This past month I attended the SASH conference (Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health) in San Diego. The list of professional presenters and topics these professionals lectured on were quite impressive. Presenters included such industry standouts in the field of Sexual Compulsivity, Addiction, and Trauma included: Dr. Patrick Carnes, Alex Katehakis, Rob Weiss, Terry Real, Dr. Janina Fisher, and Kelly McDaniel. There is exciting research coming out of a field which is working together to help those in need of healing from this addiction. I was grateful to spend time with those in the industry on the frontline of research at a national level. These clinicians and researchers help further knowledge, understanding, and help alleviate the pain and symptoms of those who struggle.
I also had the chance to spend time with staff and clinicians that own or work at top-notch treatment centers and Intensive Outpatient Centers from a variety of places in our country. Knowing how others work, what level of treatment they offer, and seeing their professionalism firsthand, gives me confidence to refer a client when there is a higher level of care necessary than the outpatient services I offer. There are a couple of reasons clinicians will look at what level of care a client needs. Safety issues (harm to self or others) and difficulty in maintaining sobriety are a couple of factors to be examined when selecting the appropriate level of care necessary for achieving successful sobriety.
My clients often suffer from more than one addiction. Many tell me they have kicked their cocaine or alcohol habit in the past, but sex addiction is a much harder addiction to tackle. Dr. Carnes speaks to that point when he looks at possible reasons behind this fact. The neural networks for sex and love are related to our survival needs.
I will be highlighting recent presentations, research, and components of treatment gleaned at this conference in future posts.