If we understand addiction as a developmental disorder, then it becomes clear that the appearance of substance use disorder is often intimately connected with disordered sexual development. However, sexuality is not commonly addressed either in treatment or in the many fellowships that exist to help support recovery. In addition, our society readily engages, for example, in discussions of teenage porn-use as an “addictive” behavior in and of itself, but what’s less often discussed is the idea that teen porn-use—and its ancillary behaviors, including teen sex without intimacy, abuse of women, and substance use—emerge from sex-negative attitudes fostered by a society that is in and of itself addictive.
These addictive, sex-negative attitudes include control; superficiality in relationships (Tinder, Grindr, hookup culture); lack of appropriate boundaries; avoidance of direct communication about sexuality, especially with young people; and craving for release. In addition, studies show upwards of half of women and one in five or six men who enter recovery for addiction have experienced sexual trauma, including childhood sexual abuse, and reports of sexual abuse are generally considered to be low. Because the culture at large discourages us both from exploring our direct experience with sexuality and from educating young people (or even adults) about sex and sexuality, when individuals enter recovery they lack the language to open discussion about this pivotal aspect of their histories. And clinicians, coming from that same culture, may also lack language or awareness that this subject is so critical.
In order to conduct holistic healing of addiction, then, it’s imperative that we learn to talk reasonably about sex in recovery.
In this workshop, participants will learn:
Michael Genovese, M.D., J.D., is the chief medical officer of Sierra Tucson, a world leader in integrative health. He is an assist ant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona, a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry. Before joining Sierra Tucson, Dr. Genovese co-founded Long Island Mind and Body (LIMB), a highly successful medical practice that brought state-of-the-art integrative treatments to a growing patient-base in metropolitan New York. While establishing LIMB, he also practiced as an attending physician at nearby Winthrop University Hospital. He was a fellow at the New York University/North Shore University Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Program, and he completed his residency training at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Before beginning his medical studies, Dr. Genovese earned a Juris Doctor degree at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. He is a member of the New York Bar and the American Bar Association, and he maintains a special counsel relationship with the law firm of Sullivan & Sullivan LLP, in Garden City, New York. He is an advocate for attorneys seeking treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders. Dr. Genovese writes, speaks, teaches, and consults widely in the disciplines of pharmacology, neuromodulation, and pharmacogenomics.
Jennifer Matesa, a seasoned health writer, authors the award-winning blog Guinevere Gets Sober and contributes regularly to TheFix.com. Her books include The Recovering Body: Practices to Foster Physical Healing from Addiction, Navel-Gazing: The Days and Nights of a Mother in the Making and Knowing Stephanie. In 2013 she became a fellow of the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Jennifer lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
for more information, go to her website at jennifermatesa.com.
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This event is sponsored with the generous support of
Audrey Freshman, Ph.D., LCSW, CASAC
Director, Office of Professional and Continuing Education
Social Work Building, Room 235
p – 516.877.4339
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