The Science behind Sex Addiction

I have always been very devoted to doing things well. So it was with some reservation (and even trepidation) that I decided to obtain formal training to become a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) a few years ago.  Reservation because I knew that the overriding view within the mental health field remains that there is no such thing as “sex addiction”.  It does not exist because it is not in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental health disorders (DSM 5) due to a lack of research.  Video gaming on the other hand, made it in last edition.   As I was already using some of Dr. Patrick Carnes’ materials to help those referred to me to the best of my ability, I decided to go ahead with learning more as helping my clients will always come first.  Since completing my CSAT training through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals, I am very glad to say that I am much more knowledgeable about this issue and how to be helpful.  Despite this, I often experience skepticism and criticism from medically trained  professionals that remains quite insulting and disheartening, especially considering the number of people who present with serious consequences of their sexually compulsive behavior.  I am very glad to say that many of my clients who have committed to changing their lives through the task based model developed by Dr. Carnes, report that they have managed to develop healthier coping skills and have learned not to use sex as a drug.  These individuals have found a new sense of pride and integrity.  They have stopped acting-out sexually in unhealthy and unproductive ways and have learned to form meaningful and intimate relationships.  There is clearly a need for more research in this field to dispel the myths and establish a solid base of evidence.  This important research is starting to occur.  Please read this article for more.