Sexual Addiction

Problematic Porn Use and Moral Incongruence (Part 1)

Until recently, I wasn’t familiar with the term moral incongruence, but I’ve had clients through the years describe the effects of growing up in ultra-conservative families usually within strict religious communities that labeled pornography as sinful. As a liberal Jewish therapist, these stories always surprise me, but I continue to learn about the suffering associated with such complicated . . .

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Avoidance as a Survival Strategy (Part 2)

Because we are most defended against our greatest needs, intimacy is an emotionally-precarious territory. Over time, you learned to build self-protective walls due to past hurts, disappointments, and intrusions, but in recovery you can safely break down your walls and learn to rely on others gradually. If you’re determined to heal old relationship wounds, being in a relationship is the best place to work . . .

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Beyond Sexual Compulsivity (Part 2)

Loss is a natural part of recovery. Because sexual compulsion is actually a misfired attempt to regulate the nervous system, it requires a conscious choice to say goodbye to these stale behaviors. This requires a willingness to say goodbye to this survival strategy and to trust that there is something better on the horizon.

At the same time, it’s helpful to identify and express gratitude. As a by-product of grieving, eventually you can acknowledge that you wouldn’t be who you are today if it wasn’t for everything that happened in your past. This is a significant . . .

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Beyond Sexual Compulsivity (Part 1)

Recovery from compulsive sex can feel like a rollercoaster with unexpected twists and turns behind every corner. Fortunately, the ride can get much smoother and less tumultuous as time and healing unfolds.

Long-term recovery is quite different than early recovery. In the beginning, stopping out-of-control sexual behaviors is the main focus while long-term recovery makes room for sex-positive, expansive experiences. In early recovery you start to notice the damaging activities of the past while long-term recovery often reveals . . .

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Sex Addiction vs. Compulsive Sex:
The Controversy Continues

A few years ago the World Health Organization recognized and included Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder (CSBD) in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). This is the first time in the history of this organization that CSBD has been validated by a global gathering of clinicians. For many years Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSATs) have lobbied to include sex addiction as a formal diagnosis . . .

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Restoring the Wisdom of the Nervous System: Reducing the Vulnerability to Relapse from Sexual Addiction

Out of control sexual behavior creates an imbalanced nervous system. The anticipation and hunt for sex leaves you dysregulated, as you remain lost in the attempt to numb your pain and escape your feelings. Dysregulation describes the disruption of the nervous system: up-regulation refers to internal states such as panic or rage, and down-regulation refers to disconnection or shutting down.

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