Sex & Porn "Addiction" and Affairs Counseling/Therapy
Dr. Roger Libby, with offices in Seattle and Poulsbo WA, strives to provide more balance in the sex lives of his clients. He offers help for those who are unbalanced, obsessive and compulsive about sex. Those who obsess about sex and who are compulsive in their sexual behavior, sometimes associated with Internet pornography, are candidates for help from Dr. Libby.
Those with an obsessive/compulsive personality usually express their disorder in more than one way. They may be obsessive and compulsive about sex, but they typically are also obsessive and compulsive about dirt, being on time, putting everything in an exact place, etc. Any obsession is not healthy, but this does not qualify all of them as addictions.
Some therapists and the media refer to "sex addicts" as those who are addicted to sex and Internet porn. These therapists use the same model for addiction that they use for alcohol and drug addictions. Dr. Libby was cited as an authority on the subject in The New York Times. In the article, Dr. Libby points out that sex addiction is the wrong term, because you can only be addicted to substances that are external to your body, such as alcohol and drugs. You cannot be addicted to yourself!
Discussing sex as an addiction is semantic sophistry. Addictionologists such as Patrick Carnes and Drew Pinsky are not sexologists! Their approach is sex-negative! The DSM manual used by therapists to diagnose mental problems has not yet included Sexual Addiction or Hypersexuality as diagnoses because there is not good research to support such diagnoses.
The DSM V soundly rejected both 'sex addiction' and 'hypersexuality' as legitimate diagnoses for real problems. Neither concept was even recommended for further research. You wouldn't know this from the onslaught of sex addiction therapists who insist that they know more than the DSM. These counselors continue to offer sex addiction counseling because they believe that there is such a problem. In other words, they throw away scientific facts in favor of their moralistic biases. The media and Patrick Carnes created sex addiction. Neither the sensational media nor sex addiction counselors have a clue about the nature of healthy sexual expression. Even if there were such a reality as sexual addiction, sex addiction counselors have no training to help those with problems to resolve them in favor of a sex-positive approach to sexual relationships.
A Sex-Positive Approach to Treating "Sex Addiction"
Dr. Libby offers a sex-positive option to what has become a mainstream "sex addiction therapy" approach that is ineffective and misguided. Other Sex addiction therapists often moralize about those who are sexual enthusiasts, who enjoy a lot of sex. The twelve-step program they often use has a moralistic basis. Dr. Libby does not moralize. Instead, he utilizes cognitive behavioral therapy to help clients get rid of distorted thoughts that make them feel obsessed and compulsive. He does not discourage being highly sexual. He emphasizes a sense of balance, and healthy sexual fantasies and behavior, recognizing that people differ in their level of sexual desire and activity.
The real problem with the twelve-step approach is that it does not help a person take control of their out-of-balance behavior. It does not get at their internal locus of control. No one is powerless to take control of their own thoughts and behavior. The sex addiction approach is a huge money-maker, but it is not useful or workable. Dr. Libby gets lots of clients who went to a twelve-step therapist and/or groups of "sex addicts" or "sexaholics" who did not even begin to solve their problem. He is very successful at solving these problems as long as clients do the homework and continue to come for therapy until they are in balance.
When a man or a woman are heavily drawn to the Internet for pornography or chat rooms, Dr. Libby suggests having a real sex life instead of an over-emphasis on an imagined sex life. He recognizes that it is unhealthy to confuse fantasy with reality. When there is a couple, he sees both people separately, and then together, to develop a treatment plan to improve mutual sexual satisfaction. He sometimes suggests watching The Better Sex Video Series, which he helped create, to enhance mutual sexual pleasure and intimacy.
For a list of resources in Washington state in dealing with a variety of addictions, click here.
A Commonsense, Sensitive Approach to Flings, Affairs and Non-monogamous Agreements
Dr. Libby also helps couples regain trust and heal after affairs. He does not believe an affair should end a marriage. He helps couples distinguish between secrecy and privacy. He is not an advocate for snooping and attempting to control or possess a partner. He focuses on what has been missing in a marriage or other intimate relationship, emphasizing improving the relationship, including lovemaking.
Dr. Libby deals with flings, affairs, open marriages and swinging, as well as polyamorous relationships. He believes that sexual and emotional boundaries (guidelines) should be spelled out, and sometimes re-evaluated by a couple. It is dangerous to assume monogamy or to assume anything without spelling it all out. A marriage must be clearly defined by both partners. Marriages are not all alike. There is no one agreement that suits all people. Dr. Libby emphasizes keeping agreements and being honest with oneself and one's partner. His approach is not a "one size fits all." He encourages creative and playful interaction, and he believes that humor and acting on shared erotic fantasies encourage meaningful and exciting sexual intimacy.