Is Sex Really Addictive?

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1999, Vol 44(2), 154–156. Review of the book, “Sexual Addiction: An Integrated Approach” (see record 1998-02715-000). This book is a comprehensive text on the subject of sexual addiction. What is gained by this book is valuable, the author's identification of the centrality of subject experience as a key to analyzing addictions, recognition of the range and depth of the sources of human pain, his respect for client's individuality and capacity to take responsibility, his refusal-while avoiding open conflict with prevailing quasimedical views of addiction-to simply agree to these and to deny the implications of his own observations and thinking, are all admirable beyond words in the current atmosphere of groupthink and neurochemical totemism. Goodman's work will be well-cited as the best comprehensive guide to an area heretofore viewed by serious empiricists with distaste as some add-on service for addiction therapists to deliver. But Goodman's is not a groundbreaking or reorienting work. It does not resolve-or even recognize-many central issues with which addiction theorists, clinicians, and researchers must grapple. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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