Archives for Recovery

General

Sex Addiction Relapse: High Risk Scenarios

Sex addiction is by definition a pattern of compulsive sexual behavior that resembles any other behavioral addiction such as gambling addiction in that it is maladaptive and difficult to put down.  You may think of sex addiction in any of a number of ways: as a symptom of deeper problems relating to early attachment injury, or a constellation of symptoms such as intimacy avoidance, secrecy and dissociation, or a brain disorder resembling chemical dependency.  Or all...
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General

Quick, What’s the Opposite of Mindfulness?

In the treatment of addictions it may be that mindfulness is best understood in terms of what it is not.  Most people are pretty sure about what mindfulness is.  In common usage mindfulness is being aware of something or attending to it.  In a spiritual sense you  might say mindfulness is being "present" or "in the moment".

What mental processes stand in the way of this important recovery skill?

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General

Gaslighting and Mind Control Disable Rational Thought: How to Resist

Authoritarian mind control techniques are hazardous to your mental health in ways that bypass rational thought.

Gaslighting, brainwashing, cults, hostage situations, and totalitarian propaganda have a common basis. They use similar techniques to confuse, intimidate and disempower people.  These methods are used by abusers of all kinds for the purpose of controlling other people, and promoting the abusers' interests.

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General

Sex Addiction Insights From Across the Pond: UK vs. US

Sex and porn addiction treatment are alive and well in the UK.  On a recent trip, I met and talked at length with two wonderful colleagues, one in London and one in Edinburgh.  Our two countries approach  sex addiction treatment in much the same way.  But there are differences, things we can learn from one another.

Obviously this is not intended as a comprehensive survey but rather as food for thought based on my own observations and...
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Diagnosis

Therapy-Interfering Behaviors: Crucial, Predictable, and Often Ignored

Therapists, particularly those treating sex addiction and in the addiction field generally, are familiar with therapy-interfering behaviors. Frequent lateness or failing to show up for appointments, fomenting conflict with the therapist, and many other forms of direct and indirect ways of undermining the process.  As with problem behaviors generally, these are maladaptive attempts to solve a problem.

I first encountered an analysis of therapy-interfering behaviors in the work of Dr. Marsha M. Linehan.  Dr....
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General

Why Isn’t Married Sex “Hot”? And Should it be?

Does married sex really need to imitate porn and sex addiction? If sex in a long-term relationship was, on average, as erotically compelling as other kinds of sexual encounters, then about half of all books, plays and movies and other forms of entertainment would never exist. And that's not even counting the various forms of X-rated cultural products.

Certainly many comedians would be out of a job. You...
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Gay-Straight

An Explosive Issue: Are Sexual Behaviors Learned?

The question is not whether our sexually addictive behavior and fantasies are learned, but rather which ones are learned, when they are learned, and which ones are carved in stone?

This issue quickly can become radioactive. Talk of any changes in our patients' sexuality brings on accusations that clinicians want to alter people's sexual orientation or fit them into a particular model of sexual health. But the fact that something can be learned or...
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General

Signs a Sex Addiction is Spiraling out of Control

Addictions tend to grow increasingly serious over time. Sex addiction is no different from other addictions in that it tends to become increasingly severe and all consuming.

But sex addicts typically differ from other addicts in that they can appear more normal over a much longer period of time than say, an alcoholic or a drug addict. The damaging affects of substance abuse and other addictions such as food and gambling tend to be...
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General

Why You Should Stop Calling Sex Addicts “Perpetrators”

People who have been on the receiving end of a sex addict's betrayal, manipulation, lies, and other forms of uncaring and abusive behavior experience serious emotional trauma. Lives are torn apart, children are affected, families are alienated and as if that weren't enough there are often dire health and/or financial consequences.

But is any given sex addict really a perpetrator?  A psychopath?  Well, they could be.  And there is no doubt...
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General

“Merry Christmas, I’m a Sex Addict”! When to Tell Your Parents and Family


Although full disclosure to a partner or spouse is considered essential to recovery, telling your parents, your grown up children, your relatives or your in-laws that you are a sex addict can be a good idea or a very bad idea depending on a number of factors. Of the scores of sex addicts I have treated, each one has had a unique situation in confronting the fallout from this question. There...
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