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Description

Product Description

Unhooked from regular routines and healthy relationships by the coronavirus pandemic or other traumas, even our most basic human impulses and inputs can become addictive and destructive. An essential resource for those struggling with sexual addiction and compulsions, and those who love them.

With the revised information and up-to-date research,  Out of the Shadows is the premier work on sex addiction, written by a pioneer in its treatment.

Sex is at the core of our identities. And when it becomes a compulsion, it can unravel our lives. Out of the Shadows is the premier work on this disorder, written by a pioneer in its treatment. Revised and updated to include the latest research--and to address the exploding phenomenon of cybersex addiction--this third edition identifies the danger signs, explains the dynamics, and describes the consequences of sexual addiction and dependency. With practical wisdom and spiritual clarity, it points the way out of the shadows of sexual compulsion and back into the light and fullness of life.

Review


"We recommend Patrick Carnes''s Out of the Shadows...to every sex addict and codependent we treat...This (book provides) a tremendously powerful experience, helping both sex addicts and codependents realize that they are not alone and not destined to eternally be at the mercy of the disease."
--Dr. Ralph Earle and Dr. Gregory Crow, Lonely All the Time

"Out of the Shadows has become a guidebook for sufferers and counselors alike."
--Roda Salter, Keene Sentinel

About the Author

Patrick J. Carnes, PhD, is an internationally known authority and speaker on addiction and recovery issues. He has authored over twenty books including the bestselling titles Out of the Shadows: Understanding Addiction Recovery, Betrayal Bond, Don''t Call It Love, The Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps and T he Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles.

Dr. Carnes'' research provides the architecture for the "task model" of treating addictions that is used by thousands of therapists worldwide and many well-known treatment centers, residential facilities, and hospitals. He founded IITAP (International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals), which provides CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) training and certification as well as cutting-edge information for addiction professionals. Dr. Carnes currently serves as a Senior Fellow and Executive Director for the Gentle Path Program at The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona.

For more information on his work and contributions see www.patrickcarnes.com. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter: @drpatrickcarnes.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1
The Addiction Cycle


Although Hefner was approaching forty-five, and had been involved with hundreds of photogenic women since starting his magazine, he enjoyed female companionship now more than ever; and perhaps more significant, considering all that Hefner had seen and done in recent years, was the fact that each occasion with a new woman was for him a novel experience. It was as if he was always watching for the first time a woman undress, rediscovering with delight the beauty of the female body, breathlessly expectant as panties were removed and smooth buttocks were exposed—and he never tired of the consummate act. He was a sex junkie with an insatiable habit.
—Gay Talese, Thy Neighbor''s Wife


Del was a lawyer. Brilliant, charming, and witty. He had a special breakthrough in his career when he was appointed as one of the governor''s special aides. His wife and three children were proud of his accomplishments. However, Del''s public visibility was creating a problem because he was also a sexual addict. His double life included prostitution, porn bookstores, and affairs.

Del would initiate relationships with women, feeling that he was "in love." After the initial sexual contact, he would desperately wish to be free. These relationships became characterized by his ambivalence. He wanted to be sexual, but he did not want the relationship. Yet he couldn''t say no clearly without fear of hurting the women''s feelings, so he never quite broke off the relationships. Instead he hoped their frustration would force them to give up. The result was that he had a series of relationships at the same time in various stages of initiation and frustration.

There was not only the juggling act of keeping his relationships straight. Some of these women were vital to him professionally. He exploited relationships to receive cooperation. His problem was that the women would believe that he cared for them. The professional complications were extreme. At one point, he was involved with a colleague and her secretary at the same time. The secretary went in to talk to her boss about this "problem" she had. Del had to face two very angry women.

His other behaviors were also problems. In porn shops, he was sexual with a number of men in the movie booths. Worse, the shops he frequented were near the capitol, an area where he was liable to be recognized. He vowed to stop when, sitting in a meeting in the attorney general''s office, a plan was described for a raid on a local porn shop—the one he had patronized two days before. But he did not stop.

Neither were his visits to massage parlors without peril. One night his masseuse was a young girl quite high on some form of drug. Del decided to have his massage anyway, including a "hand job." When she masturbated him, she hurt his penis. Del was too shameful to complain or even to tell anybody. When he got home, he was so upset, he masturbated—despite his penis being sore.

Late one evening, Del pulled up next to a young woman at a stoplight. He had always had the fantasy of picking up a woman on a street. He looked at her and she smiled at him. Del became very excited. They drove side by side for several blocks. She returned his stares at each stop sign. Soon she pulled ahead of him, turned off the road, and pulled to a stop. He followed and pulled up behind her. She waved toward him and pulled out again. Del thought she wanted him to follow.

Del''s mind raced ahead to where she could be leading him. She drove in the direction of a well-known local restaurant with a popular late-night bar. Convinced that was where they were headed, he speculated that after a drink, they might end up at her apartment. With his mind full of fantasies, he pulled up behind her when she stopped. As he was opening his door, she leaped out of her car and dashed into the building. Surprised, he looked up to see that he was not in front of the restaurant. Rather, she had stopped at the police station three blocks away.

Horrified, Del got back in his car and raced home. While driving, he was in shock at how out of touch with reality he was. She had not been encouraging him to follow her, but was in fact frightened. He, on the other hand, was so caught up in his fantasy that he failed to notice she was parking at a police station.

He felt a flood of remorse for subjecting the woman to a frightening ordeal. Also, he was terrified that she would accuse him of attempted rape and that he would be arrested. When Del arrived home at 1:30 a.m., he was so scared that he sat and prayed. At 2:00, there was a sound of a siren in the distance. He promised God that he would change. He fantasized about what it would do to his wife and kids. Truly, it was the most desperate moment of his life. Finally, he went to bed.

When he awoke in the morning, he felt tremendous relief. He knew he was not going to be picked up. He went to work and put enormous energy into his job that day. At the end of the day, he felt in need of a reward. He stopped at a massage parlor.

Del was a man who valued the law. He also prided himself on his honesty with people, a fact he often parlayed into seduction. His children and wife were central to his life. He had worked hard in his career. His addiction, however, violated his own values and the law and jeopardized his career and family. His story—of which just a few pieces are related here—is one of constant predicaments. Del''s addictive behavior put him in situations in which he was vulnerable to tremendous consequences. His degradation was only exceeded by the violation of his own principles. Because of Del''s sexual addiction, his fantasy became more real than the nightmare he created.


What Is Sexual Addiction?


A way to understand sexual addicts like Del is to compare them with other types of addicts. A common definition of alcoholism or drug dependency is that a person has a pathological relationship with a mood-altering chemical.1 The alcoholic''s relationship with alcohol becomes more important than family, friends, and work. The relationship progresses to the point where alcohol is necessary to feel normal. To feel "normal" for the alcoholic is also to feel isolated and lonely, since the primary relationship he depends upon to feel adequate is with a chemical, not other people.

Sexual addiction is parallel. The addict substitutes a sick relationship to an event or a process for a healthy relationship with others. The addict''s relationship with a mood-altering experience becomes central to his life. Del, for example, routinely jeopardized all that he loved. His vows to quit were lost against the power of his addiction. The only thing that exceeded his pain was his loneliness.

Addicts progressively go through stages in which they retreat further from the reality of friends, family, and work. Their secret lives become more real than their public lives. What other people know is a false identity. Only the individual addict knows the shame of living a double life—the real world and the addict''s world.

Leading a fantasy double life is a distortion of reality. Del was so caught up in his fantasy that police station became a restaurant and a cooperative prospect was, in fact, a desperate and frightened woman. An essential part of sanity is being grounded in reality, so in the sense that addicts distort reality, the sexual addiction becomes a form of insanity.


The Addict''s Belief System


How does addiction begin? How does the progressive insanity occur? It begins with the delusional thought processes that are rooted in the addict''s belief system. That is, addicts begin with core beliefs about themselves that affect how they perceive reality. So important is this factor—the belief system—in the addiction equation that it is a theme running throughout this entire book. For now, we need only to point out its role in the impaired thinking of the addict.

Each person has a belief system that is the sum of the assumptions, judgments, and myths that he or she holds to be true. It contains potent family messages about a person''s value or worth, relationships, needs, and sexuality. Within it is a repertoire of what "options"—answers, solutions, methods, possibilities, ways of behaving—are open to each of us. In short, it is a model of the world.

On the basis of that model we
•     plan and make decisions
•     interpret other people''s actions
•     make meaning out of life experiences
•     solve problems
•     pattern our relationships
•     develop our careers
•     establish priorities


For each of us, our belief system is the filter through which we conduct the main task of our lives: making choices.

The addict''s belief system contains certain core beliefs that are faulty or inaccurate and, consequently, that provide a fundamental momentum for the addiction. Generally, addicts do not perceive themselves as worthwhile persons. Nor do they believe that other people would care for them or meet their needs if everything was known about them, including the addiction. Finally, they believe that sex is their most important need. Sex is what makes isolation bearable. Their core beliefs are the anchor points of the sexual addiction. If you do not trust people, one thing that is true about sex—and alcohol, food, gambling, and risk—is that it always does what it promises—for the moment. Thus, as in our definition of addiction, the relationship is with sex—and not people.


Impaired Thinking


Out of the belief system—the set of interacting faulty beliefs—come distorted views of reality. Denial leads the list of ways that addicts distort reality. Addicts use many devices to deny—to...

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4.5 out of 54.5 out of 5
851 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Chris C
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Profound and possibly life-changing
Reviewed in the United States on August 22, 2020
I rarely write reviews, but this one has affected me so much that I felt compelled to write one. This book is full of profound truths about sexual addictions. For me, these are relatively mild compared to others - early exposure to pornography and thoughts about sex so... See more
I rarely write reviews, but this one has affected me so much that I felt compelled to write one. This book is full of profound truths about sexual addictions. For me, these are relatively mild compared to others - early exposure to pornography and thoughts about sex so frequent as to disrupt my normal life and cause conflict in relationships. I mention this because I was initially hesitant to buy the book, not thinking of my problems as falling into the category of a sex addiction. I was wrong. There''s a full spectrum of sexual addictions from mild to severe to the outright criminal and tragic. They share many causes, symptoms, and treatments, and this book helped me understand sexual addiction and my own situation like no other so far. I still have 15% of the book remaining, but I have little doubt that it will forever change my life by inducing several paradigm shifts and changes in my underlying beliefs about men, women, sex, childhood abuse, etc. Highly highly recommend!
13 people found this helpful
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klmark
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Insightful
Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2017
My spouse is a sex addict and his therapist recommended he read this book. I decided to read it as well and this was supported by his therapist. I wasn''t sure what to expect, but I found it helpful to know there are others like my husband and that counseling and working a... See more
My spouse is a sex addict and his therapist recommended he read this book. I decided to read it as well and this was supported by his therapist. I wasn''t sure what to expect, but I found it helpful to know there are others like my husband and that counseling and working a 12 step program brought some peace and hope back to other marriages and families. We are still in early stages of diagnosis and therapy, but I have hope and courage for what lies ahead. I cannot control my husband, but I can control me.

I highly recommend this book to others in my situation, not just the addict. I clearly have codependent issues as well. It gets a bit deep in spots with psycho therapy speak, but you get the gist of the message. I had several "ah, ha" moments.
42 people found this helpful
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Delores J. Jordan
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Dr. Carnes brought me out of the shadows.
Reviewed in the United States on January 9, 2017
An excellent book explaining sexual addiction of both the addict and the coaddict. The life of both contributes to their addictive world. It helps people understand the addictive system: faulty core beliefs, impaired thinking, compulsive behavior and the unmanageability... See more
An excellent book explaining sexual addiction of both the addict and the coaddict. The life of both contributes to their addictive world. It helps people understand the addictive system: faulty core beliefs, impaired thinking, compulsive behavior and the unmanageability that creates its own momentum isolating the addict further and the coaddict too. In reading this book, I understood my ex-husband and my role in this addictive cycle. If you are touched by sexual addiction, this is a must read book. Dr. Carnes brought me out of the shadows for sure.
23 people found this helpful
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Joseph Papp
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
My Priest recommended this to me
Reviewed in the United States on May 8, 2018
My Priest recommended this to me. It isn''t an easy read nor is it a bad read. After reading this. I realized I don''t fall into the sex addict definition. But, it has helped me to understand people with these issues. It doesn''t hold anything back and it demonstrates the... See more
My Priest recommended this to me. It isn''t an easy read nor is it a bad read. After reading this. I realized I don''t fall into the sex addict definition. But, it has helped me to understand people with these issues. It doesn''t hold anything back and it demonstrates the emotional aspects that lead to this problem (and the consequences). It''s a common book for psychologists which could help people work with therapist in their pursuit for mental health.
11 people found this helpful
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Lv2sign804
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not impressed
Reviewed in the United States on August 27, 2018
It was not what I was expecting! Completely disgusted. I didn''t like the opinions of the writer. To state that it is natural for parents find their kids attractive in the manner of which this book is written is appauling. There fact that someone would write that knowing... See more
It was not what I was expecting! Completely disgusted. I didn''t like the opinions of the writer. To state that it is natural for parents find their kids attractive in the manner of which this book is written is appauling. There fact that someone would write that knowing addicts and their family will read this turns my stomach.
10 people found this helpful
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Water Wizard
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A wonderful read
Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2018
This book is full of insights that are like a soothing salve on an open wound that would never heal. Dr Carnes has a way of taking you from delusion to reality in a very warm and tender way. He has been a guide to me out of the shadows of isolation and shame to the light of... See more
This book is full of insights that are like a soothing salve on an open wound that would never heal. Dr Carnes has a way of taking you from delusion to reality in a very warm and tender way. He has been a guide to me out of the shadows of isolation and shame to the light of understanding what had perplexed me my whole life. This book is a must read for anyone with compulsive sexual behavior.
8 people found this helpful
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Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great first step to understand sexual addiction
Reviewed in the United States on December 30, 2016
This book is a great first reading for understanding sexual addiction, including the basic belief principles and addiction cycle of addicts. My favorite part was being shown how the "12 steps" relate to and change the beliefs. The least helpful to me was the discussion of... See more
This book is a great first reading for understanding sexual addiction, including the basic belief principles and addiction cycle of addicts. My favorite part was being shown how the "12 steps" relate to and change the beliefs. The least helpful to me was the discussion of co-addiction, and the lack of coverage of the spouse or family member who is not a co-addict, but who is nonetheless affected and devastated.
17 people found this helpful
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Angela Davis
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
ENLIGHTENING & ENGAGING
Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2013
I purchased this book, because I have been married to two husbands who were sex addicts and I was curious why we could never share intimacy (in all honesty, I thought something was wrong with me). Although I knew something was off, I just couldn''t put my finger on it. I''m... See more
I purchased this book, because I have been married to two husbands who were sex addicts and I was curious why we could never share intimacy (in all honesty, I thought something was wrong with me). Although I knew something was off, I just couldn''t put my finger on it. I''m very grateful that this book was available. It has open my mind up to the why''s, when''S and how to over come the shame and guilt I feel as a spouse. I''m currently separated from my second husband and raising my 11 yr old son as a single parent. This book will help me to help him navigate through his growing pains and to learn how to go through the pains of life without substituting sex for real love. Thank you again for writing such a powerful book.
13 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

F. Sidney
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Professionally written, well researched, a breakthrough book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 6, 2020
I work as a Clinical Hypnotherapist and sometimes I deal with clients with addictions. This books has been quite revealing of much literature around the topic. Very helpful, concise, with real stories and productive comments that really shed the light on addictions. I find...See more
I work as a Clinical Hypnotherapist and sometimes I deal with clients with addictions. This books has been quite revealing of much literature around the topic. Very helpful, concise, with real stories and productive comments that really shed the light on addictions. I find myself quoting from this text book over and over, and I think it should be on your shelf if you are dealing with addiction, or a loved one does. My colleagues and I often talk about the concepts contained here and we are so thankful for the years of research that mr Carnes has carried on.
3 people found this helpful
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skw
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Out of the Shadows
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 10, 2012
This is pretty much recognised as the standard text about sex addiction. It is hugely informative, but brace yourself, it is a grim read. I work with this client group and have regretted recommending it to a client struggling with sex addiction - it describes the addiction...See more
This is pretty much recognised as the standard text about sex addiction. It is hugely informative, but brace yourself, it is a grim read. I work with this client group and have regretted recommending it to a client struggling with sex addiction - it describes the addiction but is not a book which focuses on recovery so it can exacerbate feelings of hopelessness for someone who already feels overwhelmed. But for a comprehensive and general review of sex addiction it is very useful. For people in the grip of the addiction, Facing the Shadow, by the same author, is more relevant and hopeful.
12 people found this helpful
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Dr. E. Korusoy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
An essential textbook on sex addiction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 7, 2021
Not an easy read. Be prepared to change your longstanding assumptions about some of the most painful dysfunctional behaviours we see in our society.
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toni lee isaac
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 28, 2019
Great
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Nicole
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Good seller, great product
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 12, 2017
Exceptional book
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Out outlet online sale of the wholesale Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction online

Out outlet online sale of the wholesale Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction online

Out outlet online sale of the wholesale Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction online

Out outlet online sale of the wholesale Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction online

Out outlet online sale of the wholesale Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction online

Out outlet online sale of the wholesale Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction online

Out outlet online sale of the wholesale Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction online

Out outlet online sale of the wholesale Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction online

Out outlet online sale of the wholesale Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction online

Out outlet online sale of the wholesale Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction online