Book Review: CBT for Compulsive Sexual Behaviour by Thaddeus Birchard

This is book offers much more than its title would suggest. Yes it offers a CBT perspective but in addition it explains the background to compulsive sexual behaviours, their origins in childhood, the way they affect the brain chemistry that makes it hard to overcome them, the impact they may have on daily life, work, and intimate relationships. It also provides a full overview of the range of approaches available to help those who make the decision to stop their activities, as well as covering the approach developed and used by the author over a number of years in practice.


The author has drawn on his own lived experience, which he generously shares with the reader, to develope his own treatment package. This has been honed over the years of working with men in groups for a limited period of time. In the book he gives the reader the benefit of all his treatment tools. He uses some of these to help the men understand how their behaviours built up,what are the basic ingredients of understanding and overcoming compulsive behaviours. He then provides them with a comprehensive path to follow by which to overcome their compulsions and return to full and healthy living.


The full treatment programme is included in the book, the information he imparts and the strategies he employs can be seen by anyone who wants access to them. He includes reference to other approaches, recommended reading, and where to get further help.


His is a fluent, relaxed style, easy to read, yet well referenced drawing on the most recent developments in research and literature. The chapters follow a logical sequence, although one could dip in and out as well as the interest takes one. I enjoyed reading it and thoroughly recommend it to any therapist as a useful resource whether working with sexually compulsive behaviours or not. We often overlook such matters until we have the informed knowledge that alerts us to their existence.


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