1st Edition

Routledge International Handbook of Sexual Addiction

Edited By Thaddeus Birchard, Joanna Benfield Copyright 2018
    496 Pages
    by Routledge

    496 Pages
    by Routledge

    The concept of sexual addiction has gained increasing recognition in the academic and healthcare communities since the 1990s. It has also captured the attention of the media, where there has been much debate over whether it can truly be described as an addiction. What is certain is that many people struggle with out of control sexual behaviour, which takes over their lives and has harmful consequences for their relationships, careers and finances.

    The Routledge International Handbook of Sexual Addiction brings together a comprehensive range of perspectives on sexual addiction from a worldwide selection of scholars and therapists. It sets out to define sexual addiction and to study its causes from a range of different psychological perspectives. A series of presentations of sexual addiction are outlined, including internet sexual addiction and the relationship between paraphilias and sex addiction. The handbook considers both individual and group treatment strategies, drawing on a wide range of approaches, including cognitive behavioural therapy, mindfulness and 12-step programmes. The book studies sex addiction in specific populations including women, adolescents and men who have sex with men. Finally, it considers some of the alternative discourses surrounding the concept of sexual addiction.

    This is the first comprehensive reference book to bring together global viewpoints on advances in research, theory and practice in one volume. This handbook provides an essential guide for academics and students of psychotherapy, counselling, nursing, addiction, sexualities, social work and health and social care, as well as professionals in practice and in training working with sexual addiction and related issues.



    1.1 Introduction - Joanna Benfield

    1.2 Whither Sexual Addiction? An Overview - Stephen Southern

    1.3 Sexual Addiction: Terminology, Definitions and Conceptualization - Gerard A. Schaefer and Christoph J. Ahlers

    1.4 A BioPsychoSocial Approach to Sex Addiction - Paula Hall


    2.1 Overview of Presentations of Sexual Addiction - Ralph Earle and Rick Isenberg

    2.2 Sexual Addiction in the Digital Age - David Delmonico, Heather Putney and Elizabeth J. Griffin

    2.3 The Relationship between Pornography and Hypersexual Behaviour - Philippe Bensimon

    2.4 Sexual Addiction and Paraphilias - Gerard A. Schaefer and Christoph J. Ahlers

    2.5 The Role of Sexual Fantasies in Sexual Addiction - Richard Newbury


    3.1 The Aetiology and Differential Diagnosis of Sex Addiction: An Overview - Ken Adams and Todd Love

    3.2 The Neuroscience of Sexual Addiction - Frederick Toates

    3.3 Written in the Scars: Sex Addiction as an Attachment Disorder - John Beveridge

    3.4 The Role of Shame in Sexual Addiction: a Review of Empirical Research - Manpreet K. Dhuffar and Mark D. Griffiths

    3.5 Existential Perspectives on Working with Sex Addiction - Alex Smith


    4.1 Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis of Sexual Addiction - Joshua B. Grubbs, Joshua N. Hook, Brandon J. Griffin, J. Kim Penberthy and Shane W. Kraus

    4.2 The Importance of Group Psychotherapy for Sex and Love Addiction Recovery - Eric Griffin-Shelley

    4.3 Group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Compulsive Sexual Behaviour - Thaddeus Birchard

    4.4 Sex Addiction, the 12 Steps and Therapy - Timothy D. Stein and Patrick Carnes

    4.5 The Process of Couples’ Therapy for Sex and Porn Addiction- George Collins

    4.6 Mentalization-based Therapy for Sex Addiction - Michael Berry and Austin Lam

    4.7 Applying Positive Psychology to Sex Addiction - Jolanta Burke and Eoin Stephens

    4.8 Using Creative Therapies to Help Facilitate Neuroplastic Brain Changes in Sexually Compulsive Clients - Matthew Hedelius

    4.9 A Role for Mindfulness Meditation in Treating Sexual Addiction - Kishore Chandiramani

    4.10 Creativity and Healing: Art Therapy with Sex Addicts - Marie Wilson

    4.11 Incorporating Pharmacological Treatment Strategies - Florence Thibaut

    4.12 When Addictions Merge: Assessing and Treating the Relationship between Addictions - Robert Weiss


    5.1 Sexual Compulsivity and Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) - Michael P. Chaney and Carol Burns-Wortham

    5.2 Sex Addiction and Adolescents - Maria Watters and Todd Spaulding

    5.3 The Female Face of Sexual Addiction - Alexandra Katehakis

    5.4 Working with Female Partners: Interventions from 10 Years of Partners’ Groups in the UK - Joy Rosendale

    5.5 Navigating the Minefield of Facilitated Disclosure: Strategies, Techniques and Potential Pitfalls - Stefanie Carnes

    5.6 Sexual Addiction and Sex Offenders - Andrew Smith

    5.7 Sex Addiction and Professional Sexual Misconduct - Charles Samenow and Jennifer P. Schneider

    5.8 Compulsive Sexual Behaviour and Religious Practice - Thaddeus Birchard

    5.9 Protestant Clergy Sexual Misconduct - John Thoburn, Jyssica Seebeck and Sadie Teal


    6.1 Out-of-Control Sexual Behaviour – A Sexual Health Problem - Michael A. Vigorito and Douglas Braun-Harvey

    6.2 What’s Wrong with Sex Addiction? - Helen Keane

    6.3 Sex Addiction: An Iatrogenic and Moral Concept - David J. Ley

    SECTION 7: Conclusions

    7.1 Concluding Remarks - Thaddeus Birchard

    (Thaddeus Birchard and Joanna Benfield)


    Thaddeus Birchard is the founder of the Marylebone Centre. He has an MSc in psychosexual therapy and a doctorate in the treatment of hypersexual disorders. He is accredited by the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies and is the founder of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity. He is the author of CBT for Compulsive Sexual Behaviour: A Guide for Professionals and Overcoming Sexual Addiction: A Self-Help Guide (both Routledge).

    Joanna Benfield (MPhil) is a psychosexual therapist in private practice in London and France. She has a Diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy, and is a member of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) and the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT).

    "This handbook is essential reading for anyone working academically or clinically in the field of sexuality. It is heavyweight in terms of its authorship and its scope and approach to the issues of out of control sexual behaviour, covering behavioural, psychological, social, and neurological contributory processes.  It presents a balance of the arguments for and against the concept of sexual addiction and discusses varying treatment options. As such, it should also be required reading for all therapeutic students as they formulate their own ways of working with this ubiquitous clinical presentation." - Dr Glyn Hudson Allez, Forensic Psychosexual Therapist, Fellow of CORST, UK