Filling the Gaps in Porn and Sex Addiction Treatment

I want to start off by saying that in battling my own addiction to porn, I was profoundly helped by both traditional talk therapy and a 12-step program. I learned a lot from each, and I often hear from others who have been greatly helped by these approaches as well. However, for me, there were unfilled gaps in my recovery. …

Communication and Active Listening

Communication problems: By far, the number one reason couple’s come to therapy. When you think of it, it’s the number one problem in most relationship issues—family, friends, and work to name a few. Communication issues are far-reaching and impact each and every one of our relationships, particularly intimate and committed ones. The topics of the difficulty vary. Perhaps you have …

Why Specialized Addiction Therapy is Necessary

Men, women, and mental health professionals who have come to a crossroads regarding porn and/or sex addiction often contact me. Despite diligently applying themselves to weekly talk sessions or couples therapy, a sex or porn addict will not progress until the root cause of their addiction is addressed. Without the right treatment, the addict will stall out indefinitely, which is …

Women’s Wisdom: Resentment Is Part Of The Healing Process, But Only Part

Resentment is often regarded as a negative emotion to be avoided, much like jealousy. However, as a partner of a sex addict, resentment is a huge part of what you are feeling. There is honesty in resentment. The feeling is very real and something to be faced head on in order to progress. Think of it this way: you connected …

Are You In A Codependent Relationship?

Codependency sounds like a dirty word. We know it sounds bad, must be bad, but what is it really? How can you tell if you are indeed in a codependent relationship? Many people find themselves repeating the same unhealthy relationship patterns despite knowing better. Do you find yourself making lots of sacrifices for your partner’s happiness, putting your own life …

No, You Can’t “Just Watch Soft-Core” If You’re a Porn Addict

Since I’ve been asked this question on more than one occasion, I figure it’s time to address it out in the open: “Can’t I just watch ‘lighter material’ and still be okay?” My answer, and honestly the answer of any sex addiction therapist, is a firm NO! Much like it would not be acceptable for an alcoholic to “just drink …

steps going upwards

Once An Addict, Always An Addict?

Anyone who has struggled with addiction or continues to struggle likely has heard the phrase, “once an addict, always an addict.” You may have a love and hate relationship with that saying. Many see it as a label of hopelessness, sort of a lifelong branding while others may look at it as just a warning…a reminder of seriously continuing to …

Women’s Wisdom: How to Ask for Help

To define what I mean when I say “women’s wisdom,” I would have to say this: there’s a sort of sixth sense women have about their own lives — an internal truth that you can hear when you pay attention. The problem is that many of us have trouble accessing this wisdom, because we get tangled up in all the …

Making Deposits for Your Relationship’s Health

While recently in session with a client, he told me how uncomfortable he was watching nudity or sexual scenes on television with his wife. Prior to getting caught and forced to deal with his out of control sexual behavior, he and his wife would enjoy their favorite show, The Sopranos. Many scenes in the show were shot in a strip …

Objectification Hurts Everyone

I ran across an article at Psychology Today, which spoke about the sexualization of women and girls, and how damaging it is not only to women, but also to men and boys. I was glad to see this article referencing some scientific studies that were conducted, because frankly, this is an issue, which needs more serious attention than it’s currently …

George Collins and Mt. Diablo

I live in beautiful Walnut Creek, California. The town is in a little valley about 25 miles east of San Francisco. There is a lovely mountain just east of us called Mt. Diablo. Historically, it’s place of wonder and magic to Native Americans. Has been for centuries. Years ago, during my marathon/triathlon days, I used to train on its many …

woman walking on a ridge

Boundaries after addiction: building back trust.

Rebuilding your relationships may be one of the most difficult parts of addiction recovery. Sex addiction and porn addiction are uniquely able to damage trust in your closest relationships, particularly with your romantic partner or spouse. But while it can be a challenging journey, it is possible for trust to be rebuilt after addiction if both partners are committed to …

man going up escalator signifying overcoming porn addiction

Can’t Escape Your Porn Addiction? 5 Ways to Break Out of the Rut.

It’s easy to feel trapped when you’re addicted to porn. A few hours or days of freedom ends with falling back into old habits, often leading to feelings of shame and self-loathing. But you don’t have to feel trapped forever. There is always, always hope to break free from addiction. Here are just five ways to get started: 1. Get …

a globe in a white room

How Countries around the World are Reacting to American Porn

American porn is becoming a more and more dangerous thing every day. We have a nation full of men (and increasingly, women) who are desperate for constant novelty, leading them further and further down the seemingly endless hardcore porn rabbit hole into darker and more fringe territory. And the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily have the same relationship to …

Setting Up A Dialogue Practice

In my practice, if I received a dollar for each time I heard from my clients, “I was too busy to write this week,” I would be a wealthy man. Like many things that are actually good for us, journaling or dialoguing often get put aside or buried by the busyness of life. Somehow putting a high priority on writing …

two married people's hands with wedding rings overcoming porn addiction in their marriage

Your marriage still matters.

Being married to a porn or sex addict is at once infuriating and devastating. No matter which side of the marriage you’re on, this is a profoundly hard time. If you are in addiction recovery and it’s your goal to redeem your marriage, there is a lot of hard work ahead of you. But don’t be afraid. Other couples, far …

people on an amusement park ride

Dopamine and Your Porn Addiction

There’s a lot of talk about how the dopamine receptors in your brain influence addictive behavior. Does dopamine feed addiction? What role does dopamine play when it comes to your brain and pornography? Here’s what you need to know: 1. Dopamine itself is not actually addictive. Contrary to popular belief, dopamine is not actually addictive in and of itself. “When …

Overcoming Sex Addiction

“Thirty years ago I staggered into a Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) meeting in Walnut Creek, California. I had my choice of Sexaholics Anonymous (SA), Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), or SLAA. I chose SLAA because it was local and there were women in attendance. (I wanted to see how my behavior impacted women). I found the “S” groups really …