rozman has been an extraordinary national and international presence in the field of sex addition. Her leadership, knowledge, and compassion have helped many... Rare to find a clinician who has integrated the medical, clinical, and cultural issues presented in sex addiction."
Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D., is an international expert in the field of sexual addiction. He is the founder of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) and Gentle Path Press.
-Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D., C.A.S, CSAT