2016 SASH Conference Summary of Abstracts
“Integrating Heart, Mind, & Body in Pursuit of Sexual Health”
- Presenter: Rhiannon C. Beauregard, MA, LMFT-S, CST
Title: Integrating Assessment and Treatment of Sexual Functioning with Clients with Problematic Sexual Behavior
Abstract: A common contributing factor to the development and maintenance of problematic sexual behavior is a concern with sexual functioning. Sometimes sexual functioning and problematic sexual behaviors can be a “chicken-and-the-egg” connection- for some clients, a problem with sexual functioning can be a contributing factor to starting the path towards problematic sexual behavior. For other clients, engaging in problematic sexual behaviors can lead to a myriad of sexual functioning concerns. Not all professionals who are skilled and trained in working with problematic sexual behaviors are comfortable and/or skilled in treating problems in sexual functioning. Integrating sex therapy and therapy for problematic sexual behavior will increase the possibility for successful treatment. This session will explore the relationship between sexual functioning and problematic sexual behavior and the contributing factors that lead to the development and maintenance of a sexual issue. Treatment resources and when and to who to refer to will be discussed.
- Presenter: Dr. Thaddeus Birchard
Title: CBT for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction
Abstract: This presentation is an introduction to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) and its application to the treatment of sexual addiction. The session will review interventions that are used in the treatment of sexually compulsive men. Attention will be given to the collection of the data from the presenter’s outcome studies. Comorbid disorders and their treatment using CBT protocols will be included, as well as the psychosexual treatment of comorbid sexual dysfunctions. The session will conclude with an explanation of the advantages of a group treatment program.
- Presenter: Richard Blankenship, LPC, NCC, CCH, CPCS, CCPS, CCSAS
Title: The Impact of Spiritual Abuse on the Addict and Partner
Abstract: Addicts and spouses often seek help from counselors, pastors and churches when they begin their journey. Many receive direction that is not helpful. This presentation will consider the dynamics of spiritual abuse, the presentation in addicts and spouses, and how the therapist can address these issues. Research on this topic will also be presented. Leading groups for survivors of spiritual abuse will be discussed and resources given for identifying qualities of a destructive faith system.
- Presenter: Dr. Constance M. Bowes & Dr. Kimberly Chestnut
Title: Sexual and Spiritual Health: An Integrative Approach
Abstract: Clinicians and practitioners continue to express a need for approaches, insights, and tools to work with clients around sexual health. Many times, clinicians lack an understanding of holistic models of human behavior in working with clients to integrate spirituality with physical, cognitive and emotional dimensions. This workshop presents a holistic perspective for sexuality treatment and counseling that considers the whole person – body, mind, heart and spirit – in order to assist practitioners to build a higher level of acceptance and comfort with clients, whether they are experiencing sexual trauma, sexual compulsiveness or other sexual dysfunctions. This interactive session will present two new systemic models, based on the presenters’ original research, that integrate the elements of a healthy sexuality and overall wellness.
- Presenter: Pennie J. Carnes, M.A., LPC, LCDC, CSAT, CMAT
Title: Shadows of the Cross: A Christian Companion to Facing the Shadow
Abstract: Many sexual addiction clients come into therapy questioning “Where is God in all of this?” Introducing The Shadow of the Cross: A Christian Companion to Facing the Shadow (Dr. Patrick Carnes’ 30 Task Model), this presentation will provide tools therapist can use for clients in early recovery of sexual addiction who also identify as Christian. The Shadows of the Cross program focuses on the spiritual aspects of recovery from sex addiction with the language of grace, forgiveness, mercy, redemption and healing from a non-shaming model.
- Presenter: Dr. Stefanie Carnes
Title: Executing a Well-Managed Disclosure: New Research and Clinical Recommendations
Abstract: Very little research has been conducted on what makes a disclosure effective. In this presentation, new survey research results will be presented on the process of disclosure. Differences in methods for writing disclosures, strategies for facilitating disclosure and issues relating to the therapeutic alliance will be addressed. Clinical strategies and implications will be discussed.
- Presenter: Dorit Reichental, MFTi, ASAT, CPCC, CPC, SP 2 & Dr. Janice Caudill, CSAT, SEP
Title: Sexual Healing: A Somatic Approach for Couples Reclaiming Intimacy and Sexuality
Abstract: This presentation will identify the relational trauma dance in couples recovering from sexual addiction and the negative interactional cycles associated with attachment wounding. Intimacy misattunement, as it relates to erotic wounding and coupleship recovery, will be addressed. This workshop will use demonstration and experiential techniques to integrate mind-body interventions and principles of multiple schools of somatic psychotherapy, with particular emphasis on the work of Pat Ogden, Ph.D. – Sensorimotor Psychotherapy – and Peter Levine, Ph.D. – Somatic Experiencing.
- Presenter: Dr. Carol L. Clark, LMHC, CAP, CST
Title: Intimacy and Connection in Recovery
Abstract: This presentation will give therapists a conceptual framework in which to help their clients interact and relate with others. We are all motivated by a desire to be Connected to each other, our groups, and to the Universe. Addictive behavior keeps us disconnected and fearful of intimacy. Dr. Clark looks at addiction as something in and of itself – a condition rather than a substance abuse or behavioral problem. She covers this topic from the addictive process of disconnection – whether from use of technology or gambling, drugs or sex –through recovery and Connection. She then offers tools to create truly intimate relationships in every facet of life by shifting from addictive behavior patterns to a place of clarity and awareness. The use of these practical strategies for change will ground and Connect her audience so they may find happiness and fulfillment in their daily lives.
- Presenter: Dr. Michael M. Crocker, LCSW, MA & Kelly Moylan, LCSW
Title: From Anxiety to Avoidance – The Push and Pull Dynamic of Insecure Attachment with Individuals Struggling with Out of Control Sexual Behavior and their Partners – Strategies for Individual and Couples Treatment
Abstract: The Sexuality, Attachment and Trauma Project recently completed research that resulted in evidence that there is a relationship between sexual addiction and insecure attachment styles (Crocker, 2015). Specifically, the research indicated that people who assessed as struggling with out of control sexual behavior also assessed as having high levels of attachment avoidant behaviors. We discovered that those who struggle with out of control sexual behavior may actually want a connection but are fearful of exposing the vulnerability required in intimacy. This fear often relates to early attachment trauma that impacts relational skills and must be addressed in treatment. This workshop provides an overview of the treatment model used to address these behaviors and their underlying issues and also how to incorporate that understanding in working with the couple system. The presentation includes use of clinical vignettes as well as didactic presentation.
- Presenter: Dr. Mary Deitch, JD
Title: Issues and Concerns Prevalent with Young Adult Males who Present with Problematic Sexual Behaviors
Abstract: Young adult (18-24-year-old) males are one of the highest growing populations of clients presenting with problematic sexual behaviors. Understanding issues common to this population is crucial for ensuring their sexual health and continued development. Clients often present with acute sexual acting out that may not be a sexual addiction but is problematic to their functioning. They present with familial and systems issues, which often become the focus of treatment as well as differing needs in interpersonal and sexual health functioning. This presentation will highlight the differences of this group, comparing their unique needs with those of a juvenile and adult population. Their differing clinical needs, as well as treatment focus, will be presented. Case studies will be utilized to assist in understanding the individual, familial, educational, occupational, intellectual, legal and sexual health concerns of this population.
- Presenter: MJ Denis, LPC, LMFT Associate, CST, CCPS & Sarah Morales, CPC, CRC, APSATS CPC
Title: Empowering Clients to Understand and Opt-Out of Gaslighting in Relationships
Abstract: In this workshop, attendees receive an overview on how to educate their clients (often partners of sex addicts) about the difficult, complex, and often subtle issue of gaslighting in a manner that is SAFE and considerate of the abuse it reveals. Participants will also learn how to empower clients to opt-out of gaslighting episodes in their relationships.
- Presenter: Dr. Marcus R. Earle, LMFT, S-PSB, CSAT
Title: Parenting Children in a Digital Age
Abstract: As technology continues to advance, so do the challenges in parenting. The exposure to sexual content the Internet and technology brings will be described. Participants will be encouraged to provide examples from their own and their client’s lives as to this impact. Focus will be given to both the constructive use of technology to support healthy sexual development as well as the potentially harmful effects. Ideas for developing a constructive dialogue regarding children and their sexuality within the family system are the primary focus of the workshop. Participants will learn the six sexual health principles identified by Douglas Braun-Harvey (Sexual Health in Recovery: A Professional Counselor’s Manual, 2010), a model of healthy sexual development, promoting healthy decision-making. The presentation will include resources for clinicians and parents. Parenting styles and various research-based parenting programs will be reviewed.
- Presenter: Lisa Ferguson, MA, LCAC, CSAT, CADAC II, CCPS
Title: Partner Oriented Disclosure: A Trauma Informed Approach that Benefits Partners and Addicts
Abstract: More information is now available about the trauma endured by partners of sex addicts. Before this new wave of research, disclosures were largely addict focused, timed by the trajectory of addict recovery, and not recognized as connected to the timeline of partner healing. While good therapists focused on the comfort and aftercare of partners during and after disclosures, the preparation and methodology of therapeutic disclosure were largely addict-centered. We now understand that trauma undergone by partners is enormous and demands our focus. The issue of emotional safety is, therefore, paramount for expedited healing (Hermann, 1992-1997). With this in mind, we bring trauma to the forefront not only in our treatment mindset for partners, but also in methods of scheduling and rendering therapeutic disclosure (Blankenship & Steffens, 2013). Through trauma informed disclosure, we bring to bear simple techniques that accelerate emotional, spiritual, and physical healing for both partner and addict.
- Presenter: Dr. A. Todd Freestone, LCSW, CSAT
Title: Healer, Heal Thyself: The very real problem of compassion fatigue and resiliency burnout in Sexual Addiction Therapy.
Abstract: This presentation will focus on the problem of burnout and lack of resilience among therapists working with sexual addiction. A very real problem exists with therapists in this field in that we are ethically bound to be fully present for our clients and still live healthy and productive lives. Focus will be given to compassion for self and also in dealing with compassion fatigue. Experiential exercises will be done in this session to rejuvenate and revitalize those in attendance. Attachment and connection will be introduced as a healing tool for therapists as well.
- Presenter: Daniel Glaser, MSW, LCSW
Title: Post Trauma Intimacy: Systemic Sexual Healing
Abstract: This presentation will define the many faces of active trauma including verbal, physical and sexual abuse. Passive trauma, emotional incest, unfinished business, and existential trauma are additional potential sources for creating intimacy related problems. Mental health sequalae to trauma can manifest in relapse behaviors, such as sexually compulsive behaviors. Systemic, psychodynamic, and cognitive-behavioral perspectives will be addressed. The intersystem approach to sexual healing will be explored in order to create emotional attunement and build trust in repairing relationships. Methods to nurture the body, mind, emotions and spirit will be presented. Promoting self/other intimacy through adaptive coping can foster life-affirming and relationship enhancing behaviors. Clinical case examples along with evidence-based therapeutic interventions will be discussed in order to cement therapeutic concepts into real life success.
- Presenter: Becca Davis, LPC-MHSP, CSAT & Amanda Morrow, MA, CSAT Candidate
Title: Treating Co-Occurring Sexual Addiction within a Primary Chemical Dependency or Mental Health Treatment Community
Abstract: Sexual addiction commonly co-occurs or cross occurs with other mental health concerns and/or addictions (Carnes, 2005). When clients enter treatment for chemical dependency or mental health disorders, it may become obvious that compulsive sexual or relationship behaviors are also at play. Their significance to the client’s dysfunction can be difficult to determine. Additionally, compulsive sexual behaviors may only occur in the context of the client’s other presenting problems (i.e, having one-night stands after becoming intoxicated) while at other times, sexual compulsivity a primary problem of its own. The treatment team must plan for how to address these issues while not neglecting the chemical dependency or mental health disorders which brought the client to treatment. Using Carnes’ (2015) task-centered model of sexual addiction recovery, a format for addressing co-morbid sexual compulsivity will be explored.
- Presenter: Dr. Eric Griffin-Shelley, & Nancy Roberts Willis, MSW, LSW, CP
Title: Integrating Psycho-education and Psychodrama in Outpatient Treatment
Abstract: Education, psychotherapy, and Twelve Step fellowships have been essential building blocks for addiction recovery for decades. Psycho-education groups and expressive therapies like psychodrama are primarily used in residential programs. For over twenty-five years, the Growth and Recovery Center has been providing an intensive evening of psycho-education, psychotherapy including psychodrama bi-monthly, and Twelve Step meetings. This workshop will review how these elements are integrated successfully in an outpatient setting to promote sexual health intellectually, emotionally, spiritually, and physically.
- Presenter: Dr. Margaret Jarvis; Michael Grier, MS, LPC, CAADC; & Nicole Zmuda, LCSW, S-PSB
Title: Mixed Gender Groups to Address Problematic Sexual Behavior
Abstract: The construct of sex addiction was first described by Carnes (1983). Research suggests that group therapy is an appropriate treatment option for clients whose sexual behavior has become problematic (Earle & Crow, 1990; Gold & Heffner, 1998; Goodman, 1993; Swisher, 1995). Literature promotes gender specific therapy groups for such clients (Hook, Hook, & Hines, 2008; Line & Cooper, 2002; McKeague, 2014). Potential benefits of mixed-gender groups are likely overlooked due to legitimate concerns for the safety and sexual sobriety of group members. When these risks can be mitigated, however, clients may experience benefits including modeling of healthy behaviors and greater empathy for themselves and others. In this workshop, staff from a residential chemical dependency treatment facility will present information on the mixed gender groups to address problematic sexual behavior.
- Presenter: Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CSAT-S, CST-S AASECT Diplomate
Title: Erotic Countertransference: Afternoon Delight or the Radical Search for Truth?
Abstract: Erotic countertransference was once thought to be a product of unconscious and conscious emotional reactions and fantasies of the therapist in relation to the patient. A more modern understanding of countertransference is that patient and therapist are mutually influenced by one another. Working with issues of sex and sexuality makes the therapist susceptible to inevitable erotic exchanges with the patient. This course will focus on how to manage and use feelings of erotic energy, and what to do in its absence. Through case studies we will parse out the various parts of patient’s selves revealed in therapy, and speculate on the disavowed selves that are sequestered. Finally, we will better understand how all of these aspects mingle in the therapeutic setting and how long-term, sex addiction therapy is only effective when desire has been stirred and appropriately worked through.
- Presenter: Marie Krebs, MS, LPC-Supervisor, LCDC, SRT, CCPS, CDWF™ , Spiritual Director
Title: Improving Our Conscious Contact with God – Steps for Improving Our Conscious Contact with God
Abstract: Spirituality is that experience which gives meaning to one’s life and draws one to transcend oneself. Spirituality is a broader concept than religion, although that is one expression of spirituality. Other expressions include prayer, meditation, interactions with others or nature, and with God or a higher power. Working within the recovery community requires clinicians to have a grounded understanding of spirituality in order to meet the needs of our clients. It is not our job to define spirituality for our client’s; rather to assess their spiritual needs in order to direct them to appropriate resources and referrals. This workshop will provide attendees with a foundation for assessing spiritual needs of their clients as well as resources, activities and take away tools you can use in your own practice.
- Presenter: Debra Dian Larsen, MS, LPC-S, SRT, CCPS & Dorit Reichental MFTi, ASAT, CPCC, CPC, SP 2
Title: Children Traumatically Impacted by a Parent’s Sexual Addiction: The Inner and Outer Worlds of Growing Up in a Sexualized Society
Abstract: This interactive presentation will use case studies to explore the inner and outer worlds of children who are exposed to and impacted by problematic sexual behaviors. Their outer world will be defined as our sexualized culture that is portrayed as normal; their inner world will be conceptualized by the traumatic experience of being raised by parents with sexually addictive behaviors. Whether parents attempt to protect their children by not acknowledging the family crisis or bombarding them with too many details, children are left confused, unsupported, and often traumatized. The question becomes what, when, and how much to tell them. Clinicians must be prepared to offer parents guidance and resources to promote safety, stabilization, and psycho-education for their children.
- Presenter: John Leadem, LCSW, CSAT-S, CMAT, & Shawn Leadem LCSW, CSAT, CMAT
Title: Raising the Bottoms: Intervening on Sex Addiction
Abstract: Raising the Bottoms is a unique blend of traditional Johnson Intervention wisdom and a series of task-oriented strategies, providing the interventionist with a clear framework for raising the bottoms of the intervention team members, the addict and the treatment process. The pervasive shame found in sex addiction is unparalleled in other addictive disorders. Families fractured by sex addiction often feel obliged to maintain the subterfuge even while burning in the flames of betrayal. This model goes beyond the traditional notion that the main objective is to get the addict into treatment and holds that a successful intervention gets all involved the treatment needed to match their identified needs. The model addresses the therapeutic needs of the concerned others in a way that greatly reduces the protagonist’s resistance, promoting a shared model of recovery rather than the “addict as the identified patient model” which can be shaming and often backfires.
- Presenter: Dr. Todd Love, JD, & Gabe Deem
Title: Is Internet porn addiction always sex addiction, or can it be something else?
Abstract: This seminar explores the problem of Internet-related addictions. The concept of behavioral addictions and the fundamental neurobiology behind addiction will be reviewed. The workshop will then focus on the specific problem of Internet-related behavioral addictions. The unique problems reported by millennials who are experiencing their first exposure to sexuality via internet pornography will be reviewed. Attendees will hear the firsthand experience of a young adult recovering from Internet pornography addiction. The session will end with a discussion comparing/contrasting the above phenomenon and the traditional model of sex addiction. Potential differences in etiology, presentation, consequences, and treatment will be covered.
- Presenter: Dr. Jeff Marksberry, FAIS, CCRP
Title: Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation: Improving Mental Health and How that Affects Sexual Health
Abstract: Cranial Electrotherapy Stimulation (CES) is a noninvasive, safe and effective modality used in the treatment of anxiety1, insomnia2, depression3 and PTSD3. CES is rapidly growing in use by the mental health and addiction fields. This session will introduce CES as a primary treatment option anxiolytic, antidepressive and insomnia treatment. This session will cover CES indications and contra indications, safety, and applicable research. We will also cover the association between mental health, sexual health and sexual addiction and how CES can affect all three. We will cover the logistics and considerations of using CES in your practice.
- Presenter: Jennifer Mathis, LPC, PhD Candidate
Title: Getting to the Heart of the Matter: Integrating Sandtray and EMDR to Address Sexual Trauma
Abstract: Integrating sandtray therapy with EMDR can help client’s access deeper levels of trauma that may be blocked when attempting to access through more traditional methods. Utilizing this modality allows the clients to begin to process their trauma in a bottom-up approach. The sandtray helps regulate the nervous system and calm the fight-flight response this allows the therapist to install more resourcing in prepping for EMDR therapy. For many sexual trauma victims providing additional resourcing can be very effective. Research has shown that EMDR is extremely effective in reducing PTSD symptoms. Through the use of addiction specific protocol’s EMDR can also be used to address addiction as well as any underlying trauma.
- Presenter: Dr. Monica Meyer, CSAT
Title: Arousal Templates, Paraphilias & Fetishes: A 30 Task Model Approach (Part 1 and 2)
Abstract: This 3-hour workshop will provide a comprehensive review of the arousal template construct and present multiple examples of how to use the Carnes 30 Task Model materials to guide clients through exploration of their arousal templates. We will also review the changes to the Paraphilic Disorders section of the DSM 5 and discuss specific techniques for examining paraphilic arousal templates in clients presenting with sexual addiction. Nine case studies will be reviewed in depth to illustrate conceptualization and treatment of various paraphilic arousal templates. We will review several specific examples of sadomasochistic arousal templates with roots in severe, unresolved childhood trauma. Distinctions will be made between the healthy BDSM practitioner and the sex addict engaging in emotionally destructive sadomasochistic behaviors. Recent research describing MMPI-2 correlates of sadomasochistic sex addicts will be presented. This workshop will be heavily clinically focused, with specific tools for practice and opportunities for interactive audience participation.
- Presenter: Crystal Rae Morrissey
Title: Alone in the Aftermath
Abstract: For individuals whose relationships DON’T survive sex addiction, concepts like grief, healing and “moving on” require a profoundly divergent approach. After deciding to leave or divorce their primary relationship, clients often encounter an impending sense of isolation—not only within their social sphere but also (subtly, increasingly and significantly) within their peer-populated support groups. Many clients begin to disconnect from the very environments that once sustained them, due to residual deepening of their personal pain, the direct result of repeated exposure to “success stories” shared by other group members. As specialists who seek to support ALL souls healing from relational trauma, it’s imperative that we honor the unique needs of our clients who continue to recover ALONE, independently and autonomously, within and beyond the aftermath of their ruptured relationships.
- Presenter: Roger Northway, MS
Title: I Would Rather be a Sex Addict
Abstract: This workshop is intended for beginning to intermediate level therapists. Addiction therapists can fall into a trap of identifying a client’s issues as addiction when another explanation for the behavior in question is a better fit. This incorrect labeling does a disservice to the client and can further the perception that our profession “sees an addict behind every tree.” Clients will sometimes present with the self-diagnosis of sex addiction when other issues need to be identified and addressed. Issues such as men being sexual with men, illegal sexual behavior, affairs, and cross-dressing are often misidentified as addiction.
- Presenter: Dr. Tanisha Ranger
Title: Reclaiming Sexuality in the Wake of Military Sexual Trauma
Abstract: The last several years have seen much attention focused on military sexual trauma (MST), defined as sexual assault, threats, and harassment experienced during a veteran’s time in military service. Conservative estimates are that nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 100 men experience MST; however, under-reporting remains a problem. Those with a history of MST are estimated to be three times more likely to be diagnosed with a mental disorder (most commonly PTSD, mood disorders, and substance use disorders). They also struggle with physical health concerns including chronic pain, weight gain/loss, GI issues, and sexual difficulties. While the treatment of MST has been a focus of the VA, the impact of MST on veterans’ sexual self-concept goes largely unaddressed. Helping veteran survivors develop a healthy sense of sexuality after experiencing military sexual trauma is crucial for improving their overall quality of life. This presentation focuses on this important task.
- Presenter: Michelle Rappaport and Kent Fisher
Title: Using SomExSM to promote emotional regulation and sustained sobriety in sex addicts
Abstract: Through didactic information and experiential demonstrations this presentation will inform attendees regarding SomExSM—a Somatic Experiential Intervention to Treat Trauma and Addiction. We will begin with a brief overview of the neurobiology of “Big T” and “Little T” and trauma, discuss the fight-flight-freeze responses, and explain the role of fixed action patterns role in trauma repetition and addiction. We will compare and contrast experiential therapy techniques with cognitive behavioral techniques, and introduce, discuss and demonstrate the five aspects of SomExSM: Somatic Sensing, Somatic Empathy, Somatic Inquiry, Somatic Interventions for Stabilization, and Resourcing. Participants will be introduced to the concept of co-regulation between therapist and client, and the process of dorsal and ventral vagal repair through attunement, oscillation and regulating activation without collapse.
- Presenter: Dr. Rory Reid, LCSW, & Dr. Monica Meyer, CSAT
Title: Using Measures to Inform Diagnostic Assessment and Evaluate Treatment Outcomes for Problematic Sexual Behavior
Abstract: Despite a substantial amount of research supporting the use of psychometrically validated measures in clinical work, many providers neglect implementing such instruments in their work with hypersexual patients. Complicating matters, it is unclear what measures might be most appropriate for these patients. This session will involve training on the administration, scoring, and interpretation of a small set of measures that can inform clinicians about diagnostic assessment and treatment among hypersexual patients. Attendees will be exposed to (and receive copies of) measures of psychopathology (e.g. depression, anxiety, hypersexual disorder, substance use disorders), emotion regulation, stress proneness, and questionnaires uniquely developed for work with hypersexual patients. A subset of these can also be utilized in tracking patient outcomes in determining success across treatment. If you are the type of clinician who believes you don’t need a Beck Depression Inventory to tell you that your patients are depressed, then this session is for you!
- Presenter: Nathan Rice, LCSW, S-PSB
Title: On the Edge: Clinical Innovations (and precautions) in the Treatment of Problematic Sexual Behavior
Abstract: Sex addiction treatment has come a long way since Patrick Carnes’ book Out of the Shadows was published. In that time there has not only been an upsurge in problematic sexual behavior (PSB) itself but in scholarly and clinical interest in the phenomena as well. As a result, various treatment approaches have emerged contributing to a plurality of thought as to how best to treat PSB. In order to provide personalized care, clinicians should have a breadth of understanding of the treatment landscape along with a healthy dose of clinical humility. This presentation will trace the history of treatment interventions, survey current clinical innovations, and offer some important precautions to consider when working with one’s preferred approach.
- Presenter: Erica Sarr, PsyD, MEd, BCB
Title: Playing Dangerous Games: How video game use may become problematic for those identifying as sexually addicted
Abstract: Video games have come a long way since their debut. Beyond simple play, they provide nearly every kind of stimulation imaginable: social connection, achievement, novelty, and aggression. Sexuality has been part of the video game experience since its earliest days and its role has evolved along with the gaming technology. As more and more people identify as struggling with behavioral addictions, it has become increasingly important to attend to those areas where compulsive behaviors can overlap or supplant each other. This presentation aims to examine some of the aspects of video games and gaming that sex addiction professionals may wish to be particularly aware of when assessing and treating clients who have presented to them with computer-mediated behaviors.
- Presenter: Mary Sharpe & Dr. Darryl Meade
Title: The Disintegrating Effect of Internet Pornography
Abstract: Recent developments in neuroscience identify the brain’s reward system as the seat of our desires. In recent years there has been a disturbing rise in mental and physical conditions driven by excessive consumption of Internet pornography. A growing body of research suggests that these symptoms are linked with addiction-related changes in the brain. Adolescents appear to be particularly vulnerable to sexual conditioning. The ready availability of streaming pornography and the possession of smartphones by most young people has accompanied a rise in conditions such as a lack of interest in real partners, sexual dysfunctions, social anxiety, depression, morphing sexual tastes, coercive sexual behavior and escalation to illegal material. This can happen in the absence of pre-existing conditions. Neuroplastic principles mean that recovery is also possible. Our workshop will explore recent research on the effects of Internet pornography, and the need for research that removes the variable of Internet pornography use.
- Presenter: Dr. Stevie Stanford, CCTP, CSAT-C, CDWF
Title: The Journey Back: Reprocessing Sexual Trauma Safely
Abstract: We would like to help our clients heal from sexual trauma. How do we do so safely? How do we know when our clients are ready? There is a fine line to the art of facilitating clients through the process of trauma resolution. In this workshop, participants will discuss the neurobiology of trauma and the intricacies of how traumatic memories are stored in our brain. Participants will explore strategies to help clients work through the Tri-Phasic model of trauma resolution – helping them establish safety and security, desensitization, and into moving forward. Participants will examine the 6 Empirical markers that let the clinician know that the client is ready to move into the phase of facing the trauma. This workshop will demonstrate real treatment techniques that can be used with clients in both individual and group settings to move towards safe and effective trauma resolution.
- Presenter: Lucien Thomsen, LCSW, CSAT-S, CSOTS
Title: Grandiosity, Egocentricity, and Aggression: Personality Assessment Inventory profiles of adult males with problematic sexual behaviors
Abstract: Using 50 Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) profiles from one specialized outpatient program, this presentation will answer: How Grandiose, Egocentric, and Aggressive are adult males with problematic sexual behaviors upon evaluation in outpatient treatment? Working with clients who have problematic sexual behaviors can be especially challenging when issues related to excessive levels of Grandiosity, Egocentricity, and Aggression are present. This presentation will begin with a review these specific PAI profiles, including the strengths and weakness of the test. This presentation will help attendees develop an understanding of the levels of Grandiosity, Egocentricity, and Aggression found in outpatient care as reported in the PAI. By the end of this presentation, participants will understand when to incorporate specific interventions into their case formulations and treatment plans when working with clients with problematic sexual behaviors and various levels of Grandiosity, Egocentricity, and Aggression.
- Presenter: Rosara Torrisi, LCSW, CST, MSSW, MEd, PhD Candidate
Title: Preliminary Results: Sexual Arousal of Lesbian Survivors of Breast Cancer
Abstract: The purpose of the dissertation from which these results are drawn is to better understand the arousal contingents of lesbian survivors of breast cancer. There has been minimal research about lesbian sexual arousal (Bare, Margolies, & Boehmer, 2014; Krehely, 2009) and even less on the impacts of breast cancer on their sexual arousal. With recent advances in medical treatments for breast cancer (Akkerman & Horden, 2000; Barton-Burke & Gustason, 2007; Bober, 2009; Crompvoets, 2006; Eccles et al., 2013; Han, Grothuesmann, Neises, Hille, & Hillemanns, 2010; Kamen, Smith-Stoner, Heckler, Flannery, & Margolies, 2015; Ussher, Perz, & Gilbert, 2012) and revised definitions of sexual dysfunction (American Psychiatric Association, 2013; Basson, 2005; Graham, 2010), this study distinctly assesses lesbian breast cancer survivors’ sexual arousal contingents in comparison to lesbian women without a cancer history. In particular, a focus on the possible mediating factor of internalized homophobia will be addressed.
- Presenter: Elaine G. Tuccio, LCSW
Title: Using a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® (PACT) to Heal the Wounds of Problematic Sexual Behaviors in Relationship
Abstract: Rebuilding trust and repairing bonds are two of the most difficult tasks partners in a loving relationship face in recovery from problematic sexual behaviors. The couple therapist must assist the couple in creating and maintaining an authentic connection, both within themselves and with each other. As part of this process, attachment experiences are essential for the couple to develop the personal and coregulatory capacities for calm, trust, security, and touch. A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT; Tatkin, 2003, 2012) draws on research in the areas of developmental neuroscience, attachment theory, and arousal regulation. It is a phenomenological approach, with skills and interventions designed to drive partners toward secure functioning (i.e., become grounded in sensitivity, fairness, justice, collaboration, and true mutuality). It addresses psychobiological issues within the partner dyad, and uses the dyad as the agent of change, enabling partners to become experts on each other.
- Presenter: Dr. Steven R. Vazquez
Title: Resolving the Hypersexual Template
Abstract: The “addictive template model” involves accessing the basis for addictions and then eliminating it. When the basis for sex addiction is removed, there is no longer a source to produce addictive craving or relapses. In most cases the addictive template or “blueprint” is buried in implicit memory, making it inaccessible to most forms of treatment. Through the method of Emotional Transformation Therapy® (ETT®) a means to efficiently find each person’s addictive template is used. The process of memory reconsolidation can eliminate the core emotional memory of the template long-term. By removing related core emotional memory, survival drives yield to opening the emotional heart, transforming addictive cognition and changing the brain’s reward circuit so the body is no longer held captive and sexual health can be integrated. This discovery will be taught through theory, research, case illustrations, and discussion.
- Presenter: Dr. Jane Ward, & Diana Groener, LPC
Title: Monsters or Men? A Basic Guide to Sex Offender Treatment
Abstract: Misconceptions about sexual offending abound. This workshop will engage in myth-busting and destigmatization of people who commit sexual offenses. There is a wide array of sexual offending behaviors, and we will describe and give examples of contact offenders and non-contact offenders of all different risk levels. The workshop will delineate the importance of working within the bounds of your competency and training, and it will review ethical considerations such as when you may have a duty to report. We will explain appropriate treatment modalities and provide resources to learn more about how to help offenders reduce their risk of reoffending and build a healthier lifestyle.
- Presenter: Maria Watters, MRC, CRC, CMHC, PhD Candidate
Title: Understanding and Exploring Specific Treatment Needs of Individuals Who Engage in Sexually Problematic Behaviors Who Have Developmental Disabilities
Abstract: Individuals with developmental disabilities (DD) are sexual beings who undergo regular sexual development including changes in hormones, appearance, and sexual drives (Sullivan, & Caterino, 2008). However, individuals with DD’s face many obstacles that may prevent them from healthily exploring and understanding their own sexuality and development. These blocks include factors such as attitudes towards individual with disabilities as asexual (Smart, 2009), or too innocent to discuss sexual topics with (Young, Gore, & McCarthy, 2012). Additionally, individuals with DD’s are exposed to pornography and other sexualized materials just as their non-disabled counterparts but have fewer resources available to help them understand what they are viewing or to gain appropriate sexual education (Sullivan, & Caterino, 2008). Research and information is limited regarding appropriate intervention for this population. This presentation explores problematic sexual behaviors in individuals with DD’s including range of behaviors, risk factors, treatment interventions, and special considerations that may be needed.
- Presenter: Ken Wells, M.Div, M.A., LPC, & Dr. Jennifer Schneider
Title: Trauma, Codependency, or Both: A Unified Approach toward Healing Addicts, Partners and Couples
Abstract: The advances in knowledge and treatment for serial relationship betrayal and infidelity continues to evolve. New insights regarding the impact of betrayal trauma on partners and coupleship have enlightened effective treatment. Merging new perspectives with time-tested approaches is always challenging. This workshop will investigate the efficacy of the more recent treatment concepts and assess their utility in healing partner, addict and couples’ relational trauma. We will also discuss how codependency fits in assessing traumatic impact and explore ways in which the patterns of codependency/coaddiction influence the recovery prognosis for individuals and couples.
- Presenter: Jeff Zacharias, LCSW, CSAT, CAADC
Title: Complex Models of Sexual Health and the LGBT Community: The Intersection of Heart, Mind and Body
Abstract: The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community is rich in their complexity and diversity. The need to broaden the scope of clinical practice in the community is evident as clinicians are being challenged in addressing structures such as polyamorous relationships, kink/BDSM dynamics and non-traditional relationships. With this diversity is the necessity for a broader set of working tools when addressing sexual health inclusive of the entire community while expanding known work on addiction, trauma, mental health and recovery accounting for all definitions of such. Tapping into the resiliency of the community, this presentation will provide a knowledgeable skill set through case examples and the newest research for clinicians to utilize immediately after returning to their practice.
- Presenter: Dr. Kristin Neff
Title: Self-Compassion and Emotional Healing
Abstract: Self-compassion involves treating ourselves kindly, like we would a friend we cared about. Rather than making evaluations of ourselves as “good” or “bad,” self-compassion involves generating kindness toward ourselves as imperfect humans, learning to be present with the struggles of life with greater ease. Self-compassion motivates us to make needed changes in our lives not because we’re worthless or inadequate, but because we care about ourselves and want to lessen our suffering. This talk will present theory and research on self-compassion, which a burgeoning empirical literature has shown is powerfully associated with wellbeing and resilience. It will consider self-compassion as an antidote to shame, integral to the process of emotional healing. The concept of backdraft will also be discussed – the adverse reactions people can have when they practice self-compassion – and what to do about it. Finally, a brief self-compassion practice will be taught for use in daily life.
- Presenter: Dr. Tammy Nelson
Title: The New Monogamy: Erotic Recovery After Infidelity
Abstract: The New Monogamy is a paradigm shift in the way we look at relationships and how we repair marriages after infidelity. This presentation will look at our imperative to heal stereotypes and toxic shame around sex and guide couples through three phases of erotic recovery. Traumatized couples often come to treatment feeling betrayed not only by their partner but by the cultural imperative to seek pleasure outside of their marriage. In our current environment of social media, Internet relationships and open marriage, couples are struggling to maintain their integrity and keep promises to themselves and their partners. Clinicians may be hanging on to an outdated therapy model focused on a victim and perpetrator; there is a need for more contemporary interventions. Newer, more effective models of healing include sexual empathy, erotic recovery and creating new explicit monogamy agreements that last, integrating a more conscious and long-term repair for the couple.
- Presenter: Elizabeth Griffin, MA
Title: Carnes Award Lecture – Stop Talking Clients to Death: Utilizing Engaging and Creative Treatment Tools
Abstract: This lecture will discuss the idea of treatment responsivity. Responsivity encourages treatment that not only targets individual learning styles but additionally engages clients in the treatment process. Engaging and creative treatment tools developed from principles of responsivity will be presented.
Presenter: Dr. Barry McCarthy
Title: Integrating Sexual Interventions into Couple and Individual Therapy
Abstract: This clinically-oriented workshop will examine the integrative, comprehensive psychobiosocial model for assessment, treatment, and relapse prevention of sexual problems. Clinicians will learn to reinforce psychological, biological, and relational strengths and confront vulnerabilities; assign and process learnings from psychosexual skill exercises; help the couple choose the sexual style which is the best for them (and often is different than their relational style); deal with secrets and poisons, including sexual recovery from an affair; implement the new sexual mantra of desire/pleasure/eroticism/satisfaction, with a special emphasis on desire as the core dimension; understand how to integrate intimacy and eroticism into couple sexuality; deal with sexual impulsivity/compulsivity and the misuse of porn; use the Good Enough Sex (GES) model to enhance emotional and sexual satisfaction; address controversial issues including fatally flawed marriages; sexual orientation issues; variant and deviant arousal; use and misuse of medical interventions. Relapse prevention is an integral part of this approach.