Helpful Resources for Pornography Addictions and Other Problematic Sexual Behaviors

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A. For Individuals Struggling with Problematic Sexual Behaviors

Cybersex Unhooked: A Workbook for Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior (2001)David L. Delmonico, Elizabeth Griffin & Joseph Moriarity.  Gentle Path Press, Wickenburg, AZ.

 

This workbook is acompanion to In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior (2001).  The book is well-laid out and has a professional tone throughout.  The approach is holistic in that it takes into consideration one's stage of change, level of self-awareness, relapse prevention, triggers, psychological defenses, relationship patterns and lifestyle factors.  The workbook also goes into quite a bit of detail as to why sexual behavior online is problematic. 

Healing from Sexual Addiction (2004). Mark Laaser. Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  

 

This book is written from the perspective of a recovered addict and Christian.  It is an excellent resource for clinicians, clergy, and people struggling with sexual addiction alike.  The book offers fresh insights into family dynamics that may contribute to one's vulnerability to sexual addictions.  Christian principles, aspects of the problem, treatment issues and suggestions for searching for a qualified clinician who treats sexual addictions are well-handled.  There is a detailed resource listing at the back, as well as a chapter devoted specifically to clergy who are struggling with this problem themselves. 

In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior (2001), Patrick Carnes, David L. Delmonico & Elizabeth Griffin.  Hazelden, Center City, MN.

 

The book isauthored by well-reputed leaders in the field of sexual addictions.  The book provides a good overview of problematic sexual behavior, and although not obvious to a lay reader, is rooted in solid social science research.  Although the book is more directed toward those with addictions, there is an excellent chapter toward the end of the book for spouses of addicts.  The book also provides several self-assessments and an excellent resource list at the back. 

B. For Spouses

After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner has been Unfaithful (1994), Janis Abrams Spring. Harper Collins Publishers.

 

Although this book is not written with sexual addictions specifically in mind, it is an excellent resource for couples that have experienced sexual addiction as a form of infidelity and betrayal.  Janis Abrams Spring is a nationally renowned expert in the field of infidelity and she offers an excellent blend of case studies ,ideas for restoring trust, and hope for affected couples.

Discussing Pornography Problems with a Spouse: Confronting and Disclosing Secret Behaviors (2002 & 2005), Rory C. Reid & Dan Gray. Mental Health Publications, Salt Lake City, UT.

 

This booklet has several advantages: it is very readable, affordable, and addresses an often neglected area of problematic sexual behavior, namely the impact on spouses. This book will help normalize the complex response spouses have to a disclosure or discovery of this problem and offer suggestions for tackling the tough conversations that follow. 

How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive, the Freedom Not To (2004), Janis Abrams Spring.  Harper Collins Publishing, New York, NY.

 

This book tackles an abstract subject (forgiveness) in a refreshingly concrete and structured way.  The author draws from her 20+ years as a therapist who specializes in infidelity and wades through the complexities of trust, apologies and forgiveness in a refreshing, helpful and applicable way.  The book addresses the role of the offender and hurt party in forgiveness.  The section on what a good apology looks like has been particularly helpful with couples, and especially men who want to rebuild trust but don't know where to start.  Plenty of case examples support each point and the layout of the book helps break down a historically tricky subject that is steeped in religious paradigms.

Infidelity on the Internet: Virtual Relationships and Real Betrayal (2001), Marlene M. Maheu & Rona B. Subotnik. Sourcebooks Inc., Naperville, Illinois. 

 

This book is ideal for someone who is naïve about problematic sexual behavior and needs an appropriate source of reliable information regarding what the problem can consist of, the technological jargon that riddles 'cybersex' activities, and the effect this type of problem typically has on a relationship.  I suspect many of the case examples will be difficult to read for those who are brand new to this issue because they will be tempted to wonder if their partner engaged in the types of behaviors and conversations outlined.  The latter part of the book explores aspects of recovery and the role loved ones can play in successful treatment.   

Living with Your Husband's Secret Wars (1999), Marsha Means. Fleming H. Revell, Grand Rapids, MI. 

 

This book is frequently recommended to me by spouses I interviewed for research purposes, as well as women I work with in group therapy.  It is an excellent resource for female clients who are in a marriage where a problem sexual behavior exists. The book normalizes women's responses to this form of infidelity and outlines many concepts that are used in group therapy with this population (codependency, boundaries, self-care, self-esteem, forgiveness and support networks).

The Dance of Intimacy (1989), Harriet G. Lerner.  Harper & Row, New York, NY.  

Dr. Lerner anchors her perspectives in family systems theory and yet makes her work very readable and accessible for the lay reader.  This book is catered to female audiences and will assist readers in clarifying their role/position in key relationships and how to communicate 'tough stuff' in non-reactive, assertive ways.  The book addresses family of origin issues as they pertain to communication patterns and how anxiety is managed in family systems.  For several years this has been a favourite book to recommend to clients.

The Drug of the New Millennium: The Science of How Internet PornographyRadically Alters the Human Brain and Body (2001), Mark B. Kastleman,Granite Publishing, Orem, UT.

This book has been very popular with the public and is endorsed by respected clinicians and researchers.  This book can assist people in understanding why pornography consumption can be so problematic from a variety of angles.  This book also introduces a biological argument into an arena that is typically dominated by moral, religious, or clinical views on this issue.  There is an excellent reading list at the back of the book.  The insights into the pornography industry, the steps spouses can take, and the insights and phases of recovery fit with my clinical observations and client learning.  

C. For Therapists & Support Networks

Infidelity on the Internet: Virtual Relationships and Real Betrayal (2001), Marlene M. Maheu & Rona B. Subotnik. 

This book is ideal for someone who knows little about problematic sexual behavior and needs an appropriate source of reliable information regarding what the problem can consist of, the technological jargon that riddles 'cybersex' activities and aspects or recovery that clinicians would do well to cover.  The first half of the book is a good resource for clinicians who want to understand this presenting issue better.  The latter part of the book explores aspects of recovery and the role loved ones can play in successful treatment.  The appendixes are useful for those who are not computer savvy.

Healing from Sexual Addiction (2004).  Mark Laaser. Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  

This book is written from the perspective of a recovering addict, as well as a Christian standpoint.  It is an excellent resource for clinicians, ecclesiastical leaders and clients alike.  The book offers fresh insights into family dynamics that may contribute to one's vulnerability to sexual addictions, Christian principles, aspects of the problem, treatment issues.  There is a detailed resource listing at the back, as well as a chapter devoted specifically to ecclesiastical leaders who are struggling with this problem themselves.  This is one of the best books on the subject and integrates current research findings. 

In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior (2001), Patrick Carnes, David L. Delmonico & Elizabeth Griffin. Hazelden, Center City, MN.

The book is authored by well-reputed leaders in the field of sexual addictions.  The book provides a good overview of problematic sexual behavior, and is rooted in solid social science research.  Although the book is more directed toward those with addictions, there is an excellent chapter toward the end of the book for spouses of addicts.  The book also provides several self-assessments and an excellent resource list at the back for clinicians. 

Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction (2001), Patrick Carnes. Hazelden, Center City, MN. 

      This book blazed the trail for the field of sexual addictions to berecognized and sparked widespread debate and inquiry in the early 1980's. It is considered the classic text on sexual addictions. The 2001 version isupdated and includes more recent research.  The book has an easy to follow chapter lay-out and provides insight into sexual addiction as a clinical construct, beliefs that fuel this cycle, problematic family patterns, twelve-step approaches and the spouse's role in the addictive cycle.

D. Useful Websites

www.sexhelp.com

www.healthymind.com

www.cybersexualaddiction.com

www.addictionresearch.com

E. Professional Organizations

Faithful and True Ministries, Inc. 

Mark Laaser, Ph.D., Director

P.O. Box 84

Chanhassen, MN 55317

(952) 903-9208

www.sexualwholeness.com

 

The National Coalition for the Protection of Children andFamilies

800 Compton Road, Suite 9224

Cincinnati, OH 45231

HelpLine 1-800-583-2964 or (513) 521-6227

 

Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH)

SASH/National Office

P.O. Box 725544

Atlanta, GA 31139

(770) 541-9912

www.sash.net

 

The Meadows

1655 N. Tegner

Wickenburg, AZ 85390

1-800-MEADOWS or (928) 684-3926

www.themeadows.org

 

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)

P.O. Box 11910

Nashville, TN 37222-1910

(615) 331-6230

www.sa.org

 

Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)

P.O. Box 70949

Houston, TX 77270

(713) 869-4902

www.sexaa.org

 

Co-dependents of Sex Addicts (COSA)

P.O. Box 14537

Minneapolis, MN 55414

(763) 537-6904

www.cosa-recovery.org

 

Recovering Couples Anonymous (RCA)

P.O. Box 11029

Oakland, CA 94611

(510) 663-2312

www.recovering-couples.org

 

The San Jose Marital & Sexuality Centre

1022 West Hedding Street

San Jose, CA 95126

(408) 248-9737 telephone

(408) 248-9753 fax

www.svpcenter.com

 

Compiled and reviewed by Jill C. Manning, Ph.D.

References

  1. Manning, J. C. (2006). A qualitative study of the supports women find most beneficial when dealing witha spouse's sexually addictive or compulsive behaviors. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Brigham Young University.