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      Compulsive sexual behavior: A twelve-step therapeutic approach

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          Abstract

          Background and aims

          Sexuality is natural to human life and inseparable from it, yet some individuals develop compulsive sexual behavior (CSB). Many individuals with CSB seek treatment in free self-support groups based on the twelve-step program. This program was extensively studied in substance abuse disorders (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous), but little is known about its efficiency in CSB.

          Methods

          We “assesed” questionnaire data on sociodemographical-, psychological-, and recovery-related factors from 97 male participants of Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) programs in Israel.

          Results

          Our results indicated that advancement in the SA program, measured as a current step of the program, is significantly related to lower levels of sexual-related overall sense of helplessness, avoidant help-seeking, self-control, overall CSB, and sexual suppression. It is also related to the higher well-being.

          Discussion

          This is the first study to examine psychological factors of CSB recovery process in twelve-step groups, and future research is needed to replicate our results within a longitudinal study.

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          Most cited references 59

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          High self-control predicts good adjustment, less pathology, better grades, and interpersonal success.

          What good is self-control? We incorporated a new measure of individual differences in self-control into two large investigations of a broad spectrum of behaviors. The new scale showed good internal consistency and retest reliability. Higher scores on self-control correlated with a higher grade point average, better adjustment (fewer reports of psychopathology, higher self-esteem), less binge eating and alcohol abuse, better relationships and interpersonal skills, secure attachment, and more optimal emotional responses. Tests for curvilinearity failed to indicate any drawbacks of so-called overcontrol, and the positive effects remained after controlling for social desirability. Low self-control is thus a significant risk factor for a broad range of personal and interpersonal problems.
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            Hypersexual disorder: a proposed diagnosis for DSM-V.

             M Kafka (2010)
            Hypersexual Disorder is proposed as a new psychiatric disorder for consideration in the Sexual Disorders section for DSM-V. Historical precedents describing hypersexual behaviors as well as the antecedent representations and proposals for inclusion of such a condition in the previous DSM manuals are reviewed. Epidemiological as well as clinical evidence is presented suggesting that non-paraphilic "excesses" of sexual behavior (i.e., hypersexual behaviors and disorders) can be accompanied by both clinically significant personal distress and social and medical morbidity. The research literature describing comorbid Axis I and Axis II psychiatric disorders and a purported relationship between Axis I disorders and Hypersexual Disorder is discussed. Based on an extensive review of the literature, Hypersexual Disorder is conceptualized as primarily a nonparaphilic sexual desire disorder with an impulsivity component. Specific polythetic diagnostic criteria, as well as behavioral specifiers, are proposed, intended to integrate empirically based contributions from various putative pathophysiological perspectives, including dysregulation of sexual arousal and desire, sexual impulsivity, sexual addiction, and sexual compulsivity.
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              Paradoxical effects of thought suppression.

              In a first experiment, subjects verbalizing the stream of consciousness for a 5-min period were asked to try not to think of a white bear, but to ring a bell in case they did. As indicated both by mentions and by bell rings, they were unable to suppress the thought as instructed. On being asked after this suppression task to think about the white bear for a 5-min period, these subjects showed significantly more tokens of thought about the bear than did subjects who were asked to think about a white bear from the outset. These observations suggest that attempted thought suppression has paradoxical effects as a self-control strategy, perhaps even producing the very obsession or preoccupation that it is directed against. A second experiment replicated these findings and showed that subjects given a specific thought to use as a distracter during suppression were less likely to exhibit later preoccupation with the thought to be suppressed.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jba
                JBA
                Journal of Behavioral Addictions
                J Behav Addict
                Akadémiai Kiadó (Budapest )
                2062-5871
                2063-5303
                15 May 2018
                June 2018
                : 7
                : 2
                : 445-453
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ]Faculty of Education and Society and Culture, Beit-Berl College , Kfar Saba, Israel
                [ 2 ] Institute of Psychology, Polish Academy of Sciences , Warsaw, Poland
                [ 3 ]Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience, Institute for Neural Computations, University of California San Diego , San Diego, CA, USA
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author: Yaniv Efrati, PhD; Faculty of Education and Society and Culture, Beit-Berl College, Kfar Saba 4490500, Israel; Phone: +972 545 800 094; E-mail: ypefrati@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                10.1556/2006.7.2018.26
                6174596
                29787293
                © 2018 The Author(s)

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium for non-commercial purposes, provided the original author and source are credited, a link to the CC License is provided, and changes – if any – are indicated.

                Page count
                Figures: 1, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 67, Pages: 9
                Funding
                Funding sources: MG is supported by the scholarship of Ministry of Science and Higher Education of Republic of Poland (469/STYP/10/2015), scholarship of the Kosciuszko Foundation and Polish National Science Centre, OPUS grant (2014/15/B/HS6/03792).
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