Letter from the Editor – Feb 2013
Sex addiction has become so pervasive in our society that Counselor is devoting this special issue to some of the most pertinent clinical and counseling issues facing addictions and mental health professionals who will invariably see clients who present with the condition.
We extend our appreciation to our Guest Editor Dr. Patrick Carnes for his insight and guidance in developing this enlightening issue of the magazine, which we trust will be a useful resource for professionals working in the field of sex addiction. As the pioneer researcher who did much to lend credence to the concept of compulsive sexual behavior as an addiction, Dr. Carnes published his groundbreaking book, Out of the Shadows, in 1983, which activated interest in the construct of sex addiction.
The conceptual model of sex addiction was developed to provide a scientific explanation for the repetitive and/or out-of-control sexual urges, behaviors or thoughts that a person experiences despite negative consequences and the desire to stop the sexual activity.
The term sex addiction first emerged in the mid-1970s when various members of Alcoholics Anonymous sought to apply the principles of the12-Steps to sexual recovery from serial infidelity and other unmanageable, compulsive sexual behaviors similar to the powerlessness and unmanageability they experienced with alcoholism.
Fast forward to 2011 when the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) defined all addiction, including sex addiction, in terms of brain changes—addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.
At this time, we want to draw your attention to the 1st International Conference on Sex and Love Addiction to be held April 4–6 in Brooklyn, New York. Sponsored by our training division, U.S. Journal Training, and co-hosted by Caron treatment centers. This three-day landmark event will bring together the leading researchers and clinicians in the field to further advance our understanding of sex addiction around the globe.
We wish our readers a happy and healthy 2013.