Saturday 28 Nov 2015

Dr. Carol Clark

Be In Light

The offspring of a customized orbiter
Dr. Carol Clark is a Board certified sex therapist and addictions counselor, president and senior instructor at the Sex Therapy Training Institute and is an adjunct professor at Carlos Albizu University in Miami, Florida.
Our over-stimulated lifestyles have led to a disconnection from each other and the Universe. The themes and exercises in this book will help you to Connect and be present, leading to a more fulfilled and peaceful life.
Welcome to the Sex Therapy Training Institute (STTI) website. We are pleased you have chosen to learn more about the finest, most comprehensive training programs available today.
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Sex Addiction Group Meeting held alternate Thursdays in Miami Shores. Contact Dr Clark at (305) 891-1827 for information.
06-13-15 STTI Class: Sexual and Reproductive Anatomy & Physiology I w/ Dr. Jabal Uffelman
06-20-15 STTI Class: Sexual and Reproductive Anatomy & Physiology II
06-27-15 STTI Class: Developmental Sexuality I w/
 Dr. Marilyn Volker 
View Calendar for full STTI class schedule



My sexual behavior is out of control!  

Sexual Addiction or Compulsion afflicts an estimated 20 million Americans. It is characterized by: obsessive, compulsive, out of control behavior; done in spite of negative consequences to self or others. Addicts experience loss of intimacy and connection, loss of jobs, marriage, self-esteem, as well as shame and guilt. Think this could be you?

Addiction is treatable! Call (305) 891-1827 today to take your first step toward recovery. 

Sex Addiction Group Meetings held alternate Thursdays in Miami Shores. Please call (305) 891-1827 for more information. 


♦  My partner wants sex more/less than I do.         ♦  Where has the intimacy gone?         ♦  My partner and I argue all the time.

How can we learn to calmly discuss things and solve our problems? 

Couples often have communication or intimacy problems that manifest themselves in the bedroom.  

     Don’t be afraid to take that first step and seek help. 

♦  I think I’m gay, lesbian, Transgendered           ♦  My wife just found out I’m a cross-dresser

What do I do now?

Some individuals are unable to accept themselves, some need help coping with friends and family. 

♦ How can I stop these nightmares?        ♦ I was molested/abused.     ♦ I can’t seem to get past losing my loved one.

Grief and trauma can become frozen in a person’s mind and cause ongoing anxiety, nightmares, or eating disorders.


Dr. Carol L Clark

I was watching the news the other night and marveling at the extent of what to me is irrational thinking and behavior. Specifically, those people in Texas who believe that President Obama is massing our forces to take over Texas and/or stay in office beyond his proscribed term.

What would make people actually devote time to protesting this seeming absurdity? What would make the Governor of Texas actually buy into this?

As any of my students could tell you, the greatest motivator of human behavior is the need to belong to the group.

People will repress their personal values and override their innate intelligence in order to belong to their group. The result can sometimes be the creation of a positive problem-solving team, a group that affects healthy change, or a disciplined military force that protects our way of life.

The result can also be destructive gangs, mind-deadening cults, mob violence, and just the paranoic flight from rational thinking that distracts people from very real issues.

Examples of this need to belong to the group in spite of overwhelmingly painful or destructive consequences can be found around the world. The people in Africa who engage in female genital mutilation will cite a myriad of reasons, ranging from fear that unmutilated genitals will smell bad to fear that if a baby’s head touches the clitoris during birth the baby will die. The most compelling reason, however, is that any female child who is not mutilated will be exiled from the community and be good for nothing except prostitution. Closer to home are the men and women who serve in law enforcement and will keep silent about a fellow officer who violates that very mandate they all swore to uphold: “Protect and Serve.”

This premise that “Crazy is Normal” comes up on a daily basis in my practice. When I’m working with couples and they are fighting over something seemingly insignificant (yes, crazy), I will discuss this need to belong to the group and then explore with them from where that originated. Let me connect the dots.

In childhood, we take in messages about ourselves in relation to others. We don’t yet have the capacity to distinguish that what is going on externally is not a judgment on our internal identity, and so we develop beliefs such as “I’m not good enough” or “I’m unimportant” and then carry those beliefs into our adult lives, often unknowingly. For instance, when a well-meaning parent says “You need to bring that B up to an A, just work harder, I want to see that A next time!” and the child takes in “I’m not good enough to please my father/mother and never will be.”

As we engage in relationships with others, we look for groups that will accept us, in spite of those negative beliefs. I once asked someone in Scientology what was the motivation for being part of an organization that alienated her from her family and cost her a great deal of money and she replied, “They accept me as I am.” Of course, there are many other conditions for acceptance that she had to fulfill, but they continually assured her that she was good enough and important enough to belong with them, which was and is her greatest motivation.

Back to our couples who are fighting over who’s not taking out the garbage or washing the dishes, it comes back to the underlying message in this way: If you don’t do the dishes, it means I’m unimportant, or if I take out the garbage every day and you don’t appreciate me, I’m not good enough.

There is a little more complexity to this (see past article Intimacy by the Numbers) but the distancing created by this need to Connect (be part of the group) and the fear of not being good enough or important enough to be accepted leads to the irrational thoughts and behaviors that we see in our relationships and on the news. If we focus on the “Crazy,” we will miss the underlying motivation and therefore the ability to address it in any meaningful way. If I enter into a right/wrong position about whose job it is to do the dishes, I will perpetuate a fight that only serves to disconnect the couple. Just as when we try to convince someone that the president is not going to invade Texas, that person will just dig in and we are going to butt heads.

Instead, when we can discover the underlying meaning and own it, we can then make different decisions and look more rationally at the situation. We can first decide how much energy we are going to give. We can explore what our real goal is and generate different options for achieving it. We can decide if the group (be it a group of two partners or a group of hundreds or even thousands) is the one to which we want to belong.

People acting crazy is really normal. Through our need to belong to the group, we are all Connected. The trick is to not disconnect while seeking Connection.

Be In Light

You’ve heard the expression “Nature Abhors a Vacuum,” right? Basically, a vacuum, or empty space, cannot exist in nature. Something has to fill it. If you sucked all the air out of an enclosed space and then opened up a hole, air would be sucked right back in.

The same is true in our lives. When we say “I am not going to….. (take drugs, watch online porn, get angry) we create a vacuum. In the absence of anything else with which to fill that empty space, whatever it was we tried to remove from it will be sucked right back in. That is how Addiction Loves a Vacuum. No matter how hard we try to NOT do our addictive behavior, if we leave a vacuum, the addiction will fill it again.

So we need to frame our desires in a positive way. What do we want to do instead of our addiction? Pretty much everyone is able to do whatever they put their minds to, as long as it is framed concretely. “I will eat dinner with my family,” “I will go to a meeting,” or “I will take an hour-long yoga class.”

It is about Intention – the Intention to live in Recovery, the Intention to do those behaviors that are prosocial and health-promoting.

Start each day with an Intention for how you want your day to be, rather than how you do NOT want it to be.

Use the Intention for a Good Day from Addict America: The Lost Connection to make this day a good one!


The power of intention is strong indeed. Begin each day with this pledge:

This Day

Will be a good day

I will be present and mindful

I will smile at everyone

I will listen to others and understand their world

I will nurture myself with good food, exercise, and fresh air

I will be nurtured with hugs and smiles

I will trust in the good intentions of those who love me

I will send Light to anyone from whom I perceive harm

I will be the person I want to be

I will be Connected

Addict America: The Lost Connection can be found at

Taking It Personally

There is a great bit in the movie “You’ve Got Mail” when Meg Ryan’s character is talking to Tom Hank’s character about the falsity of telling someone “it’s not personal” when of course, it is affecting her on a very deep, personal level.

The line “don’t take it personally” or “it’s not personal” can be a great way for someone to relieve their own sense of responsibility for another person’s feelings by blaming them for the hurt they are experiencing. This is very disconnecting for both people – let’s call them Meg and Tom. Tom’s acknowledgment of that hurt would be far more effective way of empathizing with Meg and by recognizing that they are both feeling disempowered. This, paradoxically, leads to empowerment. In other words, Meg “taking it personally” is feeling out of control because the Tom is doing something “to” her. Tom, who has done the bad deed, is feeling out of control to relieve Meg’s the hurt and pain. Something as simple as “I see that this is hurting you and I’m sorry that what I am doing is causing you distress” can be far more relieving than “don’t take it personally.”

On the other hand, for Meg, the aggrieved person, recognizing that she has the power to “not take it personally” can be an enormous step in taking responsibility for her feelings. The situation (her store that was going out of business due to Tom’s new big business) was only the surface issue. The meaning for her was that she was losing her connection to her mother, her childhood, and her life’s work. Those were what made this personal and it really didn’t come from Tom and he was not doing anything “to” her, he was doing something that was meaningful for him, and the consequences were neither intended nor under his control.

As it was, Meg was able to move forward in her life and begin her own journey of becoming a writer, so with no change in actual circumstances, she was able to respond in a different way.

It is a natural part of the grieving process to blame others for creating an unwanted change. It is our responsibility to make the decision to accept our own part in causing our own pain.

Addicts experience this all the time. Initially, they don’t want to change - they blame, they fight, and they push away. Eventually, in recovery, they live the Serenity Prayer and take responsibility for their own destinies. In so doing, they eventually move from resenting their addiction to being grateful for it, because it brought them to a far better place.

Be In Light

Addict America: The Lost Connection

The Serenity Prayer

God, Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The Courage to change the things I can,

And the Wisdom to know the difference

I grew up in an alcoholic home and had a drug addicted boyfriend at one time, so I wanted nothing to do with addicts when I became a mental health counselor. The Universe had other ideas for me, however, and when I couldn’t find work anywhere else, I ended up in a substance abuse treatment facility. My father and ex-boyfriend went into recovery around the same time and made amends and I experienced a profound shift in perspective. Over the years, I became a Certified Addictions Professional and when I specialized in sex therapy, working with sex addicts was the next progression for me.

After years of working with couples and individuals, sex addicts and others, I formulated a conceptual framework of treating everyone that was based on Recovery principles. When I realized I was saying the same thing over and over as I educated clients and students about how we create barriers to intimacy by using addictive thinking and behavior, I decided to write it all down and voila! Addict America: The Lost Connection was born. It actually gestated for seven years but it eventually was completed and then translated into Spanish.

Working and teaching in the sex therapy field, I have been exposed to a few sexologists who are fundamentally opposed to the concept of “sex addiction.” They have posited various reasons for this, including opinions that sex addiction treatment professionals are “sex negative,” into “reparative therapy,” and religious fundamentalists. For me, none of this is true. A few other professionals are less oppositional but still questioning. While I try to avoid going head-to-head with anyone who is obviously not really interested in a discussion, I am happy to engage in more academic discourse on the subject. Still, I find myself fighting twinges of defensiveness and last night, as I explored this, I was able to move to a completely different place of perspective, which I want to share.

I am blessed to be able to work with addicts. Addicts, no matter the drug or behavior, go through hell and it takes enormous courage and willingness to change in order for them to begin Recovery. As they learn new ways of living, make decisions about everything from what shoes to wear to where to eat, work, play, to relationship choices, they are evolving to a higher spiritual plane. When addicts are living in Recovery, they are present and grounded. They have made choices as to what kinds of people they want to be and they live congruently with that identity. They have made choices regarding their values and what is important in life and are living according to those values. They are fully able to be in intimate, Connected relationships, whether with a committed partner, a child, a friend, a coworker, or someone just passing on the street. For each moment, there is Connection and awareness of Connection. They have Connected to a higher power and live the Serenity Prayer without rationalization, minimization, or intellectualization. They can truly say, and often do, that the worst day in Recovery is better than the best day in addiction. They are my heroes and my role models. I am humbled and grateful to be a part of their journeys.

We all have it in us to be in addiction or be in Recovery. I know when I am not present, not Connected, and not in harmony with the Universe. I know when I’m rushing around, angry or irritable, and blaming others. That is an addictive place. I also know when I am grounded, in the moment, and have a sense of myself and others in Connection. I know who I am and am responsible for myself. That is Recovery. It is where I strive to live.

Be In Light,


“I spent too long wanting what was taken from me and not what was given.”

King Caspian, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

What a powerful message this is! It goes to the heart of addiction and recovery. Addiction is wanting what we lost and often what we never had. It is about seeking fulfillment and validation from external sources, always looking for something to fill that hole in our souls.

Recovery is about seeing what we have, the beauty around us, the love of whatever people are in our lives who truly care about us.

As we move into this season of crazy commercialism and family pressures, pay attention to what you have and let go of what you think you are lacking. This isn’t a new message, it’s just something we all need to be reminded of.

While you have some time off, watch the movie. It’s a good one!

Be In Light