Carnes Task 1: Breaking through denial

Charlene, the first task in Carnes’ Model for treating sex addiction: Breaking Through Denial. Can you tell me a little bit about that? What is that?

Sharlene: The number 1 defense mechanism in addiction is denial, across the board, any kind of addiction. The acronym I like using for denial is: Didn’t Even Notice I Am Lying. A lot of it is basically bringing the truth to light for a lot of the addicts. There’s different exercises that we do to break through the denial. I’ll have the addict give me their 10 worst moments or write down what all their problems have been, what their secrets have been, what their excuses have been. There’s something about putting pen to paper and them actually seeing it and then talking about it, that it starts breaking through the denial. One of the biggest, I think, one of the hardest things is getting them to actually write. They think that just with talking, they’ll get better. There’s really something about the writing assignments that’s a big part of the recovery piece.

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