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Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  273 ratings  ·  38 reviews
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 dynami
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Paperback, 240 pages
Published May 23rd 2001 by Hazelden (first published 1983)
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Matt
This book is very needed, and very sad. It shows a world few of us will ever understand. It is a revolting world filled with atrocities with victims on all sides. It shows the horror of sex addiction in all its forms. It shows the sad side of the addict, and the reason it is so very hard to get better, to stop acting out. It shows a way to get better, and hope for the future.

Sex addicts are usually not sex offenders. There are plenty of sex addicts who don’t end up doing anything illegal and the
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Marielle
My therapist gave me this book hoping that I would see that I was a sex addict. But when I read it, I was convinced of the opposite.

Basically, if you feel guilty enough about your sexual desires and want to stop them, this book might help validate those guilty feelings. But if you're like me and feel perfectly justified in taking pleasure out of life instead of obsessing over social norms, this book just makes you feel sorry for those people.

Their problem isn't that they're sex addicts, it's th
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Candace
Carnes presents examples of previous clients he has provided therapy to in order to show the thoughts and beliefs of those who are "sex addicts." He used very little supporting research throughout the book, and many of his references included books written by him. He presents pedophiliacs, paraphiliacs, etc. as "sex addicts" and states that sex addiction as a disease. He includes a chapter on the 12 Step Model based on Alcoholics Anonymous as a form of treatment for sex addicts. Again, there is ...more
Joe Class
This is a tough book to read but really helps you understand what people with sexual addiction go through. Perhaps we should be more kind and understanding to all people with addictive tendencies. It's changed my mind about how I view alcoholics and drug addicts even though all three addictions are very different. Reading the book allows you the opportunity to see what it's like for them. You may not understand all of it, but at least it's a start.
Beth
Good source of study on the topic.
Carrie
Good info to start understanding what sex addiction is. It really damages the brain. This book helped me start to empathize with those who've gotten caught up in this, since most are started in their childhood, instead of being mad at them. Now my efforts go to fighting the problem & getting help for those caught up in it. Patrick Carnes is essential reading if you are studying this topic or have a friend or relative who struggles with this.
Vanessa
Jan 25, 2014 Vanessa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Vanessa by: Counseling Supervisor
3.5 stars. As a counseling intern at Salvation Army (SA), my supervisor recommend I read this book. SA counsels those with alcohol and substance abuse addiction; sexual addiction (as well as other addictions) can co-occur along side substance abuse and clients can have multiple addictions. I thought the stories in this book were interesting to read and it really gives you a glimpse of the addicts' struggle. It does a good job explaining what the addicts go through, their thoughts and emotions. T ...more
Dawn Anderson
Great book

This is an excellent source of information. It is an important source for understanding many forms of addiction. The book lays the basic steps to recovery.
Andrew Brockelman
The most candid and specific book on this topic I've read yet (not that I've read that many, but still...). He spares no one when he gives the reader insight on specifically how this addiction affects different areas of one's life. Extremely interesting, but, very uncomfortable to read.
Jeffrey Backlin
A helpful presentation of the author's research on sexual addiction and the effects it has on people.
Nathan
I could have done without some of the more explicit examples, but overall it was helpful.
Anne Jennen
Wonderful explanation of this disorder and codependency.
Deb Wilson
Honestly, while there was some interesting information, the book read like a lot of babble, repeating itself over and over again. I was looking for something more aimed at psychology, not something written for someone who is considering entering a 12 step program themselves. I also honestly felt the entire book could have been fit into a 25 page booklet, including all of the tables and checklists. This is another one that will be sold back to Amazon if they'll take it, or donated to the local li ...more
Caroline
Really great, comprehensive, and readable book about sexual addiction. Helpful for clinicians, addicts, or family members of addicts.
Alexis
Jan 26, 2014 Alexis marked it as to-read
Heard about this on a social work podcast.
Travis
I think I've read most of Patrick Carnes books now. Starting with his original book that explored sexual addiction. This was also helpful. My only criticism is that sometimes the examples he uses, in trying to be general and inclusive, are sometimes more graphic than I wished. But even then, they are tastefully done. For me this one is worth re-reading a few more times.
Franziska
I think the book did a good job explaining the cycle, and steps etc. of sexual addictions. What probably wouldn't be as helpful (for an addict) is reading some of the examples, that were usually pretty basic, but still may sometimes give too much of an idea. But then again, maybe it's what people need to read/know to see that their behavior truly is abnormal and unhealthy.
Lance
At the age of 41 I was newly sober and for the first time in my life facing my demons with a relatively clear mind. One of those demons was sexual abuse and the sexual acting out engendered by it. Carnes book is the bible on sexual addiction. I have been an alcohol and drug counselor since '95, and this book has proved valuable to many of my clients who are ready to read it.
Erica
The book is a mix of pyschobabble and many real life stories you can relate to and make sense of. It describes the words and behavior of the addict and co-addict and the role that families, friends and society (in general) play in creating, nurturing, discouraging and stopping addictions.
Jason
Fantastic. The best book I've yet read on sexual addiction
Aaron
I thought this book was very interesting. Perhaps, because the topic seems so taboo. The author includes several case studies to explain different addictions. The end of the book for me felt rushed...or at least didn't summarize the book very well.
Bert
This book explorers every level of sexual addiction and compulsions. You probably haven't hit most of the levels discussed but like I was told when reading this book, "At this point it is better to take too much responsibility than too little."
richwire
Read this a couple of times several years ago. Found it shocking at the time but I've read a lot of other books on the topic since then so I don't know if it would have the same effect again. I plan to read it again.
Bob Griffin
Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction. Carnes helps us understand persons driven by the dark edges of relationships that are harmful. And there are suggestions on how to help such persons.
David Robbins
This book has opened my eyes and my understanding of sexual addiction. It helped me see how my childohood affected me entire sexual life. This is a must read for anyone suffering in sexual addiction.
Mike
The standard introductory text into sex addiction. If you are a sex addict the examples may or may not be extreme for you. Try to relate to the principles the author is trying to convey.
Jason
Run and find Don't Call It Love. This is the condensed version of that. If you're looking for a book like this in the first place, you don't really want the condensed version.
Kim Nick
Great series. Clinical in nature but fascinating in light of the recent attention this condition has received in the media. Think Tiger Woods scandal and Charlie Sheen, etc.
Charles
l written ..Great book for anyone that is going through any type of addiction ...or friends and love ones of someone that is going through addiction .....
Matt
This book does a great job describing addiction in general. Worth reading, even if you aren't or don't know any "sex addicts".
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Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D., 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 Sexual Addiction, Facing the Shadow, Betrayal Bond, Don’t Call It Love, A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps and The Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles.

Dr. Carnes’ research provid
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More about Patrick J. Carnes...
The Betrayal Bond, Revised: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships Don't Call It Love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps: The Classic Guide for All People in the Process of Recovery Sexual Anorexia: Overcoming Sexual Self-Hatred In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior

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