Training Workshop for Therapists and Counselors

Our Certified Therapist Caralee Frederic will be a co-presenter at a two-day training workshop in Portland for therapists and counselors who provide private treatment sessions for couples.

The workshop, created by The Gottman Institute, is hosted and presented by my colleague Dr. Jack R. Crossen. Details are below.

March 7-8, 2017 (Tuesday-Wednesday) 8:30 am – 5 pm

“Bridging the Couple’s Chasm”
Gottman Method Therapy: Level One

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What is Sex Addiction?


Sex Addiction.jpg

Because sex is intended to be a good, healthy, bonding experience within a marriage, it is sometimes difficult to conceive how it could be twisted into something negative and addictive.

I often hear doubts expressed such as “Can there really be such a thing as being addicted to sex?” or “If I’m addicted to sex, I’m OK with that. It’s like being addicted to breathing.”

Less than 100 years ago, the general population had similar doubts as to whether or not a person could really be addicted to alcohol.

Yet, here we are today with a very clear understanding of the dangers of alcoholism, the familial or genetic propensity for some but not all, the broken homes and devastated lives from its use.

We have a better understanding today than ever before of what happens in the brain of an addict that’s different from those who are not addicted.

All of this knowledge can be applied equally in understanding sexual addictions. Just as not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic, so, too, not everyone who has sex is an addict.

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What is it Like to Live With a Sex Addict From a Partner’s Perspective?


Partners living with a sex addicts often describe:

• Feelings of intense loneliness, distancing, confusion, deep hurt, and even betrayal.

• A sense of being disconnected, reaching and never being able to arrive at the heart of his or her spouse.

• A deep sense of rejection which often seeds feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt.

• Repeated attempts to adapt to what he/she thinks the addicted spouse needs.

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What is Intimacy Anorexia?

Intimate Solutions

Intimacy anorexia is a paradigm developed by sex therapist and author Dr. Douglas Weiss and is used to describe a behavioral withholding addiction that mostly manifests in marriage.

Intimacy anorexia is gender neutral, meaning both men and women can be anorexic in this way.

Although intimacy anorexia can affect other relationships as well, marriage is the only relationship that demands as much emotional, spiritual and sexual intimacy on an exclusive, committed basis over a prolonged period of time.


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Why Do People Become Addicted To Sex?



This is different for every addict but generally speaking, there are biological, psychological, and spiritual reasons.

The following is a brief explanation, again adapted from Dr. Weiss’ work:


The biological addict is someone who has conditioned their body to receive endorphins and enkephalines (brain chemicals) primarily through pairing and reinforcing a fantasy state with the ejaculation or orgasm that sends these chemicals to the brain.


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How Do I Know If I Am Or My Spouse Is An Intimacy Anorexic?



The following questions are used to assess whether or not a person is an intimacy anorexic.

In this relationship dynamic, the spouse suffers more than the addict from the behavior.

The addict stays comfortable through creating distance. As such, the questions are asked in consideration of your spouse’s perspective.

1. Would your spouse say that you stay so busy you have little time for him/her?

2. Would your spouse say that when there are problems, you blame him/her first before taking responsibility for your own part?

3. Would your spouse say that you withhold love from in the way he/she asked to be loved?


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How Do I Know If I’m a Sex Addict?

Intimate Solutions

Below are some questions developed by Dr. Doug Weiss to help you determine if you or your partner may be a sex addict:

1. Do you have sexual behaviors you wish you could stop or fear could be discovered by others?

2. Do you feel abnormally driven by your sex drive, like it’s all consuming?

3. Have you been in relationships just for sex?


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Gridlock Stopping You In Your Tracks


A gridlocked problem occurs when the problem turns into an argument over deeper values. Each considers the other a villain and they fling words such as “nag” and “lazy.”

Both parties emotionally disengaged, hurt and frustrated, and without any desire to compromise. It leaves both parties emotionally disengaged, hurt and frustrated, and without any desire to compromise.

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