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Jul 2015 by PCI College

Bite-Sized Book Review: CBT for Compulsive Sexual Behaviour - A Guide for Professionals by Thaddeus Birchard

Eoin Stephens reviews a new book by leading UK expert Thaddeus Birchard which introduces all the main areas of importance and includes useful case studies.

An up-to-date book on the subject of Sexual Addiction/Compulsivity is always welcome, doubly welcome when written by a UK expert (the literature having been rather dominated by the USA), and triply welcome when the author is the UK’s longest established expert in the field. Thaddeus Birchard, co-founder of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity, started working with these issues before the majority of helping professionals took any serious notice, and crucially before the Internet made sex addiction a problem that just couldn’t be ignored.

Thaddeus’s book 'CBT for Compulsive Sexual Behaviour' is written for helping professionals, and attempts to be both comprehensive and compact – there is an inevitable trade-off here, but he manages to introduce the interested professional to pretty much all the main areas of importance, from definitions to interventions, from neuroscience to cross-addiction, from common issues such as internet pornography to less common aspects such as paraphilias. For me, the chapter on the Therapeutic Alliance is particularly welcome, and many will find that the case studies tell them more about this area of work than any amount of theory. As the title suggests, Cognitive Behavioural interventions are given top billing, and Thaddeus justifies this from both the evidential literature and from his own clinical practice.

Thaddeus combines his deep clinical experience with a broadminded and accepting attitude to human sexuality. He warns us about the dangers of trying to over-control sexuality, and reminds us (and his clients) that ‘it is only a problem if it is a problem’.


Eoin Stephens, MIACP, MACI

PCI College President

(July 2015)

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