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March 25 , 2009

Treating Out of Control Sexual Behavior

Rethinking Sex Addiction


Out of control sexual behavior ñ referred to variously as "sex addiction", "sexual compulsivity", and "hypersexuality", among other terms, has been a controversial and attention-getting issue since it first captured both public and professional attention over 30 years ago. Previous discussions of this behavior have been grounded in conceptualizing it as a pathologized, medical issue on par with substance abuse addictions, or, in backlash, as simply irresponsible behavior indicating weakness in the individual.

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In keeping with the call from many leaders in the mental health and sexual health areas to move beyond these two polarized conceptualizations of these sexual behavior problems, the authors present a model for working with clients in both group and individual treatment settings. Based on their experience with hundreds of clients, this book provides a comprehensive and practical conceptualization of out of control sexual behavior framed as a sexual health problem within a larger model of human behavior, not a psychiatric or addictive disorder.

The book includes step-by-step tools for assessment, treatment planning as well as treatment implementation. It describes a process for professionals to guide clients to define and be accountable for their own personal vision of sexual health as the foundation on which they regain sexual behavior control. The authors provide rich and varied composite case examples based on 20 years of clinical experience that demonstrate clinician sexual health treatment conversations and tools, as well as stories of hope and guidance so essential to individuals wanting to understand how sexual health can be the essential ally in changing their sexual behavior.

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