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Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction Paperback – 7 Apr 2001


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Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction + Understanding and Treating Sex Addiction: A comprehensive guide for people who struggle with sex addiction and those who want to help them + In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free from Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior
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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hazelden Information & Educational Services; 3rd Ed edition (7 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568386214
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568386218
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Oct 2003
Format: Paperback
This book is truly a revelation - from the very beginning it makes the reader face up to the true nature of sex addiction - and to discover whether or not they are an addict. It not only shows the outward signs of addiction (and their inevitable disastrous results) but goes beneath the surface to show the underlying core beliefs that support and reinforce the addiction.
Using true to life stories (an amalgam of others experiences) it leads the addict through a gentle path of understanding through to ways of moving forward to healing.
In addition to the addict themselves, it casts light on the role of the "co-dependent" - (this can be partner, spouse, parent or any other family member whose life has been bound up to that of the addict) and explains in simple language how this has occurred and what to do about it.
One small complaint about the writing style is that there are some dull clinical parts - the author is, after all a clinician - and it does become a bit repetitive at times.
Having said that, if you feel you might be a sex-addict or in a close bond with one, then this is a great starting point for healing the addiction and the co-dependency.
Thank you for reading this review, I hope you find it helpful and true to the book when you read it for yourself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By jhonnyrocket on 5 Nov 2009
Format: Paperback
This book has been great for me to get a better understanding of what I am going through. But with most therapeutic approaches it focuses more on the problems and not on the solutions. Someone who is looking for hope and recovery should understand that this book is only one single tool in a much greater tool box. But as far as understanding the belief systems and fears i felt that this book was spot on!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Niki Collins-queen, Author TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Mar 2012
Format: Paperback
"Out of the Shadows" by Patrick Carnes is one of the best books on sexual addiction. Carnes says sexaholism transcend personality, gender, and socio-economic status. He defines sexual addiction as having a pathological relationship with sex and using it as a mood-altering drug. His descriptions of the symptoms, the three levels of addictions, and the progression through the four-part cycle of preoccupation, ritualization, compulsive sexual behavior and despair are excellent.
Carnes also deals with the sex addicts underlying dynamics such as a faulty self-image, and believing that sex is their most important need. Carnes describes how some addicts appear grandiose and full of exaggerated self-importance to create a front of "normalcy," and hide their addiction and poor self-esteem. He says the addict's family and friends often become angry and frustrated with the addict's "egocentricity" and insensitivity to others. Since guilt and remorse cannot be expressed the addict may become progressively more isolated and unreachable as they close off their vulnerability.
Carnes states that since the addict feels unloved and unlovable they have little confidence in the love of others and become calculating, manipulative and ruthless. They are purposely unclear about their intentions in relationship and are seductive in their behavior. Addicts also have a high need to control all situations in an effort to guarantee their sexual supply and ensure all possible sexual opportunities.
To get help Carnes recommends SA's 12 Step Program. He says the Program helps the addict to, "separate themselves as individuals from their addiction which, as a powerful illness, is destroying their lives. By admitting the addictions power, hope emerges from connecting with others and Higher Power.
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By read4life on 18 Mar 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is good in the explaination and the psychological analysis of this addiction. I know there are still many skeptics out there, but sexual addiction is still a taboo subject that peoiple either want to ignore or ridicule, but Patrick Carnes does himself justice with the simple but effective way he explains all in 'Out of the shadows'.
There are differen't levels to this addiction, just like there is differen't levels to alchol addiction, and drug addiction and so on. If you either want help, information or explaination on this subject, whether you are an addict or a psychologist or a therapist, this book will be helpful to you!
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By skw on 10 Aug 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is pretty much recognised as the standard text about sex addiction. It is hugely informative, but brace yourself, it is a grim read. I work with this client group and have regretted recommending it to a client struggling with sex addiction - it describes the addiction but is not a book which focuses on recovery so it can exacerbate feelings of hopelessness for someone who already feels overwhelmed. But for a comprehensive and general review of sex addiction it is very useful. For people in the grip of the addiction, Facing the Shadow, by the same author, is more relevant and hopeful.
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Format: Paperback
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone who suffers from any type of sexual addiction, or is a family member or close friend of one. It will remind you of one fact: you are not alone.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By niki j turner TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 Jun 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Writing a review for a book like this is very important as this subject is so hidden and shameful which is a shame on its own.
I am proud that I had the courage to read this book and by writing this review I honestly and sincerely hope this will help someone buy the book and help them or their partners in the recovery of this unfortunate addiction.
This has got to be one of the best 12 step recovery books around. Patrick Carnes style of explaining Sexual Addiction is very clear and empathetic to both the Addict and the partner of the addict. I have read the entire book in two days. I plan to go back and re-read it again. I have read various books on this subject (most a big fat waste of my time and money) and this has got to be right up there with the best and most useful and informative books on this sucject that I have read to date. The fact that the author makes clear the huge importance of attending 12 step recovery groups throughout the book was comforting to read. This book is full of hope and practical advice for someone who has the difficult task of picking up the pieces of their lives due to sex addiction and gives hope to those who are struggling with honesty. To sum up the the book in one word I would say HOPE. A large emphasis is on porn addiction but but does cover other sexual behaviour such as visits to escorts, massage parlours and affairs. it also covers a lot on how the addiction could have started with addictive distructive behavious long before realising it was a problem and in doing so helps the addict understand where the routes of this behaviour began. For anyone who is battling with this addiction I can honestly and whole heartedly say this book will help you to understand you are not alone.
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