Understanding Porn & Sex Addiction
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Understanding Porn & Sex Addiction

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How to understand and diagnose sex addiction and porn addiction.

How to understand and diagnose sex addiction and porn addiction.

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  • I liked this a lot. Well done; even lay person could understand what was said on slides. Added to my understanding of sexual addiction. I concur with getting supervision if you are not familiar with sexual addiction, and not going to trauma too soon as the root cause. Many men have left because they could not handle the emotions that this brought up. I plan to use this material with some of the men I sponsor in SAA. Steve S.
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  • A minimum of three criteria must be met, however, most addicts have five, and over half, have seven or more Criterion 1 : Recurrent failure to resist sexual impulses in order to engage in specific sexual behaviors Criterion 2 : Frequently engaging in those behaviors to a greater extent, or over a longer period of time than intended Criterion 3 : Persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to stop, reduce, or control those behaviors Criterion 4: Inordinate amounts of time spent in obtaining sex, being sexual or recovering from sexual experiences Criterion 5 : Preoccupation with sexual behavior or preparatory activities Criterion 6: Frequent engaging in the behavior when expected to fulfill occupational, academic, domestic or social obligations Criterion 7 : Continuation of the behavior despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent social, financial, psychological, or physical problem that is caused or exacerbated by the behavior Criterion 8: The need to increase the intensity, frequency, number, or risk level of behaviors in order to achieve the desired effect; or diminished effect with continued behaviors at the same level of intensity, frequency, number, or risk Criterion 9: Giving up or limiting social, occupational, or recreational activities because of the behavior. Criterion 10: Distress, anxiety, restlessness, or irritability if unable to engage in the behavior

Understanding Porn & Sex Addiction Understanding Porn & Sex Addiction Presentation Transcript

  • Untangling the Web: Treating Sex and Porn Addiction
    • Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT
    • Executive Director
    • The Sexual Recovery Institute
    • www.sexualrecovery.com
  • What Do These Men Have In Common?
    • Fmr. President Bill Clinton
    • Fmr. Senator Larry Craig
    • Fmr. Governor Elliot Spitzer
    • They are men whose sexual behavior MORTALLY WOUNDED their ability to lead ... but what if their problem had been drinking or drugs e.g Patrick Kennedy?
  • Our Typical Client
    • 38 year old married working male
    • Wife found extensive porn or hook-ups in computer - says get help or you’re out.
    • Married 7-10 years
    • One or more children under age 6
    • Acted out with sex prior to marriage, then slowed or stopped - never informed wife
    • Why did he return to acting out?
  • Sex Addiction is Not
    • A Moral or Religious Stance
    • A Symptom of Underlying Axis I Illness
    • Fun
    • Same Sex Interest or Activity
    • Sexual Offending
    • Fetish / Paraphilia
    • Sociopathy
    • Crystal Meth Addiction
    • The End of a Relationship
  • Sex addiction can be…
    • A Stand Alone Diagnosis
  • The Diagnosis Follows the Characteristics of All Addictions
    • Criteria for assessing Sex Addiction closely parallels guidelines for assessing Substance Dependency, Alcoholism, and Compulsive Gambling:
      • Loss of control
      • Continuation despite adverse consequences
      • Obsession or preoccupation
    • The presence of all three criteria operationally defines addiction to any drug or behavior
  • Typical Sex Addict Behaviors
    • Compulsive Use of Porn (with or without masturbation)
    • Anonymous Sex (met online or in sex clubs etc.)
    • Adult Bookstores and Strip Clubs
    • Sexual Exchange (i.e. Drugs or Favors for Sex)
    • Prostitutes and Massage Parlors
    • Cruising, Intriguing, Objectifying, Seduction
    • Boundary Violations, Sexual Harassment
    • Multiple Affairs / Anonymous Infidelity
    • Abusing Power Relationships for Sex - Predatory
  • Criteria for Sex Addiction
    • Three out of ten…
    1. Recurrent failure to resist sexual impulses in order to engage in specific sexual behaviors 2. Engaging in behaviors longer than intended (losing time) 3. Desire or unsuccessful efforts to stop, reduce, or control type or frequency of behavior. 4. Inordinate amounts of time 5. Preoccupation with sexual behavior or preparatory activities 6. Engaging in behavior when expected to fulfill occupational, academic, domestic or social obligations 7. Continuation despite persistent social, financial, psychological, physical, legal or health problems 8. Need to increase intensity, frequency in order to achieve desired effect 9. Reduction or loss of social, occupational, recreational or spiritual activities— sex more important 10. Distress, anxiety, restlessness, or irritability if unable to engage in the behavior
  • Addicted to sex?
    • Increased Heart Rate
    • Shallow Breathing
    • Perspiration- palms, underarms, etc.
    • Reduced Intellectual Functioning
    • “Rush” or “Intensity” Feeling
  • Substances of Mood
    • Serotonin
    • Dopamine
    • Adrenaline
    • Endorphins
    • Oxytocin “the cuddle chemical”
  • ADDICTS CALL IT…
    • The Bubble
    • The Trance
    • Spaced Out
    • Think ...
    • Dissociative State
    • Mood Alteration
    • Trauma
  • In 12-Step Language ...
    • POWERLESS!
  • Sex Addiction is not about sex, it’s about the search for sex and desire for orgasm. It’s a ‘ process ’ addiction.
  • Sexual Addiction Symptoms in Residential or Outpatient Clients
    • In the Client’s Behavior
    • Seductive Dress (especially after it is pointed out)
    • Seeking out “special relationships” with other attractive clients or staff for advice, friendship and direction
    • Giving “the stare”.
    • History of CD relapse – especially females
    • Encouraging Dependency as a form of seduction
    • Sneaking Porn into treatment - sharing porn in treatment.
    • Consistent sexual references in jokes and conversation
    • Consistent sexual objectification.
    • Lack of empathy about how their sexual behavior affects others.
    • Having sex while in treatment
  • Sexual Addiction Symptoms in Residential or Outpatient Clients
        • In the Client’s History
    • Multiple abortions (females), multiple STDs (both sexes)
    • Previous arrest or major life consequences related to sex
    • Drugs/Alcohol used to help tolerate or enhance sex
    • History of previous sexual acting out in treatment
    • Drug use fused with sexual behavior
    • Multiple past failed relationships due to affairs or infidelity
    • Chronic or Compulsive Masturbation
  •  
  • What makes online sex so popular and so exciting?
    • ACCESSIBILITY
    • AFFORDABILITY
    • ANONYMITY
    Adapted from the “Triple-A Engine” Al Cooper PhD. 1998
  • Online sexual content, chats and interaction has forced us to reassess sexuality in our culture. For example, today what do you consider to be…
    • Infidelity?
  • Cybersex Addiction/Compulsivity: Range of Online Sexual Activities in 1999 ...
    • View and download pornography with or without masturbation
    • Visit sexually-oriented chat rooms to voyeur or hook up with someone
    • Exchange sexually explicit e-mails
    • Belong to online sex clubs, sex organizations or hooker review sites
    • Engage in real-time one-on-one masturbation
    • Plan ahead to sexually act out on the road
    • Offender / Predator Behaviors
    • Hire prostitutes to perform live sexual acts on command
    • View and download illegal or deviant sexual images
    • And in 2009..
    • All of the above, only faster. on cell phones, laptops, social networking (yelp, twitter etc.) and don’t forget SEXTING
    • What’s the big deal It’s just a guy thing…
  • Consequences of Compulsive Cybersex
    • Loss of time for work, family, recreation
    • Family violence / relationship loss
    • Loss of job because of cybersex at work
    • Guilt and shame due to keeping secrets
    • Decreased interest in sex with spouse
    • Increased preoccupation with sex
    • Increased overall sexual objectification
    • Children potentially exposed to porn
    • Increased interest in deviant sex
    • Potential arrest for illegal online sex
    • Escalation to off-line sex
    • ...Spouses and Partners
    And now a word or two about ...
  • Treatment is the Reclaiming of Reality
  • Please find a partner to your left or right, decide which of you will ask questions and who will answer and then ask the following:
    • 1- How often you drink alcohol and how much do you drink.
    • 2- How often you masturbate and what fantasies you use when doing masturbating?
    • 3- How often do you pay for sex ...
  • Initial Sexual Addiction Treatment is ...
    • Cognitive Behavioral and Task Oriented
  • Initial Focus of Sex Addiction Treatment
    • Stop the acting out ASAP by making contracts and plans
    • Confronting denial and teach relapse prevention
    • Carefully reviewing a sexual history -
    • Providing Appropriate Tasks and Interventions
    • Spouse, job & family crisis resolution
    • Shame reduction
    • Holding the client accountable!
    • 12-step, therapy or faith-based group referral
  • And Sexual Sobriety is…
    • A clear and well defined written plan
    • Based on client goals
    • Mutually agreed upon
    • Signed
    • Sobriety plans are behavioral in nature
    • Sobriety plans flow from the goals of the client
    • Doesn’t change without prior agreement
  • Simple Sexual Sobriety Plan
    • List of Behaviors I Want to Stop
    • A
    • B
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • List of Behaviors I Want to Add
    • A
    • B
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
  • Treatment Error
    • Inadequate or poorly detailed history— (Not asking about prior arrests/offending behaviors etc.
    • Unfamiliarity with resources (porn blockers, 12-step)
    • Normalizing problematic sexual behavior
    • Initially employing Psycho-dynamic, Analytic, Jungian and other non-cognitive behavioral method
    • Not identifying triggers, patterns, rituals and behavioral escape methods (relapse prevention planning)
    • Focusing too early on trauma
  • Treatment Error
    • Not addressing the sexual behavior as the primary initial treatment focus
    • Not properly understanding and/or pathologizing the depth of the betrayal, grief, loss and rage of the partners and spouses
    • NOT HOLDING CLIENTS ACCOUNTABLE
    • Not getting supervision / consultation
    • Not utilizing 12-step programs, faith based support groups, group therapy and psycho-education
    • Not processing countertransference.
  • 12-step Groups for Sexual Addicts and Partners
    • Partner Support
    • S-Anon
    • Alanon
    • COSA
    • CODA
    • RCA - Couples
    • Sex Addict Support
    • SAA
    • SA
    • SCA
    • SLAA-Women
    • SRA
  • Treatment and Training Information
    • The Sexual Recovery Institute www.sexualrecovery.com
    • IITAP - International Institute for Trauma, and Addiction Professionals
    • www.iitap.com
    • SASH - The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health
    • www.sash.net
  •  
  • Untangling the Web: Treating Sex and Porn Addiction
    • Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT
    • Executive Director
    • The Sexual Recovery Institute
    • www.sexualrecovery.com