This is my personal list of recommended reading material for the sex addict. These books focus on understanding sex addiction and going through the process of recovery.
I also highly encourage reading the books found in Understanding Your Partner. As important as it is for you to recover from your addiction, it is just as important to work on understanding the damage your actions had on your partner and what you can do to help your partner heal from your painful choices.
The basic text of the SAA fellowship, Sex Addicts Anonymous explains sex addiction from the SAA perspective and demonstrates, through examples, how sex addiction worsens over time. It describes the personal powerlessness and unmanageability of sex addiction, and the damage to personal relationships, livelihood, and physical health that is often caused by addictive behavior.
Sex Addicts Anonymous conveys a vision of hope for the addict through a recovery program based on the time-honored Twelve Steps that were initially proposed for alcoholics. A separate section of the book offers a variety of personal stories from individual members of the fellowship to illustrate the challenges and the hope of recovery.
These meditations guide us to the strength and courage within ourselves that is necessary to face the lingering shadows of sex addiction. With the inspiration and support unique to Hazelden meditation books, Answers in the Heart provides solace for the pain and inspiration for lasting recovery.
The twelve steps tap into the essential human process of change and will be regarded as one of the intellectual and spiritual landmarks in human history.–Patrick Carnes. It was out of his reverence and respect for the wisdom and therapeutic value of the Twelve Steps that Carnes wrote A Gentle Path through the Twelve Steps, now a recovery classic and self-help staple for anyone looking for guidance for life’s hardest challenges.Hundreds of thousands of people have found in this book a personal portal to the wisdom of the Twelve Steps. With updated and expanded concepts and a focus on the spiritual principles that lead to lifelong growth and fulfillment, Carnes’ new edition invites a fresh generation of readers to the healing and rewarding experience of Twelve Step recovery.
With the revised information and up-to-date research, Out of the Shadows is the premier work on sex addiction, written by a pioneer in its treatment.
Sex is at the core of our identities. And when it becomes a compulsion, it can unravel our lives.Out of the Shadows is the premier work on this disorder, written by a pioneer in its treatment. Revised and updated to include the latest research—and to address the exploding phenomenon of cybersex addiction—this third edition identifies the danger signs, explains the dynamics, and describes the consequences of sexual addiction and dependency. With practical wisdom and spiritual clarity, it points the way out of the shadows of sexual compulsion and back into the light and fullness of life.
As the Internet becomes a more powerful, imposing force in our lives, indeed becoming difficult to avoid, the potential for related problems also increases. This includes troubles of a sexual nature. When accessing porn no longer requires even a trip to the store, when we can view and participate in sexual activities anonymously, when younger and younger children are being exposed to sex online, when virtual interactions take over, limiting and even destroying real-time relationships, we are in crisis.Compulsive online sexual behavior is a real and growing problem. Yet the situation is not without hope.
For those who are seeing signs of significant online problems in themselves or a loved one, this updated second edition of In the Shadows of the Net provides answers, understanding, and tools for recovery. With the latest statistics, discussion of recent technologies and devices, and new thinking on developing a healthy relationship with the Internet and avoiding relapse, this book offers authoritative, professional advice for achieving lasting, healthy change and healing.
For all addicts, a moment comes when they realize they have a problem. There is sudden clarity—the insight that life has become unmanageable. That moment, however, is fragile. It is easily lost to craving and denial. People struggling with sex addiction find the old refrains creeping back into their thinking: My situation is different. . . . This will all blow over. . . . People are over-reacting to my behavior. Or, This is hopeless. I’m just too perverted to change.
“If any of those thoughts occur to you, you are exactly where you should be,” notes Dr. Patrick Carnes in the introduction to Facing the Shadow. Starting with those gentle words, he guides readers through a series of reflections and exercises that pierce denial and light the path to healing from sex addiction.
Facing the Shadow, used by thousands of therapists with their clients, is based on the thirty-task model of recovery from addiction that forms the basis of Carnes’s work. This newly revised and expanded edition takes readers through the first seven of those tasks, including specific performables that are built in to the exercises. The model also supports Twelve Step recovery programs.
Every day they face the possibility of destruction, risking their families, finances, jobs, dignity, and health. They come from all walks of life: ministers, physicians, therapists, politicians, executives, blue-collar workers. Most were abused as children–sexually, physically or emotionally–and saw addictive behavior in their early lives. Most grapple with other addictions as well, but their fiercest battle is with the most astounding prevalent “secret” disorder in America: sexual addiction. Here is a ground-breaking work by the nation’s leading professional expert on sexual addiction, based on the candid testimony of more than one thousand recovering sexual addicts in the first major scientific study of the disorder. This essential volume includes not only the revealing findings of Dr. Carne’s research with recovering addicts but also advice from the addicts and co-addicts themselves as they work to overcome their compulsive behavior. Positive, hopeful, and practical, Don’t Call It Love is a landmark book that helps us better understand all addictions, their causes, and the difficult path to recovery.
The number of affordable, easy links to pleasurable sexual online content is on the rise. Activity increases with the accessibility of technology. So, too, has sex addiction. People struggling with sex, porn, and love addiction typically have little understanding of this incredibly complicated disease. Sex Addiction 101 covers everything from what sexual addiction is and how it can best be treated, to how it affects various subgroups of the population such as women, gays, and teenagers. The book also provides sex addicts with strategies to protect themselves from the online sexual onslaught. Sex Addiction 101 is intended to enlighten the clinical population as well as actual sex addicts and their loved ones. Along with his mentor Patrick Carnes, Weiss has become the face of and driving force behind understanding and treating sex addiction; this book should be a core title in every addiction collection.
Sex Addiction 101: The Workbook presents 24 updated and highly refined exercises specifically designed to guide recovering sex addicts through the process of healing. It is intended for use in conjunction with Rob Weiss’s deeply informative full-length book, Sex Addiction 101: A Basic Guide to Healing from Sex, Love, and Porn Addiction. That more traditional book gives in-depth information about the nature, causes, and treatment of sexual addiction. Meanwhile, this workbook delivers concrete tasks and reflective questions designed to help recovering sex addicts establish and maintain sexual sobriety, and to live a more serene and fulfilling life. For simplicity and clarity, the exercises in this workbook are divided into five basic sections, each designed to walk recovering sex addicts through a different phase of healing.
Technology has significantly changed our world. Sexual imagery and encounters can now be accessed anywhere, anytime, using portable electronic devices. Users can generate a stream of graphic pornography, a wide variety of virtual sexual activities, and casual, anonymous, or paid-for sexual encounters with a click or a tap. Simply put, we have greater access to highly stimulating sexual content, and potential sexual partners, with much less built-in accountability. Porn addicts are especially vulnerable to the lure of digital technology and the seemingly endless array of stimulation it provides. Research suggests that cyber-porn addicts spend at least eleven or twelve hours per week online viewing porn.
Today, all forms of sex addiction are technology driven—from porn websites to webcams to casual sex hook-up apps found on smartphones. Sex addicts organize their lives around the pursuit of sexual activity with self or others, spending inordinate amounts of time viewing and masturbating to porn or planning, pursuing, and engaging in sex acts. At the same time, they neglect important relationships, work, and personal responsibilities. Overwhelming feelings of guilt, shame, and remorse invade when the acting out ends.
While it’s complicated, recovery is possible. Always Turned On shows readers how to turn those temptations off while providing practical long-term solutions for recovery.
Recovery from sexual addiction is difficult, possible, and worth the effort. Forest knows. He’s been there. Once shackled by shame and secrecy, sex addiction therapist Forest Benedict writes candidly about his personal recovery journey, sharing many science-based strategies for successful recovery. Life After Lust provides a clear recovery roadmap for men and women ready to embark on the heroic path from pain to purpose. All who seek a renewed vision for recovery will find help and hope within the pages of this book.
This book is a collection of letters that reveal the raw and intimate details of the life of a sex addict. It depicts a journey that starts at a turning point: Getting caught! Moving from pure denial through the recovery process to acceptance and beyond. A must-read for anyone cheating or being cheated on.
IN THIS INTENSELY PERSONAL MEMOIR, Staci Sprout offers a vulnerable account of her recovery journey from the painful world of sexual intrigue and addiction. She was an honors student and cheerleader, and later a talented young social worker, but her life had a dark twist even her closest friends didn’t suspect. Childhood sexual abuse and exposure to pornography had ignited a drive to be sexual that eventually threatened to unravel her sanity and her life. Desperate for relief, she tried psychotherapy, hypnotism, bodywork, and traditional and pagan spirituality. Nothing helped until a near-death experience became a turning point and she found her way into the rooms of 12-Step recovery for sex addiction. Staci’s story reveals what can happen when a woman refuses to give up in her fight for dignity and freedom. The wisdom that emerges will be both a roadmap and inspiration for anyone, male or female, who struggles with sexual addiction – and to their loved ones.
“One of the most compelling recovery stories I’ve read.” – CLAUDIA BLACK, PhD, author of Intimate Treason and It Could Never Happen to Me
“A bright gift of hope to individuals and couples impacted by sex addiction.” – DRS. BILL AND GINGER BERCAW, relationship columnists for The Huffington Post, authors of The Couple’s Guide to Intimacy
“Incredibly powerful. A much-needed voice for female sex addicts, who far too often are shamed into silence.” – ROBERT WEISS, LCSW, CSAT-S, author of Always Turned On: Sex Addiction in the Digital Age
“An instant recovery classic and a beautiful helping guide for anyone struggling with addictions.” – MARI LEE, LMFT, CSAT-S, author of Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts
From the television to the Internet, print media to videos, men are constantly faced with the assault of sensual images. It is impossible to avoid such temptations…but, thankfully, not impossible to rise above them. Shattering the perception that men are unable to control their thought lives and roving eyes, Every Man’s Battle shares the stories of dozens who have escaped the trap of sexual immorality and presents a practical, detailed plan for any man who desires sexual purity-perfect for men who have fallen in the past, those who want to remain strong today, and all who want to overcome temptation in the future.
Sexual addiction is a problem that affects millions of people. Maureen Canning, LMFT, who has extensive experience treating sex addicts, explains its roots and how those afflicted can recover. This book also explains the poisonous childhood seeds that lead to public scandals like the revelations involving former congressman Mark Foley.
Canning shows how compulsions are the product of early childhood abuse and how patterns, from the most violent to the most commonplace, develop. She explains that the overriding emotion sexually addicted people feel towards the partners with whom they seek intimacy is anger turned into sexuality, or “sexualized anger.” This yields a false sense of security and power, an “aggressive tendency,” which destroys any chance of a healthy relationship. Lust, Anger, Love offers a comprehensive and enlightening look at the origins of these little discussed behaviors and maps out a plan for recovery.
In this revised and updated version of Facing Love Addiction, bestselling author of Facing Codependence and internationally recognized dependence and addiction authority Pia Mellody unravels the intricate dynamics of unhealthy love relationships and shows us how to let go of toxic love. Through twelve-step work, exercises, and journal-keeping, Facing Love Addiction compassionately and realistically outlines the recovery process for Love Addicts, and Mellody’s fresh perspective and clear methods work to comfort and motivate all those looking to establish and maintain healthy, happy relationships.
In the journey to sexual sobriety, many sex addicts find themselves wondering, ‘How am I going to have a normal relationship?’ or ‘Will it be possible to repair my marriage now that I’ve confessed my destructive behavior?’ and ‘Will I ever have great sex again?’
As a sex, marriage, and family therapist, Alexandra Katehakis introduces a successful program for sufferers and their loved ones that will help them hone their erotic intelligence by making sense of the past, creating healthy habits in the present, and looking toward a more intimate relationship that nurtures honesty and closeness. With Katehakis’s help, sex addicts can get in touch with their healthy sexual side―and embrace true intimacy and acceptance in themselves and in their mates.
– Features true stories of people coming to terms with their sexuality on the other side of sex addiction, as well as couples finding a new path to sexual trust and fulfillment
– Helps to build the four cornerstones of intimacy that are essential for healthy relationships
An astonishing new science called “neuroplasticity” is overthrowing the centuries-old notion that the human brain is immutable. In this revolutionary look at the brain, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Norman Doidge, M.D., provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they’ve transformed. From stroke patients learning to speak again to the remarkable case of a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, The Brain That Changes Itself will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.