The Rhythm Within (Part Two)

Mindfulness has taken the world by storm these past few decades. Its roots are thousands of years old, yet when I refer to mindfulness meditation, I’m referring to the work of Dr. Kabat-Zinn, who originally studied chronic pain patients in a hospital setting. Upon developing a structured course in mindfulness skills, he found that patients who participated in the program reported fewer pain symptoms. Since the 1980s, his methods have taken the meditation world to new heights, helping people from all walks of life. At its core . . .

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The Rhythm Within (Part One)

Meditation is a time-tested anti-anxiety strategy that dates back thousands of years. My story with it is like that of many others who have given it a try. For many years, I dabbled in various approaches to meditation, but for whatever reason it never turned into a consistent practice. After many failed attempts, I finally decided to take a more structured approach. I enrolled in a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class, which met every Sunday night for eight weeks. This time . . .

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The 3 R’s: Regulation, Resilience, Resourcefulness (Part Two)

Compulsive sexual behavior can be the cause and the effect of a dysregulated nervous system, but what do you do to regulate yourself more efficiently? In order for balance and regulation to become a familiar internal state, you’ll need to integrate a self-regulation or co-regulation practice into your daily lifestyle. This can only occur, though, when you’ve learned . . .

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The 3 R’s: Regulation, Resilience, Resourcefulness (Part One)

When I went to graduate school at UCLA in the early ‘90s, there was no mention of the nervous system in any of my classes. The mind-body-spirit connection may have been a brief footnote, but all I learned about the nervous system was the fight-or-flight response, a survival instinct mentioned in my undergraduate psychology classes. Three decades later . . .

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Compulsive Sexual Behavior: The New Sex Addiction

After many years of deliberation, the World Health Organization has recognized and included Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). This is the first time in history that CSBD has been validated by a global gathering of clinicians. For many years sex addiction specialists have lobbied to include sex addiction as a formal diagnosis, but to no avail. The often-misunderstood term was coined by Patrick Carnes in the 1980s, but . . .

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The Intersection of Attachment and the Regulated Nervous System (Part One)

Reliable relationships are what help infants regulate their nervous systems, and attachment patterns are founded in this connection between a baby and its caregiver. Unfortunately, many of you did not have emotionally dependable parents, leaving you at risk for compulsive behaviors. In 1988, British psychoanalyst John Bowlby wrote A Secure Base, which sparked . . .

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Cultivating Contentment (Part Two): An excerpt from Chapter Seven, It’s Not About the Sex

By reminding yourself of what you’re grateful for in your recovery, you’ll build perspective against what hasn’t gone right in your life. Tracking gratitude also builds your capacity for deeper connections with others and decreases your tendency toward shame and comparison. Dr. Seligman suggests specific action steps to promote an “attitude of gratitude”: Begin by writing down three things you’re grateful for every day before going to sleep. Secondly, write a gratitude . . .

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Cultivating Contentment (Part One): An excerpt from Chapter Seven, It’s Not About the Sex

In her book The Wealthy Spirit, author Chellie Campbell adopts a brilliant sea metaphor as she suggests that you surround yourself with dolphins. Her financial stress reduction workshop teaches students that there are your people, and the rest of the world; it’s your job in life to find your pod. If you have too much of a need to be liked by others, this will cause suffering. Campbell explains . . .

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Safer Sex Revisited (Part Two: An Excerpt from It’s Not About the Sex)

When do you experience nurturing, safer touch—both sexually and platonically? How is it for you?

Seth: With my partner, touch feels safe. Sometimes I’ll go for a therapeutic massage. Also, when hugging friends.

Colin: I experience healthy, safe touch with a massage therapist I work with who is nurturing and respectful. I also experience it with brothers in the program when we . . .

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