Compulsive Sexual Behaviors in Men

My clinical interest and experience in this area is exceptional. This is not the result of specialized training. It just happens to be the case that, over the years, a number of men have come to me for help with sexual behaviors that distressed them (and their partners, in some cases), and I have often been able to help them find their way out of long-lived patterns.

I stress that my expertise is not a matter of training to make an important point. It has become virtually a standard of care among therapists to treat compulsive sexual behavior as an addiction. I find this to be wrongheaded and ineffective. Some of the men who have sought my help previously had attended "sex addict" groups and other treatments that led to little or no improvement. They complained about a one-size-fits-all approach that didn't take their individuality or unique experiences into account.

All the factors that have made you who you are matter to me. Whatever it is you do that you wish you didn't do, it has a history and a place in your identity, a logic that we need to understand. Underneath the outward struggle with the behavior is a struggle within yourself over difficult thoughts, feelings, and happenings. This is where our effort is situated.

There's a way past the shame you feel. It's not magic, it's not especially quick. I wouldn't by any means call it fun, but if you have some curiosity about yourself, it can be deeply satisfying. Call or email, and let's get started sooner rather than later.

My Philosophy

Most immediately, I mean "my philosophy about psychotherapy," but everything I say here can be extended to my philosophy about life.

We come into this world as a non-person, and, somehow, over the years, we become a person. The process is complicated, fraught with risks, and it never goes perfectly. Never. 

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Parenting: A Favorite Quotation

British pediatrician/psychoanalyst Donald W. Winnicott, in Home is Where We Start From:

"Your rewards come in the richness that may gradually appear in the personal potential of this or that boy or girl. And if you succeed, you must be prepared to be jealous of your children, who are getting better opportunities for personal development than you had yourselves. You will feel rewarded if one day your daughter asks you to do some babysitting for her, indicating thereby that she thinks you may be able to do this satisfactorily; or if your son wants to be like you in some way, or falls in love with a girl you would have liked yourself, had you been younger. Rewards come indirectly. And of course you know you will not be thanked."

Recommended Reading: Fun Home

My view is that we are healthier and more able to act freely when we have come to understand where we come from. For an example of just how deep and nuanced such an understanding can be, check out Alison Bechdel's Fun Home. It's a graphic memoir that is hilarious and tragic and emotionally true.

Silence

As a general rule, your job in therapy in to speak. This is difficult for some people, and if this is the case, I'm immediately curious about the reason. Often, people speak more freely as therapy proceeds.

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"Specialization"

I am reluctant to describe myself as a specialist. In many cases, when a therapist talks about his or her “specialty,” it’s more a marketing decision than a clinical fact. I’m not saying such therapists are deceiving you. Mostly they’re just describing their work from the perspective of a public that imagines there must be specific solutions to specific problems.

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Blame

Not all forms of psychotherapy are concerned with the past, but most are. Your therapist wants to understand not just who you are but how you came to be who you are. That means going all the way back - to childhood and even beyond.

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Cancellation Policies

Not all professional service providers have a cancellation policy, and not all who have one enforce it. Your chiropractor may hang a sign saying that anyone cancelling with less than 24-hour notice will pay a fee, but will you actually be charged if you get stuck at work and cancel at the last minute? Maybe, maybe not.

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