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Well summer is over which means it must be time to start counting the days till Christmas!! But before the festive season arrives we still have a busy autumn to get through. For many of us, autumn is the season for conferences and training, and that’s certainly true for us here at the Laurel Centre. Later this month our 4th Accredited Diploma cohort starts training in Leamington Spa and in November we deliver our first cohort in central London. I’m also delighted to have been invited to Dara in Thailand to train their addictions team - where better to spend 2 weeks in November! We have also been invited to speak at 3 conferences, including the Institute of Psychosexual Medicine and AddAction’s national conference. We’re also in the process of putting together our CPD programme for 2017 so do let us know if you’d like to receive details. The last few months have also been very busy in the research world with peer reviewed papers being published on the topics of pornography and sex addiction from researchers around the globe - you’ll find some highlighted ones later in the newsletter. The links between excessive pornography use and erectile dysfunction also received national coverage in the press, radio and TV. The story, produced by BBC Newsbeat, highlighted the plight of many young people who feel their sexuality has been damaged by porn. As some of you know, increasing education to young people about the potential risks of porn addiction is something that is close to my heart and next issue I hope to update you on a meeting at Westminster to start a lobbying campaign. In the meantime, we have developed a specialist online service for 18-25 year olds who are struggling with compulsive porn use. Utilising the zoom video conferencing package, this will provide a cost-effective recovery course tailored to the needs of young people and will be delivered by my Associate Ian Baker who has worked with this age group for many years. We hope this will be just the start of affordable services for young people. Time to sign off - hope you all have a great Christmas and do get in touch if you want further information about any of our recovery services or training. Best wishes,

Harley Street, London is internationally known for being the centre of medical, psychological and psychotherapy treatment services. 127 Harley Street is also the address for the new Paula Hall & associates office.


BOYS as young as 12 are so ­addicted to online porn they can’t make it through the school day without fulfilling their “need” to see explicit images, top teachers and academics have warned.

PORN INDUCED ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION (PIED) - (YouTube) Pornography induced erectile dysfunction (PIED): Understanding the scope, science, and treatment. Delivered by Dr. Tarek Pacha at the American Urologic Association in San Diego 2016.


Infuriating, emasculating and, for some, psychologically debilitating, the curse of erectile dysfunction has traditionally been an affliction of the middle-aged Romeo. Telegraph Online, Martin Daubney


you seen the documentary Weiner? If you haven’t, stop reading and go and watch it now. It’s one of the best documentaries in years — an incredible portrait of a man, a marriage and a political campaign in crisis. Spectator Health Online


pornography among children as young as eight is helping fuel ‘widespread’ sexual harassment and violence in schools according to a hard-hitting report by the Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee. The Daily Mail Online

RESEARCH Is Internet Pornography Causing Sexual Dysfunctions? A Review with Clinical Reports Brian Y. Park, Gary Wilson, Jonathan Berger, Matthew Christman, Bryn Reina, Frank Bishop, Warren P. Klam and Andrew P. Doan Abstract: Traditional factors that once explained men’s sexual difficulties appear insufficient to account for the sharp rise in erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation, decreased sexual satisfaction, and diminished libido during partnered sex in men under 40. This review (1) considers data from multiple domains, e.g., clinical, biological (addiction/urology), psychological (sexual conditioning), sociological; and (2) presents a series of clinical reports, all with the aim of proposing a possible direction for future research of this phenomenon. Alterations to the brain’s motivational system are explored as a possible etiology underlying pornography-related sexual dysfunctions. This review also considers evidence that Internet pornography’s unique properties (limitless novelty, potential for easy escalation to more extreme material, video format, etc.) may be potent enough to condition sexual arousal to aspects of Internet pornography use that do not readily transition to real-life partners, such that sex with desired partners may not register as meeting expectations and arousal declines. Clinical reports suggest that terminating Internet pornography use is sometimes sufficient to reverse negative effects, underscoring the need for extensive investigation using methodologies that have subjects remove the variable of Internet pornography use. In the interim, a simple diagnostic protocol for assessing patients with porninduced sexual dysfunction is put forth. To read the full study please click here.

Subjective Craving for Pornography and Associative Learning Predict Tendencies Towards Cybersex Addiction in a Sample of Regular Cybersex Users Jan Snagowski, Christian Laier, Theodora Duka, Matthias Brand Abstract: There is no consensus regarding the diagnostic criteria of cybersex addiction. Some

approaches postulate similarities to substance dependencies, for which associative learning is a crucial mechanism. In this study, 86 heterosexual males completed a Standard Pavlovian to Instrumental Transfer Task modified with pornographic pictures to investigate associative learning in cybersex addiction. Additionally, subjective craving due to watching pornographic pictures and tendencies towards cybersex addiction were assessed. Results showed an effect of subjective craving on tendencies towards cybersex addiction, moderated by associative learning. Thus, these findings indicate that such interactions might be crucial for the development of cybersex addiction. To read the full study please click here. Religion, Spirituality, and Sexual Addiction: A Critical Evaluation of Converging Fields Joshua B Grubbs & Joshua N Hook Abstract: The current issue of Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity is a foray into the intersection between the psychology of religion and spirituality and the psychology of human sexual behavior. Religiousness and sexual behavior are intricately related domains of human functioning, but, prior to the present issue, relatively little work had been done examining how religiousness and spirituality were related to the experience of sexual addiction. The present issue seeks to address this paucity of research. Nine articles featuring a variety of methods (e.g., qualitative, experimental, survey) and sampling techniques ......

please click here.

ARTICLES Psychosexual Therapy for Couples in Recovery from Sex Addiction

Psychosexual Therapy (PST) is a series of structured exercises that are designed to help couples who have a sexual difficulty in their relationship. This can include premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, pain during penetration and vaginismus, if there is no medical or physical reason for the problem then PST is an effective method of helping couples overcome the difficulty and have a healthy, fulfilling sexual relationship. I’d like to share my thoughts and experiences of how integrating the PST programme into a couples’ recovery course can really help reinforce and strengthen the re-structuring of the relationship. The discovery of a partner’s addiction to sex or pornography is traumatic, and in many cases leads to an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. For couples who want to repair and restructure the relationship, personal therapy, specifically sex addiction therapy, is essential for both partners, either group work or one to one, to start the recovery process. When the couple are well into their recovery, having relationship therapy can help the couple work together in a partnership to do the delicate, painstaking work of rebuilding the relationship. The therapist who works with the couple in recovery must have knowledge and a solid grounding in both relationship therapy and sex addiction therapy. I would also suggest that being an experienced PST practitioner is, if not essential, certainly desirable as if, during therapy, the sexual relationship stalls, or does not develop alongside the relationship, integrating PST into therapy can be an extremely effective way of restoring the sexual aspect of the relationship. The introduction of PST into the therapy process is a matter of experience and intuition on the part of the therapist, the therapeutic relationship must be well established for the couple to trust that they are in a “safe pair of hands”. The structured programme of exercises (also known as Sensate Focus) creates a boundaried space in which the couple can rebuild their intimate relationship, the specific instructions give a sense of security

that, if followed, will be instrumental in establishing trust between them. The initial, non genital stage of Sensate Focus is, I believe, core to building trust and confidence. That this stage of the process is “simply” about introducing physical intimacy immediately shifts the focus, intimacy is no longer about “sex”, it’s about two people who have been unable to maintain an exclusive intimate relationship learning how to. The time that the couple commit to the programme and exercises and the respect that is shown to the boundaries agreed on are physical evidence that past behaviour patterns are in the process of change, and that both partners are accepting responsibility in making those changes, and are doing this collaboratively and consciously. I believe that within the clear boundaries provided by PST: the specificity of what happens during each exercise, the regularity of the frequency of the exercises, the adherence to the balance of the initiation of them and the commitment to keeping to the practise, the couple can safely build an attachment to and with each other. I believe that within the clear boundaries provided by PST: the specificity of what happens during each exercise, the regularity of the frequency of the exercises, the adherence to the balance of the initiation of them and the commitment to keeping to the practise, the couple can safely build an attachment to and with each other. The observance of all the above means that the experience for the couple is greater than the sum of its parts, the conscious commitment to the programme is also, by the physical nature of the exercises, evidence to the body and the psyche that trust is being rebuilt, the release of endorphins relaxing the body, soothing the anxiety and creating an exclusive intimate space into which the exercises can become more sensual and erotic, the couple gradually developing their sexual relationship. Because of the complexity of the relationship issues involved and the intensity that these create, the feedback sessions are an important forum in which to explore the impact and the process of the programme, and to work through any issues that have emerged. The need to keep a non-judgmental approach, whilst simultaneously accepting that the addictive partner accepts responsibility is a tricky balancing act for the therapist! It is essential that both partners feel heard, valued and accepted, by each other and the therapist in order for the process to be effective. This seems to me to be a new area in which to work with PST, although there isn’t a sexual difficulty, there are difficulties around sex and I believe that integrating PST is a valuable, effective approach. The goals may not be as specific as in “regular” PST but certainly the couples I have worked with through this process have found it to be beneficial, and its practical, structured approach gives them a feeling of control in a situation where they have both felt adrift.

By Viv Howells


Contact Us

Great training opportunities coming this year at The Laurel Centre.

Accredited Diploma in Sex Addiction Counselling CPCAB (Level 5)

The Laurel Centre First Floor 52-54 Regent Street Royal Leamington Spa Warwickshire CV32 5EG

The Accredited Diploma in Sex Addiction Counselling has been developed to provide the tools to assess and treat sex addiction and support recovery. Three 4 day modules, provide distinct skills for working with different levels of sex addiction client groups, partners and their families.

Give us a call for more information about our services on 01926 339 594

Module One: Introduction to working with sex addiction Module Two: Working with complex cases and partners Module Three:Advanced skills for working with sex addiction

email us at info@thelaurelcentre.

To find out more please email us directly at Leamington Spa Cohort 2017

London Cohort 2017

Module 1 24th - 27th April Module 2 10th - 13th July Module 3 11th - 14th September

Module 1 19th - 22nd August Module 2 14th - 17th October Module 3 2nd - 5th December

Client Recovery Programmes 2016/17 Partners Intensive Recovery

The course provides space for partners to understand the overwhelming roller coaster of feelings that are so common when sex addiction behaviours are discovered or disclosed.

23rd - 26th November 2016, 15th - 18th February 2017,

6 Day Intensive Recovery

This recovery programme for sex and pornography addiction has been developed specifically for the treatment of addictive and compulsive sexual behaviours.

5th - 10th December 2016, 23rd - 28th January 2017

Understanding Partners Needs & Rebuilding Trust This day focuses on understanding partner’s needs, improving communication and developing the essential requirements for rebuilding trust.

22nd February 2017, 3rd June 2017 To find out more or to refer a client to one of these courses, please email us directly at

or visit us on the web at

Sex Addiction UK Newsletter - Issue Three