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Do You Need a CSAT?

Do You Need a CSAT?

Do I Need a Therapist Who is a CSAT?

 

We believe that recovery from infidelity and problematic sexual behaviors

is best accomplished with a therapist who is trained in advanced models of

sexual behavior problems and who has a deep understanding of human sexuality.

 

It is common to read online or hear from a therapist that individuals who are struggling with sexual behavior problems, who may or may not believe that they have a sex addiction or porn addiction, need to be seen by a therapist who is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (or CSAT).  Indeed, our team has even heard it suggested that only a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist is qualified to work on these cases.  We do not agree.

The Certified Sex Addiction Therapist model is based on the sex addiction and porn addiction model developed by Patrick Carnes.  Indeed, the certifying company for CSATs was founded and is owned by Dr. Carnes.  Beginning in the 1980s, Dr. Carnes promotion of his sex addiction and porn addiction model helped to bring attention to sexual behavior struggles and the loss of control many people experience in this area.  However, there are other very important advanced conceptual models of sexual behavior problems that offer alternative nuanced explanations for sexual behavior problems beyond the sex addiction and porn addiction model.  These include the Out-of-Control Sexual Behavior Model developed by Doug Braun-Harvey and Michael Vigorito, the Impulsive-Compulsive Sexual Behavior (ICSB) model developed by Dr. Eli Coleman (University of Minnesota), the Dual Control and Sexual Tipping Point Model developed by Dr. Peer Briken (University Medical Center Hamburg), or the Integrative Problematic Sexual Behavior Model currently in development by Dr. James Olsen, among others.  The Certified Sex Addiction Therapist credential is for the Carnes sex addiction and porn addiction model and is not a certification for any of the other clinical models of problematic sexual behaviors.

There are many important nuances between these models and the sex addiction and porn addiction model.  In our view, these models each offer important conceptual distinctions that have extremely important treatment implications.

Our founders were trained and credentialed as Certified Sex Addiction Therapists prior to completing advanced training in human sexuality to become Certified Sex Therapists.  In addition to the sex addiction and porn addiction model, they have also completed extensive advanced study of the other above-mentioned models of sexual behavior problems.  They train licensed clinicians and doctoral students on the nuances of sexuality and sexual behavior struggles and host professional training events in an effort to advance care for all.

We respect and appreciate the contributions that were made by the sex addiction and porn addiction model as promoted by Dr. Carnes.  However, we also believe that the best training for a therapist to address sexual behavior problems is for extensive training as a sex therapist along with additional advanced training and supervision on multiple theoretical models of problematic sexual behavior, not just the sex addiction and porn addiction model.

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