Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation

A Neurobiologically Informed Holistic Treatment

Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology


Alexandra Katehakis (Author)

Overview | Contents

Examining the neurobiological underpinnings of sex addiction.

Neuroaffective science—studying the integrated development of the body, brain, and mind—has revealed mechanisms linking psychological and biological factors of mental disorders, including addiction. Indeed, its paradigm-shifting theoretical umbrella demonstrated that substance and behavioral dependencies share identical neurobiological workings, and thus that problematic repetitive behaviors are genuine addictions—a state increasingly understood as a chronic brain disorder. Clinical experience strongly suggests that sex addiction (SA) treatment informed by affective neuroscience—the specialty of Alexandra Katehakis—proves profoundly transformative.

Katehakis's relational protocol, presented here, blends neurobiology with psychology to accomplish full recovery. Her Psychobiological Approach to Sex Addiction Treatment (PASAT) joins therapist and patient through a relationally-based psychotherapy—a holistic, dyadic dance that calls on the body, brain, and mind of both.

Written with clarity and compassion, this book integrates cutting-edge research, case studies, verbatim session records, and patient writings and art. Katehakis explicates neurophysiological, psychological, and cultural forces priming and maintaining SA, then details how her innovative treatment restores patients' interpersonal, sexual, and spiritual relationality.

Book Details

  • Hardcover
  • September 2016
  • ISBN 978-0-393-70902-5
  • 6.5 × 9.6 in / 416 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Endorsements & Reviews

“Alexandra Katehakis does one of the best jobs I have seen of describing what addiction is, how it comes to be, and how to work with an addicted person. . . . The depth of her knowledge, research and her ability to draw it altogether into a coherent, logical, and understandable theory with practical applications is amazing. . . . [O]ne of the best I have read in the addiction field in quite some time, and I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in or whose life has been touched by addictions, and that includes just about everyone to some degree.” — PsychCentral

“Alexandra Katehakis has written a fascinating book on sex addiction…. I recommend this book for everyone in the field of SA treatment as an introduction into the complexity of the problem…. I felt a deep affinity for Alexandra Katehakis’ work and her empathy for her patients… I found myself engrossed in her clinical material.” — PsychCritiques

“With insight that can only be developed from years of professional experience and detailed research, counselor and clinical director Alexandra Katehakis provides a comprehensive account of sex addiction from a neurobiological perspective. . . . It works through the intricacies of a particular form of addiction in a way that is respectful to clients, while addressing their experience neurobiologically and relationally. An insightful and thoroughly informative account.” — Metapsychology

“Alex Katehakis has written a new book on sex addiction as affect dysregulation which will become one of the touchstone books for understanding sex addiction. In a clear practical way it will help addicts make sense out of the insanity in their secret and destructive lives. Katehakis integrates how the brain, attachment, trauma, and family combine into a powerful addictive force. Plus, she teaches how to use therapy, and how therapists can become effective partners in healing. A great read for all people involved in the addiction epidemic—which means most of us.” — Patrick Carnes, PhD, CAS, founder of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals and Gentle Path Press

“Sexuality has the potential to be an apex physical, emotional, and relational experience, but when hijacked by addiction it can become a controlling and destructive master. Alex Katehakis integrates her vast experience as a therapist with an emerging understanding of how neuroplasticity affects cognitive, affective, and reward-based learning to address the dysfunction sexual addiction wreaks in the lives of those affected. This book presents a novel therapeutic approach incorporating a holistic merging of these various learning templates, and provides a powerful instrument to heal the behavioral and emotional fractures characteristic of addiction.” — Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD, FAANS, Adjunct Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation provides what few—if any—books on the subject have done yet: it offers a comprehensive, practical discussion of sex addiction as a primary, chronic brain disorder. More than that, the book presents a holistic approach to treatment for which Alexandra Katehakis offers an unparalleled foundation of information. This foundation for understanding sex addiction becomes the groundwork for a holistic approach to treatment. The case studies in the book add to its richness and, overall, Katehakis illuminates what has been largely unexplored for much too long.” — Drew Pinsky, MD, internist/addictionologist and host of Dr. Drew on HLN; Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Keck School of Medicine, USC

“Outstanding. A groundbreaking contribution! With clinical wisdom and heart, Alex Katehakis presents a detailed analysis of the latest science behind sexual addiction and the techniques being used to treat it. Refreshingly sex-positive and accepting, this book reveals the why and how of the therapeutic journey to secure healthy relationships and life-affirming sexuality.” — Wendy Maltz, LCSW, DST, author of The Sexual Healing Journey and The Porn Trap

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