Out of the Shadows
Patrick Carnes, Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction, (Center City, MN: Hazelden Publishing), 3rd Edition, 2001.
I've been providing pastoral support to a couple of different people who are suffering from addictions and have been looking for resources to help myself better understand the challenges of addiction and recovery. I don't pretend to be a qualified counselor, and I refer the people with whom I work for counseling in other quarters. Still, it makes sense for me to understand the issues faced by those in my care.
This book has received a lot of acclaim in its role of helping addicts, their families, and those who care for them better understand both sexual addiction and its treatment. The book leans heavily on the 12-step process. Of course the adaptation of a program designed to treat alcoholism doesn't make an easy transition into the world of sexual addiction. The issues are different and complex. Unlike alcohol addiction which is often treated by total abstinence, successful treatment of sexual addiction is about abstaining from certain sexual practices while continuing to function as a sexual being.
I still have a long ways to go in my understanding of the nature of sexual addiction, but this book was helpful to me as I continue to learn and grow and provide care for others.