Addiction & Alcoholism

 email page    print page

All Topic Reviews
AddictionsA Can of MadnessA Drop of the Hard StuffA Million Little PiecesAA: Not the Only WayAddicted Like MeAddictionAddictionAddictionAddiction and ArtAddiction and ChangeAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction Is a ChoiceAddiction NeuroethicsAddiction Recovery ToolsAddiction TrajectoriesAddiction TreatmentAddictive BehaviorsAdvances in the Neuroscience of AddictionAlternatives to AbstinenceBeautiful BoyBeyond AddictionBlackoutBlameBodies in Motion and at RestBrokenCaught in the NetChasing the HighChasing the ScreamCircles of RecoveryCloserCodependent ForevermoreControlling Your Drinking: Tools to Make Moderation Work for YouCrackedCreating the American JunkieCybersexDirtyDrinkingDrinking in AmericaDrug Dealer, MDDrunk the Night BeforeDrunkardDryDuplicityEcstasyForces of HabitFree RefillsFrom Sabotage to SuccessGetting HookedGetting OffGetting WastedHigh PriceHookedHow to Spot Hidden Alcoholicshow to stop timeHypnosis for Smoking CessationIf I Die Before I WakeIllness or Deviance?In the Shadows of the NetLeaving Las VegasLitLithium for MedeaLiving With One’s PastLove JunkieMatters of SubstanceMemoirs of an Addicted BrainMethadoniaModerate DrinkingMore, Now, AgainMy Friend LeonardNever EnoughOver the InfluencePorn NationPowerfully Recovered!Rachel Getting MarriedRachel's HolidayReal Solutions for Overcoming Internet AddictionsRecovery from AddictionRecovery OptionsRequiem for a Dream DVDSex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation Sex Addiction: The Partner's PerspectiveShameShe Bets Her LifeSmackSmashedSmashedStop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco for Life ChangesStrong FeelingsSubstance Abuse As SymptomTackling AddictionTalking Oneself SoberThe 5 Reasons Why We OvereatThe AddictThe AlcoholicThe Angry HeartThe Behavioral AddictionsThe Betty Ford Center Book of AnswersThe Big FixThe Biology of DesireThe Book of JamaicaThe Chemical Dependence Treatment PlannerThe Heart of AddictionThe Meaning of AddictionThe Night of the GunThe RecoveringThe Science of AddictionThe Science of Self-ControlThe Sober TruthTheory of AddictionThinking about AddictionTreating AddictionTweakUS of AAVirtual AddictionVoices of AlcoholismWhat Did I Do Last Night?What is Addiction?Writing to Heal

Related Topics
Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation Review - Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation
A Neurobiologically Informed Holistic Treatment
by Alexandra Katehakis
W. W. Norton, 2016
Review by Anna Westin
May 9th 2017 (Volume 21, Issue 19)

With insight that can only be developed from years of professional experience and detailed research, counselor and clinical director Alexandra Katehakis provides a comprehensive account of sex addiction from a neurobiological perspective. Dr. Patrick Caines hails the book as a 'touchstone…for understanding addiction', and the detail and depth with which it provides an overview of the field leaves me in no doubt that he is correct. 

In Sex Addiction as Affect Dysregulation, Katehakis suggests that sex addiction needs to be understood in detail as an addiction that can be engaged with in a way that brings people back into healthy relationships with others.  She engages with different therapeutic theories, providing insightful anecdotal illustrations from her own clinical practice. For those unfamiliar with neurobiology, Katehakis' first couple of chapters may be a tough to follow, due to the sheer quantity of information given. Figuring out exactly what Psychobiological Approach to Sex Addiction, or PASAT (a combination of Twelve Steps CBT treatment with affect regulatory psychotherapeutic engagement), involves took a bit of time for my non-counselling background.  However, I found that as the book progressed, a clear structure develops that accessibly outlines its many facets, eased with the inclusion of charts and illustrative references. 

The book starts with an in-depth analysis of research and approaches to addiction.  Katehakis acknowledges the complexity of engaging with this concept, even though she has limited the discourse to sex addiction.  Of this complexity she says that though 'unifying substance and behavioural addictions behavioural addictions through a grasp of their identical neurological workings yields a powerful paradigm for understanding and healing SA…no universal, formal recognition of SA pertains' (p. 37).  While the jury is still out amongst researchers as to whether addiction is, in fact, a 'chronic brain disorder' (p. 6), Katehakis' account shows how difficult the experience can be for people, and details the depth of work required for healing. 

Particularly helpful in this book was the exploration of a healthy concept of self-love; a part of addiction therapy that can be overlooked in more behaviourally inclined accounts.  This is especially relevant to treating sex addiction and addressing the patterns of shame that activity can elicit in a person. Katehakis' own narratives of her struggles with engaging effectively with clients, and the powerful synergy between the interdisciplinary therapies engages the reader in the synchronicity of the treatments developed.  Also of help was the clarification between forms of addiction, such as the distinction between love addiction (LA) and sex addiction (SA). 

The book is extensively referenced, with a solid bibliography for those who are interested in reading more. It works through the intricacies of a particular form of addiction in a way that is respectful to clients, while addressing their experience neurobiologically and relationally.  An insightful and thoroughly informative account.


© 2017 Anna Westin


Anna Westin, PhD candidate and visiting lecturer, Arts and Humanities, St. Mary's University, Twickenham, London


Welcome to Metapsychology.

Note that Metapsychology will be moving to a new server in January 2020. We will not put up new reviews during the transition. We thank you for your support and look forward to coming back with a revised format.

We feature over 8300 in-depth reviews of a wide range of books and DVDs written by our reviewers from many backgrounds and perspectives. We update our front page weekly and add more than twenty new reviews each month. Our editor is Christian Perring, PhD. To contact him, use one of the forms available here.

Metapsychology Online reviewers normally receive gratis review copies of the items they review.
Metapsychology Online receives a commission from for purchases through this site, which helps us send review copies to reviewers. Please support us by making your purchases through our Amazon links. We thank you for your support!

Join our Google Group!

Interested in becoming a book reviewer for Metapsychology? To apply, write to our editor.

Metapsychology Online Reviews

Promote your Page too

Metapsychology Online Reviews
ISSN 1931-5716