Published Books

Treating Out of Control Sexual Behavior

Rethinking Sex Addiction

AUTHOR: Douglas Braun-Harvey MA, MFT, CGP, CST, Michael Vigorito MA, MFT, CGP


Out of control sexual behavior – referred to variously as “sex addiction”, “sexual compulsivity”, and “hypersexuality”, among other terms, has been a controversial and attention-getting issue since it first captured both public and professional attention over 30 years ago. Previous discussions of this behavior have been grounded in conceptualizing it as a pathologized, medical issue on par with substance abuse addictions, or, in backlash, as simply irresponsible behavior indicating weakness in the individual.

In keeping with the call from many leaders in the mental health and sexual health areas to move beyond these two polarized conceptualizations of these sexual behavior problems, the authors present a model for working with clients in both group and individual treatment settings. Based on their experience with hundreds of clients, this book provides a comprehensive and practical conceptualization of out of control sexual behavior framed as a sexual health problem within a larger model of human behavior, not a psychiatric or addictive disorder.

The book includes step-by-step tools for assessment, treatment planning as well as treatment implementation. It describes a process for professionals to guide clients to define and be accountable for their own personal vision of sexual health as the foundation on which they regain sexual behavior control. The authors provide rich and varied composite case examples based on 20 years of clinical experience that demonstrate clinician sexual health treatment conversations and tools, as well as stories of hope and guidance so essential to individuals wanting to understand how sexual health can be the essential ally in changing their sexual behavior.

Winner of the 2018 SSTAR Health Professional Book Award

Out of an extraordinary 19 books submitted to the Committee, Treating Out of Control Sexual Behavior: Rethinking Sex Addiction was chosen because it tackles an exceedingly complex issue and guides the clinician in conceptual understanding, assessment, and individual and group therapy for men who feel out of control of their sexuality. In an area so controversial that clinicians can barely agree on what to call it, Braun-Harvey and Vigorito reach us all by their formulation of OCSB as a “problem-level” rather than a “disorder-level” condition.

Their book is filled with case illustrations that will speak to clinicians who encounter these problems daily and who must find ways to deal with these cases across theoretical and disciplinary lines. Braun-Harvey and Vigorito ask us to imagine and support men in searching for sexual health, which includes a bedrock of freedom, rights and responsibilities as well as the principles of consent, shared values, and mutual pleasure.

 Sexual Health in Recovery

A Professional Counselor’s Manual

AUTHOR: Douglas Braun-Harvey MA, MFT, CGP, CST


Based on a curriculum that was successfully implemented and evaluated at Stepping Stone, a drug and alcohol treatment program in San Diego, Sexual Health in Recovery offers counselors a chance to understand and integrate basic sexual health principles into their work. Addiction treatment professionals and their clients will then be able to comfortably and safely address sexual issues that may impede recovery-and thus have a greater chance at successful treatment.

Key Topics:

  • Assessing a client’s sex/drug-linked relapse risk
  • Improving counselor confidence in talking about sexual issues
  • Dealing with out-of-control sexual behavior
  • Understanding how a client’s sexual attitudes and values may help or impede recovery
  • Discussing a client’s sexual past when it impacts recovery
  • Encouraging client’s sexual health while in recovery
  • Helping clients set expectations for sexual relationships while in recovery
  • Overcoming counselor ambivalence about addressing sexual issues in treatment


Sexual Health in Drug and Alcohol Treatment

Group Facilitator’s Manual

AUTHOR: Douglas Braun-Harvey MA, MFT, CGP, CST


For men and women in addiction recovery, sexual behavior linked with drug or alcohol use is too often the primary reason for relapse. When sexuality is not directly and positively addressed in drug and alcohol treatment, it can result in treatment failure or relapse.

This group facilitator’s guide introduces a pioneering, evidence-based curriculum, designed to integrate concepts of sexual health, current sex research, and recent developments in relapse prevention research. With this guide, group facilitators can offer clients a positive and safe forum within which to understand and change their sex/drug- linked behaviors.

Key Features:

  • Requires no specialized training, and can be integrated into a wide variety of treatment programs with all types of clientele
  • Contains lesson plans on dating and relationships, spirituality and sexuality, non-consensual sex, out-of-control sexual behavior, and more
  • Complete with suggested group activities, guided discussions, questions, role- plays, and more
  • Has been proven to improve client retention and decrease sexual behavioral problems