Today I am excited to share with you two excellent resources related to sexual addiction recovery and sexual health. First, I want to share with you a chapter from Life After Lust called Connected Sex: A Paradigm Shift for the Sexually Addicted (click here for entire chapter for free). This is the first time I have publicly shared this chapter in its entirely. I hope you find it mind-expanding and life-altering.
I wrote, "When a sex addict learns to experience sex as the “potent bonding activity” it can be, this is a massive mental shift for them. Instead of using sex as a drug: to escape, numb, or avoid, sex can become a source of satisfaction. Healing from a shame-based sexuality will be part of the process. Learning how to leave lust and objectification out of the bedroom are additional aims of recovery." (Click here to read more)
Second, skilled and knowledgeable specialist in sexual addiction treatment, Valerie Hamaker, has created a valuable online course series on healthy sexuality and sexual addiction recovery. I highly recommend this series! It is a great resource for recovering individuals and couples, as well as professionals. It is high-quality content that is well worth the investment. Click here to learn more.
For those interested, here is the course outline:
Class 1: Healthy Couples’ Sexuality Overview (Part I of II). In this class you will learn how your earliest relationships in life mold and shape how you relate to your intimate partner, how sexuality is tied to your individual identity development, sexuality and its theological foundation, and some ideas around what gets in the way when a couple struggles with their sexual relationship.
Class 2: Healthy Couples’ Sexuality Overview (Part II of II). In this class you will learn about how the brain is the most important sex organ and how the brain impacts issues of both sexual desire and arousal. You will learn about how culture, religion, and family of origin impact the meaning of sexuality in general and female sexual identity development in particular.
Class 3: Human Attachment and Addiction Vulnerability: In this class you will learn about the vital importance of our earliest relationships as the template used for learning how to manage the normal stresses and struggles that come with the human experience and how addiction is often the result of one trying to get a healthy need met in an unhealthy and non-relational way.
Class 4: Classic and Contemporary Sexual Addiction Fundamentals: In this class you will learn that there is a distinct difference between pre-internet and post-internet sex addiction. We will then define healthy sexuality, components of addicted sexuality, as well as common elements, activities, behaviors and attitudes associated with addictive disorders.
Class 5: Sexual Addiction—The Brain on Porn: In this class we go more deeply into the neurobiology of sex addiction beginning with the primary neurochemicals involved in healthy sexuality and how these chemicals (especially dopamine) play a roll in the development of an addiction. We will discuss main portions of the brain impacted by pornography and the addiction cycle, and key components of sobriety versus true recovery.
Class 6: Stages of Sexual Addiction Recovery and the Power of Group Recovery: In this class we go into detail regarding each of the five stages of sexual addiction recovery including how long each phase typically lasts, how one feels, and how one impacts and is impacted by others. We will then explore fundamentals of group recovery and key factors in successful recovery that take place through group work.
Class 7: Preparing our Children for Encounters with Pornography: In this class you will receive a step-by-step breakdown about how to teach your child about healthy sexuality and addicted sexuality including a simplified way to teach your child about sexuality and brain development. You will be given a simple protocol to teach your children when exposed to pornography.
Class 8: Healthy Adolescent Sexual Development (Part I of II): In this class you will learn about a healthy paradigm that connects sexuality with spirituality and gain a deeper understanding of the 5 Circles of Sexuality (sensuality, sexual intimacy, sexual identity, reproduction and sexual health, and sexualization) which will give you language to use in helping your adolescent’s understanding their own healthy emerging sexuality.
Class 9: Healthy Adolescent Sexual Development (Part II of II): In this class you will learn about how parents’ high anxiety around their own selves as sexual beings may translate into either rigidity or chaos in the development of their adolescent’s emerging sexuality and instructor will review her own therapeutic protocol in working with teens and their parents in areas of healthy sexual development as well as struggles with pornography.
As you can see, Valerie has compiled a relevant and information-packed series.
May both of these resources help you experience deeper healing and increased sexual health.
Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery & Program Development Director of LifeSTAR Sacramento. Please follow LifeSTAR Sacramento on the following platforms: Blog, Twitter, Facebook and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!