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CSAT Spotlight -

Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S


1. Tell us a little about yourself where you live, family,
education, hobbies, etc.
After 25 years of moving from one home to another within Los
Angeles, I have settled down for good in Santa Monica with
my husband of over 10-years Jon Westerman and our two 8-
week Old English Bulldogges, Dora and Dozier. Any free time
I can carve out is spent improving our home, garden and at-
tempting to make myself to exercise. Day-to-day, when not
collapsed in front of the TV or computer screen, I write blogs,
tweet, eat and work hard to build bridges between the addic-
tion and mental health communities.
2. Tell us about your path to becoming a therapist. What
obstacles have you had to overcome?

Sadly my mother had a life-long struggle with chronic and pro-
found Bipolar illness, which went largely unacknowledged
throughout my childhood. That early relationship taught me
the skills of external hypervigilence and other-observation, so
critical to being a clinician, but perhaps not so great for simply
being a kid. After living as an active sex addict from my early
leers lr(oudr rv r|d 20's. l Was lo(lurale eroudr lo allerd
rv l|(sl '3' reel|rd |r 1985 - and never left. The timing of my
recovery, coinciding as it did with the calamity of HIV/AIDS,
then pushed me into a re-examination of existence and spiri-
tual purpose. It was through these combined experiences, one
of growth, the other of loss- that I decided to attend graduate
school to try to learn how to help other sex addicts recover.
My first job out of graduate school was working for Patrick
Carnes.
3. Do you believe that there is still a stigma surrounding s
addiction?

Much as we still called alcoholics bums and losers right
lroudr lre 19Z0's. lodav sex add|cls ca(e sl||| cu|lu(a||v (ele(-
enced as perverts (Anthony Weiner being the most recent
example), compulsive overeaters are still considered fat and
lazy and compulsive gamblers considered individuals who
dor'l ca(e eroudr aooul lre|( lar|||es lo pav lre (erl. Vucr
work has yet to be done before the process addictions reach
the same level of clinical and cultural acceptance, as do the
substance addictions. Unfortunately, the sex addiction field
has a long way to go before there is enough valid research
and the political will to get a DSM diagnosis. The lack of such
a diagnosis sadly leaves our clients more subject to moral and
ethical judgment than readily able to identify their problems
and find the help that they and their families so desperately
need.
4. Tell us about your
practice types of clients
you see, tools you utilize,
what is working for your
clients.
In late 2010 I was fortunate
enough to sell The Sexual
Recovery Institute (SRI),
the California-based outpa-
tient Intensive sexual addic-
tion treatment program I
founded in 1995, to Ele-
ments Behavioral Health.
Together we are in the
process of joining with individuals and groups around the US
to further develop clinics and programs similar to SRI as well
as opening residential treatment programs. Clinically, I
strongly believe in short-term intensely focused cognitive be-
havioral and 12-step work as the doorway to healing our
c|erl's |orde(-term challenges with intimacy and attachment.
5. What are your future goals for your practice?

I am very involved in program development and training at
both The Ranch in Tennessee and Promises Treatment Cen-
le(s |r Ca||lo(r|a. lr Va(cr ol 2011 E|ererls opered a rer's
residential sex addiction treatment program called The Center
for Sexual Recovery (CSR) at The Ranch and in fall 2012 we
will open The Center for Sex and Relationship Recovery
|C3RR) al Tre Rarcr. a s|r||a( oul sepa(ale Worer's 3LAA
residential treatment program. I would like to see us evolve
lr|s Wo(| lo ercorpass ro(e '3' l(ealrerl p(od(ars oolr
within and outside-of the US. I want to write more self-help
books, but would love to publish some fiction as well.
6. Tell us about your practice types of clients you see,
tools you utilize, what is working for your clients.
I am very involved in program development and training at
both The Ranch in Tennessee and Promises Treatment Cen-
le(s |r Ca||lo(r|a. lr Va(cr ol 2011 E|ererls opered a rer's
residential sex addiction treatment program called The Center
for Sexual Recovery (CSR) at The Ranch and in fall 2012 we
will open The Center for Sex and Relationship Recovery
|C3RR) al Tre Rarcr. a s|r||a( oul sepa(ale Worer's 3LAA
residential treatment program. I would like to see us evolve
lr|s Wo(| lo ercorpass ro(e '3' l(ealrerl p(od(ars oolr
within and outside-of the US. I want to write more self-help
books, but would love to publish some fiction as well.
6. Are you treating clients of both sexes? If so, does the
treatment differ between the sexes?
We provide gender separate treatment to men and women in
all of our programs. Personally I find male sex addicts easier
to work with in early treatment (despite the lying and testing
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