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Introduction

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Length: 4 minutes|Difficulty: Standard

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Thank you for joining our continuing education online learning today entitled, “Sexual Addiction Erotic Conflict, Moral Incongruence: Moving Toward a More Nuanced Diagnosis. 

This is a talk I originally did a number of years ago for a hospital in Maryland who were looking to help the clinicians in their area try to understand better the nuances of trying to quote unquote diagnose sexual addiction or sexual compulsivity. I’ve since updated the talk with some newer information and some increased treatment goals. 

The goal of of this talk today is really to help the clinician understand that there’s so much nuance that goes to actually diagnosing what a problematic sexual behavior is in a client that presents to us and to try to, in my opinion, decrease the amount of labeling of sexual addiction that goes on that isn’t actually sexual addiction. 

We see this very often in our in our practice, the practice specifically deals with problematic sexual behaviors, so we frequently have people that will get referred to us for a problem. Usually it’s a pornography issue or an infidelity, because somebody, whether it’s a referring clinician or a partner or the client themselves, they know it must be a sex addiction; it just has to be a sex addiction. And frequently it is not, sometimes it is, and I think that confusion can cause a lot of consternation between referring clinicians or partners and the person who is named an addict or not an addict, in for the problematic sexual behavior, just because of some of the misunderstandings around that.

I will often talk to clients, partners, couples who come in and where one of the the partnership is just how many that the person with the acting out behavior is a sex addict and we’ll talk about start of you know the difference between a clinical diagnosis in a relational issue, and that there have to be certain markers your criteria that someone would meet that where we I want to say they actually have an addiction or a compulsivity and while they might be engaging in a behavior that doesn’t meet those markers of compulsivity the relational side of that is is ultimately at some level “Does that diagnosis matter,” because if this behavior is causing issues in the relationship it’s a problem in the relationship whether it’s an addiction or not or it’s just a behavior that’s causing problems and breaking trust in the relationship. We will talk more about that further. 

Normally when I do this talk I start with whatever the current news is that’s got sex addiction in the news but since this is going to be something online we’re not going to do that. We’re just going to dive right in to what we’re talking about.

Back to: Sex Addiction, Erotic Conflict, Moral Incogruence