Dr. Carol Clark

Be In Light

The offspring of a customized orbiter
Dr. Carol Clark is a Board certified sex therapist and addictions counselor; and president and senior instructor for Therapy Certification Training, the International Transgender Certification Association, and the International Institute of Clinical Sexology.
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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These words, this belief, are the biggest relationship buster I hear in my office. 

If a wife cheats, if a husband is cross-dressing, if a child is using drugs – those who are affected by someone else’s behavior personalize it.  They believe that the other person is doing something to harm them, to piss them off, or to otherwise inconvenience them.  There is the expectation, unrealistic as it may be, that “If you love me, you will (or won’t) do …………”

This totally doesn’t make sense when you, the identified victim of the behavior believe that the other person does indeed love you. 

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I was recently talking with someone who is experiencing quite a bit of fear right now.  She is on a fixed income and worried about a time when she will lose some independence, her health, and her home, and not be able to afford the care she will need.  In response to her fear, she is looking to blame someone and it is very easy these days to fall prey to the fear-mongering and blame that is prevalent in our media and politics.  While fear and blame do not change anyone’s situation, they do serve to Connect people, albeit in an unhealthy way.  Just as the early cavemen huddled together around the fire for warmth and security, so do we now band together in groups to feel safe against the terrors of the unknown future. 

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A new working definition of Recovery (SAMHSA):

“A process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential.”

While my book’s title seems to focus on addiction, the real message is about recovery, which is a state of living and way of thinking that applies to everyone.  Addiction is what keeps us from living in recovery.

 

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As with many aspects of addiction, the concept of power and control is very paradoxical in nature.  When we think we’re in control, we’re really not; and when we feel out of control, we’re most likely exerting control in a way that results in others feeling powerless.

As with parents and children, the parent has the power, but how often does a parent feel controlled by the child?  If you have children, you know what I mean.  The child cries, you go running.  The child has a tantrum in public, you feel frustrated to the point of panic.  The child, on the other hand, is trying to be in control, but innately knows that he can’t handle it so pushes the limits until control is imposed. 

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integrity

[in-teg-ri-tee] noun

1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.

2. the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.

3. a sound, unimpaired, or perfect condition: the integrity of a ship's hull.

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I knew someone once who used to throw away pennies. I saw a whole pile of them in her waste basket one time. They had no value to her because, after all, they were only pennies.

I, on the other hand, pick up pennies wherever I go. I find them on sidewalks and streets, in old pocket books and in furniture. I collect them all. I see pennies as gifts from the Universe and when I accept those gifts, small as they may be, then the Universe will give me larger gifts. By opening myself up to be grateful for whatever comes my way, I open myself up to everything. I don’t put conditions on gifts, I accept them
enthusiastically.

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Addiction is about stimulation, and fighting is stimulating. That includes fighting with ourselves. How many times a day do you get into an argument with yourself about something you sort of want to do but don’t really? Or argue with yourself about something you think you “should do” but would rather not?

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This line from the Pledge of Allegiance and brings back memories of a time when Americans truly believed we were one nation, all Connected, and that our government was working for all of us. When did that change? How did we get so divided by party alliances that we are virtuallyengaged in another Civil War that is ravaging our country to the detriment of all? As I listened to President Obama and Mr. Boehner on TV last night, it became very apparent how the concept of needing to belong to a group, which I talk about in my book, is driving our government leaders and the American people to self-destruct.

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I encounter a lot of controversy over the concept of addiction as a disease, and while I believe that this had its purpose once upon a time, now I think it is time we moved on from this way of thinking.

Before Bill W. and Dr. Bob created Alcoholics Anonymous and before it was designated as a disease by the American Medical Association, alcoholism was perceived as a moral failing and alcoholics were seen as depraved bums, lying in their own vomit in the gutter. Drinking was part and parcel of society and being able to “drink everyone else under the table” was a laudable aspiration, a sign of virility and strength.  While this mentality persists in many arenas, alcoholism is still mostly acknowledged as a physiological condition that can afflict anyone, from the rich and powerful to the small and meek.

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There’s a lot of talk about fast food and its effects on our physical health. Certainly, when we eat a lot of bread, animal fats, and drinks with either sugar or sugar substitutes, we are not nourishing our bodies. Sugars in any form and especially sugar replacements become quickly addictive, leading us to crave more and so we eat more sugar products.

But many fast food chains promote healthy foods like salads, lean meats, and whole grain breads.  Can these really be bad for us? What’s wrong with healthy fast food?

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The workbook section of Addict America: The Lost Connection, suggests getting a hobby as a means to practice being “in the moment” and also to give you the satisfaction of creating something. This creation can be shared with others, leading to a solid Connection with all who view or hold it. It can also be shared spiritually, as when you are feeling the satisfaction of creation and completion and put that energy into the Universe. Hobbies need to be something created with your hands.

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One of the ideas that has been developing since the birth of my book is about choices. It is easy to know that if we want to live in recovery and Connection, we need to make choices that put us on that path. How we frame those choices, however, can mean the difference between success and failure in the follow- through. Where successfully following through with a decision can build a pattern of feeling good and continuing on that path, the failure to do what one intends can leadto a slip and slide into shame and helplessness.

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Writing and publishing a book has been like having a baby. There is the conception, the gestation, and the birthing process. And just like having a baby, it doesn’t end there. That new being has the basic software but now it needs to grow and develop and take on a life of its own. Already that is happening with my book, Addict America: The Lost Connection. It is barely out of the womb and already new ideas are emerging and the basic concepts are developing.

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Those who know me were very much surprised to hear that I had gone to a discussion and book signing by the infamous purveyor of porn, Larry Flynt. I surprised myself, actually, but I was interested in his new book, One Nation Under Sex, and I also admire him for his continuing work to defend our First Amendment.

Mr. Flynt was entertaining during much of his talk about how the sex lives of our presidents and their first ladies have influenced our politics and I applaud his derision of the hypocrisy in our country. What I found disappointing was his response to a question I posed.