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Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction Paperback – May 23, 2001
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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"We recommend Patrick Carnes's Out of the Shadows...to every sex addict and codependent we treat...This (book provides) a tremendously powerful experience, helping both sex addicts and codependents realize that they are not alone and not destined to eternally be at the mercy of the disease."
--Dr. Ralph Earle and Dr. Gregory Crow, Lonely All the Time
"Out of the Shadows has become a guidebook for sufferers and counselors alike."
--Roda Salter, Keene Sentinel
About the Author
Patrick J. Carnes, PhD, is an internationally known authority and speaker on addiction and recovery issues. He has authored over twenty books including the bestselling titles Out of the Shadows: Understanding Addiction Recovery, Betrayal Bond, Don't Call It Love, The Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps and The Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles.Dr. Carnes' research provides the architecture for the "task model" of treating addictions that is used by thousands of therapists worldwide and many well-known treatment centers, residential facilities, and hospitals. He founded IITAP (International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals), which provides CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) training and certification as well as cutting-edge information for addiction professionals. Dr. Carnes currently serves as a Senior Fellow and Executive Director for the Gentle Path Program at The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona.For more information on his work and contributions: www.patrickcarnes.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter: @drpatrickcarnes.
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Carnes also deals with the sex addicts underlying dynamics such as a faulty self-image, and believing that sex is their most important need. Carnes describes how some addicts appear grandiose and full of exaggerated self-importance to create a front of "normalcy," and hide their addiction and poor self-esteem. He says the addict's family and friends often become angry and frustrated with the addict's "egocentricity" and insensitivity to others. Since guilt and remorse cannot be expressed the addict may become progressively more isolated and unreachable as they close off their vulnerability.
Carnes states that since the addict feels unloved and unlovable they have little confidence in the love of others and become calculating, manipulative and ruthless. They are purposely unclear about their intentions in relationship and are seductive in their behavior. Addicts also have a high need to control all situations in an effort to guarantee their sexual supply and ensure all possible sexual opportunities.
To get help Carnes recommends SA's 12 Step Program. He says the Program helps the addict to, "separate themselves as individuals from their addiction which, as a powerful illness, is destroying their lives. By admitting the addictions power, hope emerges from connecting with others and Higher Power. The fellowship of the Program surrounds participants with people who have suffered in the same way. They no longer feel unique. They trust and are trusted with personal secrets."
Carnes says the Program teaches the addict that they do not need the addiction to survive, but will need the Program because of the addictions power. When the addict recognizes how powerless and unmanageable they are over their addiction, they start to live a life which focuses on human relationships as opposed to sex.
Carnes points out how members of the Program continue to learn about the process through teaching others. He says sex addicts can become responsive and responsible members of the human community.
There is no evidence that 12-Step programs work any better than any other type of behavioral intervention. As Dr.Carnes must know, there is much evidence that they don't work at all and that there is an extremely high failure rate for all 12-Step programs. The concept that God will fix it, that you are powerless, that by turning it over to the ever-popular "higher power" will make everything better...I can't believe that a man of Dr.Carnes' education would suggest that ANY behavior or addiction treatment could benefit from such nonsensical concepts. Additionally, calling sex and love addition a disease is inappropriate and untrue. Cancer is a disease. Alcoholism is a disease. Sex and love addiction is a learned, acquired and adopted habit/behavior. While I believe the book offers very real life examples of the damage this behavior can do, it gives false hope to people by suggesting that by starting a 12-Step program, a program with such a long history of lies, deceit and failure, they can change their behavior and their lives.
I realize all meetings aren't the same, but the 12-Steps they're based on are, and there is much evidence to suggest that this method of recovery is, at best, flawed.
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1. Easy to read
2. Authored by a Ph.D.