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Our book selections are for you, for your partner, and for professionals seeking more information about sex addiction. We also have a general interest section which references books that may be helpful to all.

Recommended Reading for You

Untangling the Web: Sex, Porn and Fantasy Obsession in the Internet Age
by Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT
Alyson Publications , 2005

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The defining new book about the emerging problem of pornography addition and sex on the Internet. A must have for the person wondering if they might have a problem and also for the people who care about them.


Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men
by Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT
Alyson Publications , 2005

Robert Weiss, Founding Director of the Sexual Recovery Institute in Santa Monica, California, avoids political and moral arguments and instead focuses on the clinical approach, asking the question, “Is your sexual behavior causing problems in other areas of your life?” Cruise Control leads men to a better understanding of the difference between sexual compulsion and non-addictive sexual behavior within the gay experience, and it explains what resources are available for recovery. A timely and important contribution to the body of recovery literature, Cruise Control provides understanding, empathy and encouragement to gay men seeking healthy sexual expression.


Cybersex Exposed: Simple Fantasy or Obsession?
by Jennifer Schneider, M.D., Ph.D. and Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT
Hazelden Information Education, 2001

A timely and telling look at the powerfully addictive mix of Internet use, sexuality, and romantic fantasy, Cybersex Exposed both defines and addresses this emerging problem.


Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction
by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
Hazelden Information Education, 2001

This is the landmark book introducing and legitimizing sexual behaviors and sexual fantasies as an addictive disease. Dr. Carnes proposes three levels of sexual addiction, describes the addiction cycle and its progression, and presents the faulty core beliefs of the addict and the coaddict and their healthy counterparts.


mending-a-shattered-heartMending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts
by Stefanie Carnes
Gentle Path Press, 2011

Experts now know that discovering a loved one’s sex addiction is a traumatic event, requiring specialized guidance. This second edition of Mending a Shattered Heart reframes the therapeutic discussion around how to decide to stay with or leave a sex addict and how to address common questions that partners have.


your-sexualy-addicted-spouseYour Sexually Addicted Spouse: How Partners Can Cope and Heal
by Barbara Steffens
New Horizon Press, 2009

Sexual addictions and compulsive sexual behavior are growing societal problems, with as many as three to six percent of the world population affected. Your Sexually Addicted Partner shatters the stigma and shame that millions of men and women carry when their partners are sexually addicted. They receive little empathy for their pain, which means they suffer alone, often shocked and isolated by the trauma. Barbara Steffens’ groundbreaking new research shows that partners are not codependents but post-traumatic stress victims, while Marsha Means’ personal experience provides insights, strategies, and critical steps to recognize, deal with, and heal partners of sexually addicted relationships. Firsthand accounts and stories reveal the impact of this addiction on survivors’ lives. Chapters end with “On a Personal Note” questions and propose new paths that lead from trauma to empowerment, health, and hope. Useful appendices list health and mental health care providers and clergy.


Lonely All the Time: Recognizing, Understanding and Overcoming Sex Addiction, for Addicts and Codependents
by Ralph Earle, Ph.D. and Gregory Crow
Pocket Books, 1998

This book addresses the needs and concerns of all sexual addicts, regardless of their sexual orientation, and also of the addict’s codependent partner. The authors explore the causes and symptoms of sex addiction. They also include a comprehensive and practical approach to recovery for the addict and family.


Answers in the Heart: Daily Meditations
Hazelden Information Education, 1995

The best daily meditation book for sex addicts available. One of the first books sex addicts should purchase.


Hope and Recovery: A Twelve-Step Guide for Healing From Compulsive Sexual Behavior
Hazelden, 1990

This was one of the first books to comprehensively describe the application of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to sexual addiction and compulsivity. It also includes a wide range of personal stories in which recovering sexual addicts share their experience, strength, and hope.


Women, Sex, and Addiction: A Search for Love and Power
by Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D.
HarperCollins, 1990

This book is a major contribution to the understanding and healing of sex addiction, romance addiction, and sexual codependency in women. It is full of wisdom and insight, shedding light on what happens to women in our society, how they survive it, and some roads to self-respect.


Ready to Heal: Women Facing Love, Sex and Relationship Addiction
Kelly McDaniel, 2008

In a gentle and respectful manner, Kelly invites any woman to honor her authentic self rather than stay in the shame associated with behaviors that no longer work to relieve emotional pain.


Don’t Call It Love: Recovery from Sexual Addiction
by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
Bantam Books, 1992

Based on research involving over 1,000 recovering sex addicts and coaddicts, this comprehensive work outlines the stages of recovery and presents advice from the addicts and coaddicts themselves as they work to overcome their compulsive behavior. Recommended both for counselors and for recovering people.


The 12 Steps: A Way Out: A Spiritual Process for Healing
RPI, 1995

A step by step writing/journaling book for those wanting help working though the 12-steps. Simplistic for some, helpful to others, this is an effective way to get through the written part of the step process.


From Generation to Generation: Understanding Sexual Attraction to Children
by Anne Stirling Hastings, Ph.D.
Wellness Institute, 2000

A helpful explanation of one of humankind’s most difficult problems by one of the best authorities.


A Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps: The Classic Guide for All People in the Process of Recovery
by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
Hazelden Information Education, 1994

This is the first workbook on the Twelve Steps specifically designed with sex addicts and coaddicts in mind. It offers comprehensive and practical exercises for each of the twelve steps for anyone for anyone working a sexual recovery program.


Many Roads, One Journey: Moving Beyond the Twelve Steps
by Charlotte Davis Kasl, Ph.D.
Harper Perennial, 1992

From the author of Women, Sex, and Addiction, a timely and controversial second look at 12-step programs, helping all readers to draw on the steps’ underlying wisdom, adapting them to their own experiences, beliefs, and sources of strength.

Recommended Reading for Your Partner

Facing Codependence: What It Is, Where It Comes From, How It Sabotages Our Lives
by Pia Mellody
Harper San Francisco, 1989

This is the book that propelled Pia Melody into international prominence as an expert on the family dynamics of addiction. Articulate and reflective, she argues that addicts and family members share the same history and characteristics. I believe she is right about that. I am grateful that she is my colleague.


Is It Love or Is It Addiction
by Brenda Schaeffer, Ph.D.
Hazelden Information Education, 1997

Is It Love or Is It Addiction has helped many people find their way from the fear and distrust in poor relationships to the fulfillment in meaningful ones. Psychotherapist Brenda Schaeffer draws on common sense, compassion, and years of experience to provide tools for moving from addictive to healthy love.


Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself
by Melody Beattie
Hazelden Information Education, 1996

Recovery has begun for millions of individuals with this straightforward guide. Through personal examples and exercises, readers are shown how controlling others forces them to lose sight of their own needs and happiness.


Healing the Shame That Binds You
by John Bradshaw
Health Communications, 1988

John Bradshaw has many talents. One of them is synthesizing complex issues so the average person can make progress. Since shame is a core issue for recovering people, this book has been a marvelous resource for feeling better.


Back From Betrayal: Recovering from His Affairs
by Jennifer Schneider, M.D.
RE Chapin, 2001

Dr. Schneider’s pioneering work is the first written for women whose husbands keep getting involved in affairs. Based on interviews and her own experience, she addresses the anguish and helplessness which codependents feel daily. In clear, compassionate, and informed writing she describes the nature of sexual coaddiction, helps coaddicts understand their own disease and their denial and isolation and outlines a path to recovery.


Sex, Lies & Forgiveness: Couples Speak on Healing from Sex Addiction
by Jennifer Schneider, M.D. and Burt Schneider
Jennifer Schneider, 1999

First hand information and healing words from couples dealing with the challenges of sex addiction recovery.

Recommended Reading for the Professional

Sex Addiction: Case Studies and Management
by Ralph H. Earle, Ph.D. and Marcus R. Earle, Ph.D.
Brunner-Routledge, 1995

Written for the professional who treats sex addiction, this book describes a comprehensive treatment program for the addict and family. It is highly recommended for professionals.


Sexual Addiction: An Integrated Approach
by Aviel Goodman, M.D.
International Universities Press, 1998

Goodman presents an extensively documented and very scholarly examination of the causes of sexual addiction along with a sampling of treatment approaches, including his preferred approach. Intended for the well-educated reader. buy this book »


Treating Addicted Survivors of Trauma
by Katie Evans and J. Michael Sullivan
Guilford Press, 1994

A well referenced practical therapeutic method for engaging, understanding and treating this population. This book incorporates the best of addiction treatment and therapy technique.


Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict
by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
Hazelden Information Education, 1989

In this sequel to Out of the Shadows, Dr. Carnes adds to his original descriptions of sex addiction describing the stages of the illnesses. He presents here his Sexual Addiction Screening test, useful to therapists and addicts alike.


Facing the Shadow: Starting Sexual and Relationship Recovery
by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
Hazelden Information Education, 2001

A step-by-step, task-oriented model of how to manage sex addiction recovery for both individuals and professionals.


Sex and the Internet: A Guide Book for Clinicians
by Al Cooper, Ph.D.
Brunner-Routledge, 2002

A compendium of articles by professionals in the field addressing the challenges of internet sexuality.


Clinical Management of Sex Addiction
by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. and Ken Adams, Ph.D.
Brunner-Routledge, 2002

A collection of professional journal articles and essays on the treatment of sexual addiction.

General Interest Reading

The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
by Ellen Bass and Laura Davis
Harper Perennial, 1994

The classic and definitive self-help guide for women survivors of sexual abuse, The Courage To Heal is a tool for recovery that works.


Your Erroneous Zones
by Wayne W. Dyer
Harper Mass Market Paperbacks, 1993

A guide to living a fuller, happier life from one of the most widely read authors in the field of self-help.


Craving for Ecstasy: How Our Passions Become Addictions and What We Can Do About Them
by Harvey B. Milkman and Stanley G. Sunderwirth
Jossey-Bass, 1998

The authors describe the variety of addictive ways individuals lose control of their lives while striving for pleasure and escape. The biological, chemical, sociological, and psychological processes of addiction are explained in understandable terms.


Silently Seduced: When Parents Make Their Children Partners: Understanding Covert Incest
by Ken Adams, Ph.D.
Health Communications, 1991

Author, Ken Adams, is one of those rare combinations of competence as a writer, clinician and researcher. This book is developing a loyal readership fast, which is probably because Ken is one of the more astute observers of the connections between shame, abuse and sex addiction.


The Return of the Prodigal Son: A Story of Homecoming
by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Image Books, 1994

Henri Nouwen has written a number of classics in spiritual growth. This recent book is very helpful. The comparison of the prodigal son to addicts and the eldest son to co-addicts is an obvious one to make. Nouwen says the eldest son is as wounded as the prodigal. A good book for those in recovery for a while.


Erotic Justice: A Liberating Ethic of Sexuality
by Marvin M. Ellison
Westminster John Knox Press, 1996

Over this past year, this book has generated a lot of controversy. The author is a knowledgeable scholar as well as a gay man who is one of the few to critique and take a concrete approach to spirituality and ethics in the sexual realm. He connects all forms of oppression to issues of sexual morality. In doing so, he challenges all of us. For those who think seriously about sex and ethics, it is a must read.


The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
by M. Scott Peck, M.D.
Touchstone Books, 1998

One of the great classics in self-help literature, and, perhaps, someday will be regarded as one of the most important works of the century. Still a best-seller, it has proved that the idea of becoming a person of integrity can endure.


Journey to the Heart: Daily Meditations on the Path to Freeing Your Soul
by Mellody Beattie
Harper San Francisco, 1996

Mellody’s new meditation book is really well done. A wise woman who has survived tragedy and continues to help all of us. For recovering people looking for something new this is a good choice.


Reaching Out: The Three Movements of Spiritual Life
by Henri J.M. Nouwen
Image Books, 1986

This is the famous Dutch theology classic on developing a spiritual life. Great reading for those seeking more spiritual direction.


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change
by Stephen R. Covey
Simon & Schuster, 1990

Covey’s book has been helpful to millions and is one of the best guides to living a successful life. For recovering people who wish to go beyond sobriety this book really helps!


People of the Lie: Toward a Psychology of Evil
by M. Scott Peck
Touchstone Books, 1997

This is Scott Peck’s classic work on being around toxic people. It continues the basic themes of The Road Less Traveled and explores what happens when there is no integrity.


The Paradigm Conspiracy: How Our Systems of Government, Church, School, and Culture Violate Our Human Potential
by Denise Breton, Christopher Largent and Steve Lehman
Hazelden Information Education, 1998

One of the most important books from 1996. The authors connect the dots between recovery, feminism, native American spirituality, therapy and ecology. What emerges is looming social change for all of us. I think it is a wonderful book.


Artist’s Way, A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity
by Julia Cameron
J. P. Tarcher, 2002

A wonderful and helpful book. For addicts, co-dependents and trauma victims, this book helps reclaim vital creativity that has been lost. Good for anyone who has great ideas but has trouble taking them further.


First Things First: To Live, to Love, to Learn, to Leave a Legacy
by Stephen R. Covey
Fireside, 1996

Simply the best book on putting order in your life and getting done what you what to do. His stories and principles make more sense than anything else I have seen. For recovering people, this book serves as a real help after sobriety has been established.


How To Get Out of Debt, Stay Out of Debt & Live Prosperously
by Jerrold Mundis
Bantam Books, 1990

This is the book that started recovery for many members of Debtors Anonymous. Well written, clear and practical, it helps those starting financial recovery.


The Money Drunk: 90 Days to Financial Freedom
by Mark Bryan and Julia Cameron
Ballantine Books, 1999

An extremely insightful book, Bryan and Cameron have helped many people achieve financial viability. The authors do an excellent job of connecting financial disorders with other addictive disorders including sex.


Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives
by Dan Millman
H J Kramer, 2000

A recovery classic. Written in novel form, it is one of the most helpful metaphors for developing balance and perspective.


Emotional Incest Syndrome: What to Do When a Parent’s Love Rules Your Life
by Dr. Patricia Love
Bantam Doubleday Dell, 1991

For adults who are loved “too much” by their parents, this book has been extraordinarily helpful. I use this book constantly with patients. Pat Love is an excellent teacher and writer.


What Your Mother Never Told You About Sex
by Hilda Hutcherson, M.D.
Perigee, 2003

An engaging women’s viewpoint answering any and all questions about healthy sexuality.


How Can I Get Through to You: Reconnecting Men and Women
by Terrence Real
Scribner, 2002

In this groundbreaking new book, bestselling author Terrence Real analyzes the crisis in intimate relations and offers a radical new vision of love and the practical tools with which to achieve it.


The Great American Sex Diet: Where the Only Thing You Nibble On… Is Your Partner!
by Laura Corn
William Morrow & Co, 2001

A victim of low sex drive herself, Corn speaks with conviction and empathy about the perils of lust in long-term relationships and cooks up a 28-day plan for committed couples who hunger for the fiery “honeymoon phase” of their relationship.


The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex: The Most Complete Sex Manual Ever Written
by Cathy Winks and Anne Semans
Cleis Press, 2002

A complete guide to a healthy sex life for people of all ages and sexual orientations, written in a friendly, inclusive, and nonjudgmental style.


Making Love Again: Hope for Couples Facing Loss of Sexual Intimacy
by Virginia Laken and Keith Laken
North Star Publications, 2002

Virginia and Keith Laken’s eminently readable story details the arguments and the frustration they experienced in dealing with his impotence. At the same time, it also gives readers a great deal of hope.


The 7 Steps to Passionate Love: Why Men Are Not From Mars and Women Are Not From Venus
by William Van Horn, M.D.
Greenleaf Book Group, 2000

A revolutionary guide for people searching to enrich their relationships with a more profound and intimate experience of love.