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False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction (LifeChange) Paperback – July 1, 1997

4.4 out of 5 stars 62 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

WHY ARE SEXUAL TEMPTATIONS SO HARD TO RESIST WHEN THE PRICE IS SO HIGH? We all long for true intimacy. Many people seek to fill that void by seeking sexual relationships-whether real or fantasized-that promise to provide the relief, acceptance, and fulfillment for which they long. But it is false intimacy. And as Dr. Harry Schaumburg points out, “Sexual intimacy can’t relieve their deep, unmet longings.” False Intimacy goes beyond behavioral symptoms and willpower-based solutions to provide biblical guideposts for the journey to restoration. With frank honesty, False Intimacy examines the roots behind these kinds of behaviors and offers realistic direction to those whose lives or ministries have been impacted by sexual addiction.

About the Author

Harry W. Schaumburg, MA, MS, DMin, LMFT is the founder and Executive Director of Stone Gate Resources, Inc., a ministry specializing in helping people caught in the bondage of sexual sin through Brief Intensive Counseling. It is this pioneering program that has drawn nearly 2500 laity and clergy from the U.S. and seventeen foreign countries. The program operates at its own facility, Stone Gate, a private counseling retreat center located in Colorado. For over twenty-nine years, Dr. Schaumburg has been involved in programs designed to point people away from sexual sin to restored intimacy with God and others. He is the author of False Intimacy: Understanding the Struggle of Sexual Addiction published in 1991, the first biblical book on the subject. He also frequently travels doing seminars on the subject of restoring sexual purity. He has been married to Rosemary for thirty-nine years and has two adult sons, Aaron and Nathan.
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Product Details

  • Series: LifeChange
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: NavPress; Revised ed. edition (July 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1576830284
  • ISBN-13: 978-1576830284
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,171 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have been denying my problem with sexual addiction for 35 years. False Intimacy has not only shown me my denial, but pointed me toward true intimacy with God as the starting point for having close relationships with other people. The book contains the clearest thinking I have ever heard on the subject of trusting God. If you are an addict, think you might be, or are just unsure about what it means to have a close/intimate relationship with God and with your spouse, you need to get this book.
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Format: Paperback
I've been reading various books and Internet resources about sexual sin and addiction -- this one demonstrates far more appreciation of the deep complexities and mysteries of the spiritual aspects of this issue. There's not even a hint of the kind of cheap, quick fix that some other books claim. Along with that, Schaumberg's emphasis on our willingness and ability to accept the nature of this world earned my respect. I highly recommend it to those who are looking for understanding in a spiritual context. For obvious reasons, I'm posting this anonymously, but I want readers of this review to recognize that they probably already know people who are quietly struggling too, so I'll identify myself as a successful high-tech executive, often speaking in public and in the news. In the high-tech culture, our technology makes sexual materials so easy to obtain; our stress makes it tempting indeed.
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Format: Paperback
After struggling with sexual addiction since age 19, I had experienced most all the disappointments in life, including job loss, career ending acts of compulsive behavior, loss of friends, divorce and even arrest. I read Harry's first book after being confronted with an act of voyeurism. I was especially struck to the core of my heart and conscience by his profound, yet quite simple, approach to bringing the addict to the point of compliance with God and His design for redeemed men. It was on a Sunday afternoon in October, 1995, that I was reading this book. In the back of False Intimacy, I noticed Harry's counseling advertisements. I was desperate and needed help, not only for my own sanity, but for the saving of my marriage. Just 2 weeks later, I went with my wife to a 5-day Intensive Counseling course at Harry's offices in Colorado Springs, CO. " Very intense" is hardly the phrase to describe it. Harry made me realize that I was a very shallow and ho! llow person. The bottom line is that we Christian men have a reluctance to initiate and maintain an intimate relationship with God. I had a lot to work out, and I am still working my way out of sexual addiction and experiencing increasing sobriety from this sinful lifestye. Harry is a talented, qualified professional, whose writings get to the core of the problem, from a spiritual perspective, because that is wherein the problem lies--sex addicts have a sin problem, which only God, according to Harry, can rectify. I recommend this book to men in the Church, especially, who struggle with this area. Thanks, Harry, I am hanging in there.
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Format: Paperback
You don't have to be sexually "addicted" to benefit from this book. Most of the men that I know, (including myself) struggle with sexual fantasies, temptations to lust, etc. but do not fit the clinical definition of being sexually "addicted." Yet our sexual struggles serve a function in a dysfunctional way. We long for intimacy and deep meaninguful connection, yet we tend to be terrified of it at the same time. Real connection makes us too vulnerable! So it becomes easy to retreat to the safe world of sexual fantasy. Harry's book calls us to face into the heart of our sexual problems, which is our own hearts. Real intimacy (including sexual intimacy) is wonderful, frightening, scary, confusing and frustratingly fleeting at times, but it is worth it. Harry's book should be required reading in all church men's groups and seminaries.
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Format: Paperback
I recommend "False Intimacy" more than other books to those men who are battling the behavior of sexual addiction, but who also desperately want change at the source of the struggle and not just in the expression of the struggle (although that is critical). Dr. Schaumburg does the best job that I've seen of exploring the actual motivational power of sexual addiction, which in the end is not essentially sexual. He also has an excellent chapter for the spouse of the sex addict and another regarding marriage in this context. Few books on this subject adequately expose what is really going on below the behavioral and psychological patterns, but there will be no meaningful freedom at a heart level without facing what ultimately fuels the shame and acting-out cycle. Clearly this is a more complex and less popular approach (that's probably why so few books go there), but any other approach to this problem seems to me like "bringing a knife to a gun fight." I recommend this book and the journey it invites the reader to take in their soul - whether a sex addict or not.
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Format: Paperback
The author holds a strongly Christian-based approach to treatment of sex addiction. In many ways, this perspective is not wholly incompatible with 12-step approaches, although he makes only passing, and not entirely favorable reference to SA, SLAA, etc. He speaks from an obviously seasoned vantage point as an experienced clinician, and his work seems particularly geared toward members of the ministry who present themselves for treament of sexually compulsive behaviors. He holds most Christians to task for faulty beliefs, and he's not afraid to pull punches: "Ron admitted his adultery........'And you deserve to die for this!' I added." This was said in a calculated manner to remove all ego defenses from an addict and co-addict spouse, and in lesser hands such a style could lead to devastating results. Schaumberg obviously knows what he's doing, although his logic is not carried convincingly in places, ("Human remorse is actually subtle rebellion against God") and seems poorly applicable to non-Christians. But for those to whom it's directed, this book will serve where more secular readings (Carnes, et. al.) won't reach. Christian sex addicts will also find the various books of Doug Weiss to be useful.
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