A Paradigm Shift…Again?
We are living in the time of a ‘paradigm shift’ when one all-embracing framework moves on towards another framework. During such times there can be considerable disagreement. This paradigm shift has largely emerged from advances in neuroscience. The term ‘addiction’ can now apply to repetitious behaviours as well as substances. Disagreement is evident from the email circulation of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health and, in particular, the recent conflict with the American Association of Sex Educators, Counsellors and Therapists. These conflicts happen during a paradigm shift and remarks can be intemperate. In all cases, I urge courtesy and respect for all points of view.
Media and Sex Addiction…the impact on awareness
For some years now, the media have been discussing the concept of sexual addiction. My practice, and the practices of colleagues, have seen an increase of referrals drawn from a wide public acceptance of the reality of sexual addiction. Of course, the newspapers like to report in ways which are designed to focus on anything to do with sex. Sexual addiction has been highlighted by the release of films like Weiner and Shame. Just yesterday, I was interviewed by a journalist working for Vogue, on the psychology and motivation of couples who have live sex on the internet for the benefit of on-lookers. So the media, newspapers, magazines, television and film have all contributed to the dissemination of an understanding of sexual addiction and the corresponding issues of treatment. From so much press exposure, many people may now self-identify as sexually addicted. Many of the patients who came to this clinic self-refer and come through the internet.
A Story of Sex Addiction Therapy in the UK
This brand new article, published in full in The Journal of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, (2017, Volume 24:1-2) is a personal story but one made richer by the attentive and devoted work of many other clinicians. Although I was the not the first person to work in this field, in the early days mine was and continues to be a commitment to this important work. As times have moved on, more individuals have joined me in the development of sex addiction work in the UK. It is right that all their efforts and creativity are celebrated and acknowledged. In this article, I name names as it is proper that these men and women should be acknowledged and often, against the odds, have sought to promote the concept of sexual addiction in the face of indifference and sometimes animosity. This is a story of people and personalities that have shaped the public acceptance of the concept of sexual addiction in the UK.