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In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior Paperback – August 10, 2007
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--Kenneth M. Adams, PhD, clinical psychologist and author, Silently Seduced
"Very powerful. In the Shadows of the Net comes at a time when the need is great for understanding and exploring cybersex treatment possibilities."
--Ralph H. Earle, MDiv, PhD, president, Psychological Counseling Services, Ltd., and coauthor, Lonely All the Time
"A valuable road map for understanding and healing cybersex addictions."
--Wendy Maltz, MSW, author, The Sexual Healing Journey and coauthor, Private Thoughts
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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Top Customer Reviews
The difference between the person who occasionally enjoys erotica and the person who is addicted to pornography is like the difference between the moderate drinker and the alcoholic. Pornography addicts find themselves unable to moderate their use to the point where jobs and marriages are lost. While some sex therapists recommend the use of erotica to revive a couple's sex life, I have already encountered two people who got so addicted to pornography that they stopped having sex with their partners. In both cases the partners were reasonably attractive and receptive.
Carnes explains that pornography addicts are trying to recapture the intoxication of young love. Just as the heroin addict develops a tolerance to the drug and keeps increasing the dosage chasing the euphoria of the initial experience, the pornography addict finds an escalating need of more and more time online to reach the same high.
Carnes tells how to distinguish the recreational user of online porn from the compulsive user who finds it difficult, if not impossible, to control the use of the Internet for sexual activities. He estimates that there are about 20 million people in the latter category.
I imagine that pornography has been around in some form since humans learned to draw pictures. Although some people had life-ruining pornography addictions before the advent of the Internet, the problem has exploded in recent years. "As one Stanford researcher....observed, there are now people struggling with sexual compulsivity who never would have been if not for the internet, " notes Carnes in the preface to the 2001 edition of his book Out of the Shadows, and 40 per cent of these new addicts are women.
Besides providing an almost infinite source of sexual pictures and videos, the Internet makes possible real time virtual sex through the use of video chat. Users sometimes progress to actually meeting the people with whom they have been interacting online.
Carnes is empathetic to those struggling with pornography and sex addiction and offers theories as to why some are so vulnerable to it. Carnes is the director of Gentle Path, the treatment center where Tiger Woods was recently treated. He explains what kinds of individual and group treatment he has found helpful, and talks about options for partners of these addicts.
Instead the book suggests the 12-step method of changing your behavior, finding a sponsor - non-family to talk to about your problem, changing your computer habits to limit your privacy online, and working on your in-person live relationships so you don't need to find emotional fulfillment on the Internet alone.
The book was written in 2000, and revised in 2007, so some parts feel a little out of date in 2015 (the appendix still lists cassette tapes to listen to). However people are still the same, same problems, and the advice still rings valid.
If I had read this book a year earlier, I might have avoided a great deal of grief.