Working the Steps for Love Addicts

For love addicts, finding balance in life can be a struggle. Understanding and respecting one’s own boundaries requires that one has a knowledge of themselves and their limits, and also, an honesty regarding the unmanageability that love addiction and toxic relationships can cause.

Entering a 12-step program such as SLAA (Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous) can be a very important part of the recovery work from love addiction. Modeled after the 12 steps of AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), the 12 steps for recovery from love addiction look similar, with just a few differences that address the addiction specifically.

Working the steps has many benefits; among them, developing new ways of relating to others and new choices of how to be in the world. Prior to working a 12-step program, we may have found ourselves attracted only to other love addicts or other love avoidants. When we work the steps, we learn to love ourselves, and in turn, select more functional partners for relationships.

Sometimes initially in SLAA, we may be asked to refrain from being involved in a romantic relationship. This is to help us do important work on ourselves without the distraction that a relationship can bring with it. Working a solid program in SLAA can help us to become aware of the ways that we as love addicts create chaos and intensity, often mistaking these qualities for genuine intimacy. Having the time and space to begin learning how to be truly intimate can start with learning how to be authentically intimate with ourselves.

Working on unrealistic expectations about others can also be an important part of our recovery from love addiction. While working the steps, we might find ourselves reviewing our pasts; that is, examining our family of origin and making the discovery that we did not get some crucial emotional needs met in childhood. That can translate to bringing those unresolved feelings into our adult relationships, and re-enacting painful childhood experiences, in the hopes of creating a different outcome from the one we experienced in our past.

One very important part of this work is coming to the realization that other adults cannot fulfill unresolved childhood needs, and cannot be expected to love us unconditionally like a parent would. This is a need that we can only fulfill for ourselves. While it can be a painful realization to acknowledge that others can’t heal our past emotional wounds, new growth can be achieved through confronting our codependency and learning how to function interdependently, rather than relying on others for what we can only supply to ourselves. In recovery, we come to have realistic expectations about others, and we own our parts in relational interactions.

People who struggle with intimacy issues can benefit greatly from getting support. A solid relationship with a skilled therapist trained in love & sex addiction can help guide the individual through this process. At Center For Healthy Sex (www.centerforhealthysex.com), we offer individual, group and intensive therapy programs to effectively address sex addiction, love addiction and intimacy issues.

Scientists discover new stress neuropathway

Everyone experiences some kind of stress in their lives but traumatic stress impacts some people more than others. It seems that some people are more susceptible to the impact of stress on the brain, creating anxiety or depressive disorders.  Sex addicts, and sometimes their partners, can suffer from both anxiety or depression or both due to childhood trauma.

Here is an excerpt from the study:

“The study found that the emotional centre of the brain – the amygdala – reacts to stress by increasing production of a protein called neuropsin. This triggers a series of chemical events which in turn cause the amygdala to increase its activity. As a consequence, a gene is turned on that determines the stress response at a cellular level.”

To read the article, go to:

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/222991.php#bXpulseX

Alternatives to the sex addiction model

Bill Hearing in Atlanta, Georgia has written a terrific article in order to reach people who don’t get the help they need because they resist the word “addict”.  He writes, “It seems to me that there are only a
few other words they can use, and each carries its own profound implication
that people often choose to overlook, generally to their own detriment.”

To read this article, click on the link below and let us know what you think.

http://billherring.info/atlanta_counseling/alternatives-to-the-sex-addiction-model

Story of a “dark marriage”- living with a sex addict

Sally Ryder Brady reveals a life of abuse in her marriage to an alcoholic and sex addict.   This memoir, written by a widow who discovered, upon her husband’s death after almost 50 years of marriage, that he had a double life, affairs with men and gay porn, and he was $70 thousand dollars in debt.  The memoir is about her reflecting back on her life and trying to figure out “what do I know that I didn’t know I knew until now?”  Her husband, a well-regarded editor of Atlantic Monthly, was an emotionally abusive alcoholic and she of course, had grown up in an abusive family, making her a primary candidate to marry an addict.

To read more in-depth reviews of the book and to order the book, go to the link below:

http://www.amazon.com/box-darkness-story-marriage/dp/B004JBR1XA

Females can be sex addicts too!

A recent article in Marie Claire Magazine talks about how sex addiction affects females.  I believe women get caught in a neuro-hormonal roller coaster where they chase sex for love hoping to meet “the one.” Take a look at this well-written article. Female sex Addiction Treatment Los Angeles

http://www.marieclaire.com/sex-love/relationship-issues/articles/women-sex-addicts


Female sex and love addiction

Women have a lot of difficulty getting the courage to reach out and get the help they need when it comes to problematic sexual behaviors.  A the Center for Healthy Sex, we’re committed to helping women talk about and heal from these issues without shame.

To learn more about this problem, take a look at this article I co-wrote with Caroline Frost of CHS

recoveryview.com/2010/09/understanding-female-sex-addiction/

Let us know what you think by clicking the comment button below.

What is Erotic Intelligence?

What is erotic intelligence?  The word erotic means the “deliberate seeking of pleasure” and the word intelligence means the “skilled use of reason.”  Therefore, erotic intelligence means the deliberate seeking of pleasure using skilled reasoning.

Sex addicts deliberately seek pleasure, yet do so  without the skilled use of reason.  I wrote Erotic Intelligence: Igniting Hot Healthy Sex While in Recovery from Sex Addiction as a guide to assist individuals in sexual recovery to skillfully move towards healthy, intimate, and erotic sex.

To read portions of each chapter of the book, go to the following site:

http://www.thecenterforhealthysex.com/eroticintelligence/book/



Sex Addiction: Polarity of the Body and Mind – Free CEU Course at CHS July 9

Join me, Alex Katehakis, MFT, CSAT-S, CST, and Lance Tango, MA for coffee and pastry as we take a Jungian perspective on sex addiction at the Center for Healthy Sex on July 9.  Lance and I will look at the polarity of the body and mind, meaning we will examine how sex addicts split off and compartmentalize so they can act out sexually with a high level of denial and dissociation.

Click here to register: douglas@thecenterforhealthysex.com or CALL 310-843-9902

When: Friday July 9, 2010 9:30-11:00am

Where: Center for Healthy Sex, Los Angeles

Cost: Free!

Click here to register: douglas@thecenterforhealthysex.com or CALL 310-843-9902

We look forward to seeing you there!!


Behavioral Health & Addictive Disorders Conference – Newport Beach, CA

Join me, Claudia Black, Dan Amen, John Bradshaw, and may others from June 17-19 in Newport Beach, California for this cutting-edge, informative conference! Sex Addiction Treatment Los Angeles

I will be presenting  information from my new book, “Erotic Intelligence” and talking about the effects of early childhood attachment patterns on sexual addiction.

Come to my book signing and say “hello!”  I look forward to seeing you there.

Anit-gay activist accused of sexual liason with male prostitute

It’s becoming more and more common today to hear about sexual scandals of the rich and famous or political leaders.  While there’s no way to know whether or not George Alan Rekers, an anti-gay activist,  is a sex addict, the allegations in this article illustrate the gross compartmentalization that sex addicts have to have in order to live double lives. Sex Addiction Los Angeles

Check out the details by clicking on this link:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126539946&sc=17&f=1001

Let us know what you think by clicking the comment button below