• International Conference on Sex and Love Addiction

    April 4 - 6, 2013
    Brooklyn, NY

    This conference has ended, please see our Distance Learning options for recorded sessions from this conference.

    8:00–9:00 am. . . CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

    9:00–10:30 am. . . KEYNOTE PRESENTATION

    Thirty Years Later: The Shadows Have Moved, Patrick J. Carnes, PhD (Honorary Conference Chair)

    The year 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of the first edition of Out of the Shadows. Since that time, extraordinary changes have occurred in our understanding of the behaviors described in that book. Scientific, recovery practice, and clinical progress have gone far beyond anyone’s vision in 1983. Yet, we just now perceive the outer edges of the problems and that those problems are changing. Plus, new ones play significant roles on the global stage. In short, the shadows have moved.

    10:30–11:00 am. . . REFRESHMENT BREAK Exhibit Hall

    11:00 am–12:30 pm. . . PANEL DISCUSSION

    Cross Cultural Responses to Sex Addiction, Moderator: Patrick J. Carnes, PhD
    Panel Members: Zsuzsanna Beres, MD, Sweden; Paula Hall, United Kingdom; Sanja Rozman, MD CSAT, Sweden; Christian Knorren, BBA CSAT, The Netherlands; Nicole Sherren, PhD, Canada

    An international panel of leading practitioners and researchers will share their perspectives and experiences from their respective countries. Differences in cultural issues as well as varying approaches to treatment will be explored offering a “global perspective”.

    12:30–2:00 pm. . . LUNCH On Your Own

    2:00–3:30 pm. . . CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS

    Withdrawal is More Than Abstaining: Detox in Sex and Love Addiction, James "Jes" Montgomery, MD

    The “detox” process in sex and love addiction has no vital sign markers or overt physiologic indicators. However, patterns of behavior in the first weeks of recovery have been observed and data is arising for a predictable process. This workshop will discuss the obstacles to a smooth process, the indicators of a detox process and interventions that can be useful during this experience in order to move into stable recovery.

    Understanding Addiction Interaction—Sex Addiction in a Chemical Dependency Population, Cheryl Knepper, MA, LPC, CSAT-S; Michele Pole, PhD; Christoper O’Reilly, MA, LPC, CSAT; Sharon Matthew, MA, CADC, ACRPS

    The vast majority of addicts struggle with multiple addictions. Many of these addictions not only co-exist, they interact, combine, replace and fuse to become what is termed addiction Interaction. This presentation will focus on sex addiction within a chemically dependent population and focus on assessment and integrated treatment approaches.

    What Does Trauma Have to do with Love Addiction?, Shelley Uram, MD
    This presentation will deal with how our brain and early psychological trauma can ultimately lead to “love addiction” and “love avoidance”. Dr. Uram will explain the neurobiology of this in an easy-to-understand manner, followed by some treatment approaches.

    Facing Heartbreak: Helping Partners Survive the Trauma of Disclosure, Stefanie Carnes, PhD
    This presentation focuses on the impact of sex addiction on the partner and relationship. Typical response patterns of partners to discovery of sex addiction will be discussed as well as recommended clinical interventions. Participants will learn about the process of facilitating appropriate disclosure of information abut the sex addiction to family members and discuss mechanisms for support of all parties.

    3:30–4:00 pm. . . REFRESHMENT BREAK Exhibit Hall

    4:00–5:30 pm. . . CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS

    In Search of Rewards: The Overlapping Neurophysiology of Sex and Stimulants, David Sack, MD
    Dr. Sack will review the specific relationships between sex and psycho-stimulant rewards, the role of memory and impulsivity in relapsing, and novel treatments for clients with hypersexual behaviors and psycho-stimulant abuse.

    The Forgotten Victims: The Impact of Sex Addiction on Children, Stefanie Carnes, PhD
    Learning that a parent is a sex addict can be a very traumatic process for children. This presentation will discuss the impact of sex addiction on children. Additionally, guidelines for discussing sex addiction with children, their common responses, and therapeutic guidelines for treating these difficult case situations will be addressed.

    Two Ends of the Telescope: The Medical Director’s Notebook, Kenneth S. Thompson, MD; James ’Jes’ Montgomery, MD
    Focusing a telescope can bring an image very close. Looking through the other end makes the image seem even more distant. Similarly, clinicians working in a dedicated sex addiction inpatient unit view up close the dynamics of sex as an addictive process. Working in a dedicated substance abuse unit, however, tends to put sexual issues in a more distant perspective. By comparing perspectives, unique factors appear which are not visible otherwise. Hear two experienced medical directors share their notes on making the unseen visible.

    Strained Bedfellows: Sex Addiction and Personality Function, Patrick J. Carnes, PhD
    Part of our scientific progress has been to observe how certain sexual behaviors which seem very unrelated actually form constellations with very high cohesion. Much effort has gone into the exploration of how these behaviors have such strong adherence and co-morbidity. Working clinicians are familiar with the process of separating out personality disorder and addictive disorders. This session explores the possibility that personality issues may glue some of these constellations together.

    5:30 pm. . . Reception / Celebration of Recovery, Hosted by Caron

    Please join us for an evening of celebrating recovery, live music, hors d'oeuvres, networking and fun. 

    8:30–9:00 am. . . CONFERENCE REGISTRATION For Daily Attendees

    9:00–10:30 am. . . GENERAL SESSION

    50 Shades of Gray Matter—Neurobiological Issues in Sex Addiction Treatment: Causes and Barriers, Daniel Amen, MD

    At its core, sex addiction is a biological, psychological, social and spiritual disorder. Yet, few practitioners even look at or consider the brain in diagnosing and treating it. Dr. Amen will discuss his experience with brain imaging and the sex addict’s brain, including a discussion about 6 different types of sex addicts, based on his brain SPECT imaging work.

    10:30–11:00 am. . . REFRESHMENT BREAK Exhibit Hall

    11:00 am –12:30 pm. . . GENERAL SESSION

    Sex, Food, Gambling and Other Process Addictions—Shared Causal Mechanisms, Mark S. Gold, MD   

    This presentation looks at sex addiction and other process addictions and their similarities to and differences from substance addictions. The clinical features, risk factors and common neurobiological mechanisms are explored along with how these mechanisms impact treatment.

    12:30–2:00 pm. . . LUNCH On Your Own

    2:00–3:30 pm. . . CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS

    Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation: The Co-Regulatory Journey for Change and Growth, Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CSAT-S, CST-S

    Affective Neuroscience—the study of how emotions actually grow the brain and nervous system—shows that most of our psychological, intellectual, and even physical growth depends on attachment patterns we (or more correctly, our brains and bodies) learn during infancy. With hobbled capacities for self-regulation, self-reflection, self-differentiation, somatic awareness, and insight into self or others, sex addicts can’t tolerate long-term intimacy. This allows us to understand and treat sex addicts as regulation-impaired due to a fundamental attachment disorder.

    Understanding, Assessing, and Intervening with Problematic Sexual Behavior of Youth Online, David Delmonico, PhD   

    You may not have time to keep up with new technologies—but adolescents do! This workshop will discuss online sexual behavior of youth including the technologies used by youth for sexual purposes, sexual exploitation of youth, and online sexual addiction and youth. The psychology of the internet will be explained, along with practical suggestions for assessment, management, prevention, and intervention of problematic sexual behavior of youth online.

    The Clinical Utility of Brain SPECT Imaging in Addictions
    , Daniel Amen, MD   

    Brain SPECT Imaging is a powerful tool being used more and more by addiction treatment centers to help understand patients and direct treatment. In a recently published study, having a SPECT scan changed the diagnosis or treatment plan in 79% of cases. In addictions, SPECT helps break denial, motivate treatment, understand co-morbidity, enlist family support and is used in prevention education. Dr. Amen will discuss the pros and cons about using brain SPECT and discuss its practical applications.

    Sex Addiction Perspectives from Addiction Psychiatry and Sex Therapy, Ken Rosenberg, MD   

    Dr. Rosenberg will discuss neurobiological theories of addiction, psychiatric diagnosis systems, the appropriate use of sex therapy techniques and mindfulness training, and indications for medication.

    "The Alberta Experience" Making Positive Change: Mobilizing Knowledge About Addiction, Paula Tyler, LPC, CSAT-S; Nicole Sherren, PhD
    This workshop will describe innovative knowledge mobilization strategies designed to integrate current scientific knowledge about the prevention, intervention and treatment of substance and process addictions into programs, policies and clinical practices throughout the province of Alberta, Canada.

    3:30–4:00 pm . . . REFRESHMENT BREAK Exhibit Hall

    4:00–5:30 pm. . . CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS

    Sex Addiction and Attachment, Tom Pecca, BS, CAS, CSAT   

    This workshop will explore the connection between attachment styes and the acting out behavior that sex addicts eventually choose. Instructor and participants will explore interventions for working with trauma attachment and sex addiction.

    Sexually Addicted Sex Offenders: The Perfect Storm, David Delmonico, PhD; Elizabeth Griffin, MA, MFT   

    This workshop will provide an overview of a group of individuals often overlooked in the assessment and treatment process. The presenters will address the challenges of treating an individual who exhibits behaviors of both sexual addiction and sexual offense behavior. Practical suggestions for the assessment and treatment of the sexually-addicted sex offender will be addressed.

    Intimacy, Intensity, Intrigue: Relationship Addiction and Sexual Anorexia Within the Eating Disordered Population, Marcia S. Nickow, PsyD, CADC, CGP; Roseann Rook, CADC
    The scars of psychological trauma underlying eating disorders often lead to painful and powerful re-enactments in intimate, romantic and sexual relationships, as well as self-sabotage and relapse. People with eating disorders form toxic relationships with others and with the eating disorder itself. Workshop will offer information, insights, with clinical vignettes on sex, love and relationship addiction, including sexual acting out behaviors and sexual anorexia. Cybersex and technology addictions will be addressed in the context of intimacy avoidance.

    Training for Trauma and Cross Addiction in Russia, Marilyn Murray, MA   

    Review of 10-year history in the training of health professionals from the former USSR where they previously received minimal or no education regarding trauma or addiction. In these long term training sessions, men and women also addressed their own trauma and addiction issues—most for the first time. Their work will be visually presented and the theoretical model demonstrated.

    Attachment—Sex, Love, Relationships: The Neurobiological, Psychological, Social and Spiritual Aspects of Withdrawal, Raju Hajela, MD; Paula Hall; Sanja Rozman, MD, CSAT
    Workshop will explore the neurobiological, psychological, social and spiritual aspects of attachment or lack therof, which affect human behavior, in general; and further discuss how the dysfunction develops that becomes the disease of Addiction with its various manifestations, especially focusing on sex, love and relationships. Speakers will discuss the comprehensive approach needed to treat the disease and promote recovery beyond just encouraging behavior change. 

    8:00–8:15 am. . . CONFERENCE REGISTRATION For Daily Attendees 

    8:15–9:00 am. . . GENERAL SESSION

    The Visible Recovery Movement—Changes and Recovery Are Attainable, Christopher Kennedy Lawford   

    Mr. Lawford will discuss the visible recovery movement and how change and recovery are attainable for anyone who chooses that path. His research for his most recent New York Times bestseller, Recover to Live: Kick Any Habit, Manage Any Addiction: Your Self-Treatment Guide to Alcohol, Drugs, Eating Disorders, Gambling, Hoarding, Smoking, Sex, and Porn involved conversations and interview with over 100 of the world's treatment experts. Chris combines his personal experience with scientific research to provide a blueprint for recovery.

    9:00–10:30 am. . . GENERAL SESSION

    The Drive to Love: Neural Foundations of Romantic Passion and Love Addiction, Helen Fisher, PhD   

    Dr. Fisher will describe three primary brain systems for mating and reproduction; the sex drive; romantic love; and feelings of deep attachment. Then she will focus on the traits, evolution and brain circuits (using FMRI data) associated with intensive early stage romantic love, rejection in love, long term love and love addiction. She concludes that the neural system associated with romantic love is a core component of the worldwide incidence of addictive love and crimes of passion.

    10:30–11:00 am. . . REFRESHMENT BREAK Exhibit Hall

    11:00 am–12:30 pm. . . GENERAL SESSION

    Sex, Tech, Intimacy and Infidelity: The Effect of Social Media and Technology on Cheating, Intimacy Disorders and Sex Addiction, Rob Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S   

    Psychotherapy and addiction professionals report increased numbers of clients and their spouses seeking clinical help for problems related to online sexual and romantic behavior, as well as porn abuse, smart-phone hook-ups and anonymous sex. Mr. Weiss will provide overview and treatment of impulsive, compulsive and addictive sexual behavior problems as well as a clear description of how the various areas of evolving technology and social media are effecting intimate sexuality, fidelity, addiction and relationships.

    12:30–2:00 pm. . . LUNCH On Your Own

    2:00–3:30 pm. . . CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS

    Sexual Dependency Treatment Inventory (SDI) and Post Traumatic Stress Index-Revised (PTSI-R) in Assessment and Treatment Planning with Sex Addicts, Kenneth Adams, PhD, CSAT   

    The SDI is an effective inventory in measuring a variety of dimensions in the sex addict population. along with the PTSI-$, a measure of how addicts have coped with trauma and stress, these new instruments are proving invaluable in managing the complexity of this group. Through case examples and corresponding test protocols, this workshop will review the components of the sdI and PTsI-r in assessment and treatment.

    Intimate Treason: Facing Sexual Betrayal, Claudia Black, PhD   

    Today, throughout every community, women and men are being challenged by the addictive nature of their partner’s sexual behavior. This presentation will discuss the many facets of trauma and codependency that impact the partner and the critical elements that lead to stabilization. This is a traumatizing and painful situation that the presenter addresses with great empathy and direction for both the professional and impacted client

    Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men, Rob Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S   

    Sexual addiction and sexual recovery are of primary area of concern to the gay male community. Sexual acting out is a long-term, prominent, identified problem in this population faced with life and death concerns related to sexual behavior such as HIV transmission, anonymous sex and meth use fused with sexual behavior. This break-out session, presented by the author of the sole clinical book on this topic will directly address the identification, treatment and management of gay male sex addicts and their spouses. Underlying etiology and directly related cultural concerns will be addressed, helping attendees best learn how to evolve and support sexual recovery among gay men.

    Treating the Traumatized Inner Child Using the Relationship Trauma Repair Model (RTR) to Treat Trauma, Tian Dayton, PhD, TEP   

    This experiential workshop looks at how to use sociometry to explore issues related to trauma and addiction. The Relationship Trauma Repair Model (RTR) is designed to fit any treatment program, clinic, or one-to-one practice. RTR is a multi-sensory model that uses psychodrama, sociometry, journaling and guided imaging in the treatment of trauma issues.

    Female Sex and Love Addiction: The Private Struggle, Alexandra Katehakis, MFT, CSAT-S, CST-S   

    Female sex and love addiction is a psychobiological and cultural disease effecting untold numbers of women. This problem exists in secrecy and shame in a predominately patriarchal culture making it difficult for women to ask for help. speaker will review expanded knowledge of brain structure and function and other factors which provides greater clues into what creates the propensity for sex and love addiction in females.

    3:30–4:00 pm. . . REFRESHMENT BREAK Exhibit Hall

    4:00–5:30 pm. . . CONCURRENT WORKSHOPS

    Key Elements in Treatment, Kenneth Adams, PhD, CSAT   

    The clinical management and treatment of sex addiction requires a multidimensional approach over the course of time in order to achieve lasting sobriety. The task-based model of treatment is a road map for the addict and therapist to manage the recovery journey. This workshop will review the task model as well as other key elements needed in the treatment of sex addicts.

    Healing the Trauma for Partners Confronting Sex Addiction, Claudia Black, PhD   

    Building upon the previous workshop, Dr. Black will discuss foundational issues such as denial, control, emotional reactivity, forgiveness, trust and spirituality. She will incorporate exercises often used with clients. The sensitive issue of how to discuss sex addiction with children will also be acknowledged.

    Love Addiction and The Biology of Personality, Helen Fisher, PhD   

    Dr. Fisher discusses the biological foundations of four broad personality styles to hypothesize on how basic physiological temperament affects one’s manner of loving and one’s susceptibility to a variety of love addictions.

    Co-Occuring Disorders and Addiction Interaction, Harris Stratyner, PhD   

    This presentation will discuss how Axis I major clinical syndromes such as bipolar disorders or obsessive compulsive disorders, for example, as well as Axis II personality disorders such as obsessive compulsive personality disorder, or anti-social personality disorder, can result in addictive actions that are deleterious to psychological aspects of life such as marriage, finance, etc. Dr. Staytner will focus on engagement of the patient to create a therapeutic alliance that utilizes his approach to “carefrontation”.

    5:30 pm. . . Close of Conference & Attendance Certificates Available

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    This program was designed to create a platform for dialogue across disciplines and countries. The conference provided a stage for the exchange of ideas about how the international community is providing education and treatment for sexual addiction; started an international dialogue on the impact of cybersex; disseminated information on the most current tools and research on assessment and treatment; provided collaboration across associations and professional organizations to further knowledge and reduce stigma. 

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