Dr. Carolina Pataky

Co-founder of the Love Discovery Institute, Dr. Carolina Pataky is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified Sex Therapist assisting both individuals and couples fine tune and find empowerment within themselves and their relationships. She's the creator of the H.I.M. Method (Healing Intimacy in Men) and BeLove Programs (Soul-discovery for individual and couples) and she is also recognized as one of South Florida's leading authorities surrounding intimacy, relationships and sexuality. Her private practice is located in two locations the heart of Coral Gables and Miami Beach. Additionally she works with various venues around the world to facilitate retreats and workshops worldwide.

As a relationship and intimacy therapist, she assist individuals and couples find alignment with their thoughts, emotions and spiritual bodies. Since she believes the quality of your relationships start with the relationship you have with yourself. When we start aligning our feelings, mind and spirit, our capacity for compassion and love expands and as a result, our relationships become extraordinary. This process also relieves individuals from anxiety, angst, depression, spiritual crisis, fears, anger, loneliness, being stuck in life and more. , When we start healing ourselves, everything else follows.

H.I.M. Method (Healing Intimacy in Men)


A major problem facing men today is their inability to express themselves throughout the vast spectrum of emotions. In particular, men have difficulty showing vulnerable aspects of themselves in an effort to meet male expectations which can create barriers to intimacy. In the context of relationships, men often find themselves unable to intimately connect with their partners. Additionally, the lack of emotional expression and fear of intimacy can have adverse personal and social consequences in their friendships, families, and for themselves (Pease, 2014). Although traditional therapies attempts to help men cope with their emotional disconnect, verbal therapies can be uncomfortable and further expose their vulnerabilities. Many therapists have begun to understand that healing comes from both the cognitive understanding as well as inner feelings governed by a deeper sense of the self (Jung, 1963; May, 1990). Over the years, therapists have found several holistic approaches and mindfulness-based practices to be helpful, but still lack a deeper connection to their clients’ innermost selves. A transpersonal exercise known as breathwork which has primarily been used in healing circles, has recently entered therapeutic offices. Through a conscious connected breathing method, breathwork combines mindfulness, experiential and bioenergetic techniques which may help men become more connected to their emotions. A video series was developed to help clinicians gain a better understanding of breathwork and learn how to incorporate it in their practices. The 8-Part series focuses on male barriers to intimacy and how breathwork in conjunction with traditional therapies can help men become more emotionally open and expressive.


RobWeissHeadshotDr. Rob Weiss

Robert Weiss PhD, MSW is an expert in the treatment of adult intimacy disorders and related addictions, most notably sex/porn/relationship addictions along with co-occurring drug/sex addiction. A clinical sexologist and practicing psychotherapist, Dr. Rob frequently serves as a subject matter expert for major media outlets including CNN, HLN, MSNBC, OWN, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and NPR, among others.

Dr. Rob is the author of Prodependence: Moving Beyond Codependency, Out of the Doghouse, Sex Addiction 101, and Cruise Control, among other books. He blogs regularly for Psychology Today and Psych Central. His podcast, Sex, Love, & Addiction, is rated as a Top 10 Addiction Podcast for 2019. He also hosts a weekly live no cost Webinar with Q&A on SexandRelationshipHealing.com.

A skilled clinical educator, Dr. Rob routinely provides training to therapists, hospitals, psychiatric organizations, and even the US military. Over the years, he has created and overseen nearly a dozen high-end addiction and mental health treatment facilities across the globe. For more information or to reach Dr. Rob, visit SeekingIntegrity.com. You can also follow him on Twitter (@RobWeissMSW), LinkedIn (Robert Weiss LCSW), and Facebook (Rob Weiss MSW).


Exploring and Comparing Codependence & Prodependence


Robert Weiss | PhD Dissertation, International Institute of Clinical Sexology | 9.1.2018

Spouses and partners of sexual addicts/compulsives, by the time they seek therapy/counseling for themselves, are typically in the midst of a full-blown emotional and relationship crisis not of their own making. Their lives are filled with uncertainty, as the relationship they’ve most trusted has been devastated by sexual addiction/compulsivity. And despite their presenting with an immediate, clear, and unique interpersonal crisis, they are typically treated utilizing some variation of codependence work, a model that, by definition, is grounded in early-life (rather than current) trauma. Admittedly, there are many variations of codependence work currently in use, but these one-off methodologies are ungrounded in psychological theory and research, and all are evolved and adapted from the early-life-trauma focused codependency model. Thus, work with spouses and partners of sex addicts/compulsives has generally focused on exploring their early-life issues and how those issues might be impacting their current decisions and behavior, while encouraging detachment from their sexually addicted/compulsive loved one. These models, in their many variations, have traditionally done little to mirror or address the life challenges and feelings of betrayal, loss, rage, and shame that spouses and partners of sex addicts/compulsives almost universally experience. 

With the World Health Organization’s announcement of Compulsive Sexual Behavior Disorder as an official diagnosis in the ICD-11, this is a useful time to explore a new treatment model for spouses and partners of sex addict/compulsives – a model based in attachment theory more than early-life trauma. With the dual goals of increased client participation and improved efficacy of client outcomes held in mind, a new paradigm is needed. A paradigm that is more invitational to the client than past models, and less pathologizing of their understandably erratic emotional and behavioral expressions acted out in the midst of crisis. A paradigm that reflects the immediate needs of a betrayed spouse or partner for validation and support, rather than examination and judgement. A paradigm that understands and celebrates the idea that the betrayed spouse or partner is in crisis yet still trying to help and remain attached to a troubled loved one.
I have created the word and the concept of prodependence to meet this need. Grounded in attachment rather than trauma theory, prodependence views the betrayed partner’s enabling, enmeshed attempts to control the behavior of a sexually addicted/compulsive individual as normative, not as evidence of the betrayed spouse or partner’s own pathology (his or her early-trauma-fueled codependence). When viewed through the lens of attachment and human bonding, the actions of the betrayed spouse or partner of a sexually addicted/compulsive individual shift from being pathological to being human and understandable.
Prodependence views what has previously been seen as dysfunctional as how any person would act if presented with the extraordinary life crisis of a beloved spouse or partner’s sexual addiction/compulsivity. With the attachment-based model of prodependence, gone are the labels, gone is the pathology of being a “co-addict” or “codependent,” gone is the blame and shame attached to spouses and partners of sex addicts/compulsives. Attachment-based theory applied to the treatment of these clients means initial treatment does not push them to self-examine, self-explore, and self-explain while in the midst of a profound life crisis. The attachment-based model of prodependence makes room for all the following:

• De-pathologizing the client’s behaviors, even when those behaviors “look crazy” and are clearly counterproductive.
• Validating the client’s (possibly enabling, enmeshed, and controlling) behaviors as healthy though perhaps less than optimal attempts to live with and care for a sexually addicted/compulsive individual.
• Encouraging healthier forms of self-care and improved boundaries with the sexually addicted/compulsive individual and others without assigning pathology and using that as impetus for therapeutic work.

To evaluate the theory of prodependence, an informational presentation on prodependence was created, along with a 30-question research survey for therapist-participants. First, therapist-participants were asked about their training, background, and the ways in which they tend to treat spouses and partners of sexually addicted/compulsive individuals during the initial stages (the first 60 days) of treatment. Immediately following this pre-test, participants were presented with a one-hour educational discussion about both codependence and prodependence. After this presentation, therapist-participants were asked follow-up questions about the ways in which they are likely to treat partners of sexual addicts/compulsives moving forward. The goal of this study was to learn more about what model(s) therapists who treat this population have embraced, and to what degree, and then to determine whether therapists believe prodependence to be a more welcoming and potentially more effective treatment modality for spouses and partners of sex addicts/compulsives in the initial stages (the first 60 days) of treatment.

 Bitting headshot smallDr. Alexis Bitting

Assessing the Need for a Social Skill Based Sexuality Education Curriculum for Adolescents with HFASD Utilizing Mental Health Professionals in South Florida

This dissertation looks at the need for a social skills based sexuality education curriculum for adolescents with high functioning autism spectrum disorder (HFASD) by surveying South FLorida mental health professionals. For this purpose, 46 mental health professionals were surveyed. It was shown that the largest barriers to current implementation to sexuality education was that "clinician did not feel they have enough training" and "parent/family was uncomfortable or resistant." Also, over 88% of respondents reported being interested in receiving training on how to implement a sexuality education program for adolescents with HFASD. The results suggest there is a high need and a high interest for the development and training for a social skills based sexuality education curriculum for adolescents with HFASD.


AprilYoungheadshotDr. April Young & Dr. John Davis

Certified Sex Offender Therapist Program

The proposed research is a general narrative review of the literature on the issue of the certification of treatment intervention providers for adult and juvenile sex offenders. The proposed research is predicated on the belief that too much attention has been placed on the risk factors and needs of victims with a lack of inquiry on how those needs are met with specific programs tailored to sex offenders. This shortcoming in the literature requires an inquiry into the providers of the treatment intervention models currently described and studied in the literature. Currently, the effectiveness of treatment programs form the bulk of studies reported in the literature. There is no conclusive evidence of why some of the programs fail to prevent or reduce recidivism rates among juvenile and adult sex offenders. The proposed research will address this gap in the literature by directing attention toward the treatment provider and how there is a need for certification to ensure that treatment intervention programs are more effective. Therefore, the risk need and responsivity (RNR) model for the treatment intervention of adult sex offenders and the Multisystemic treatment intervention (MST) model for juvenile sex offenders will be examined in the proposed research study. An examination of these program providers will shed light on how the unacceptable recidivism rates among juvenile and adult sex offenders. While the literature has provided empirical data on the effectiveness of the treatment intervention programs for adult and juvenile sex offenders, there is little, if any attention on those who provide the treatment.

emily JDr. Emily Jamea

The role of sensuality, imagination, and curiosity in high and optimal sexual satisfaction

Full Article

The central purpose of this research was to examine the relationship between certain personal qualities with high and optimal sexual satisfaction. There is a breadth of research on sexual function and dysfunction and several studies on sexual satisfaction. However, very little research exists on what kind of qualities are likely to lead to optimal sexual experiences, and to my knowledge this is the first quantitative study on the topic. The author selected three key qualities–sensuality, imagination, and curiosity—to examine how they relate to high and optimal sexual satisfaction. Because the literature has shown strong support of the positive relationship between sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction, participants were divided into two groups – those judged to be in secure relationships versus those in insecure relationships. A large sample of people (N = 195) completed an online survey composed of five measures. Results indicated a statistically significant positive correlation between sensuality, imagination, and curiosity with sexual satisfaction—but only among individuals in a secure relationship. Results indicate a statistically significant positive correlation of sensuality and imagination among those with optimal sexual satisfaction. In conclusion, implications are discussed, including strengths and limitations of the study, suggestions for sex therapists and sex educators, and recommendations for future research.

 Dr. Esther Jimenez


Full Article

Of the four attachment types the focus of this paper is the avoidant attachment style. The problem avoidant men experience is not being able to sexually connect with their partners.  Objective is to expand the use of SE, EFT, and EMDR by rewiring the core avoidant attachment imprints they have adapted and improve their level of sexual intimacy. Are these men capable of engaging emotionally and staying sexually connected with their partner? The study inquiry is how the dismissive avoidant man can engage emotionally and stay connected during sexual intimacy with their partner after rewiring their core attachment imprints? The premise is that these men do not know how to express their emotions and this contributes to their lack of sexual intimacy connection. The Method is a descriptive study that uses qualitative methods of research. This descriptive study found 6 self-volunteered men between the ages of 25 through 45 years of age who long for connecting emotionally and to being more sexually intimate with their partner. Results show avoidant men do not have the emotional vocabulary to name their emotions and thus avoid intimacy for fear of rejection, being vulnerable for fear of being perceived as weak, and avoid proximity with their partner for fear of feeling ‘too close’ for their comfort level. Conclusion analysis concludes men want to connect and have sexual intimacy and need help in vocalizing their emotions.  Based on the results a workbook ReConnect the DA MEN (Men Enhancing intimacy) was developed as a resource for this population. 

Keywords:  avoidant, emotion, sexual intimacy, early imprints, attachment

Dr. Floyd Godfrey



This capstone project is a research-oriented project that incorporates the culmination ofinformation learned throughout the doctoral program at The International Institute of Clinical.

Sexology (IICS) and additional research. It addresses the gap in information for adolescents and young adult males who struggle with issues related to sexualized attachments.  Minimal information currently exists specifically for this group and much less in the form of an active workbook. Based on the author's clinical experience in working with adolescents and young adult males who experience sexualized attachments, this workbook focuses on providing accurate information and practical tools. The creation of the workbook addresses concerns often verbalized by these young men, as well as questions presented by therapists, clergy and parental figures. It opens the dialogue to create effective support for youth and young adults within the general community.

 155Dr. Stephanie P. Bathurst



This study assessed clinician stigma within the construct of consensual non-monogamy. Through randomized dissemination of three case narratives differing solely in the identified romantic structure, this study evaluated clinician bias among three structures: monogamy, polyamory, and open relationship. Applying an original instrument to evaluate clinician bias, qualitative variance between the conceptualization of systemic difficulties proved relationship design to be a prominent factor that affects clinical insight. The thematic analysis of this study resulted in three core themes: supporting growth in the clinical field toward tolerance, presence of differing perspectives among alternative lifestyle structures and lack of awareness for known determinant variables in relational success. Polyamorous structures were viewed more favorably than open relationships and alternative lifestyled narratives displayed positive future predictions, granting grounds that present-day clinicians are more accepting of consensual non-monogamy than previously believed. Miseducation in counseling academia impedes appropriate focus on known determinants of successful relationships and inhibits effective, accessible mental health services for alternative lifestyled clients.
Keywords: Alternative lifestyle, case narrative, consensual non-monogamy, bias

 Dr. Galina Biberman



For many brides and grooms in the Jewish Orthodox religion, Taharat HaMishpachah classes are the only type of education on how to approach the marital lifecycle. The purpose of this study is to help readers understand the value behind the Laws of Taharat HaMishpachah, see how the teaching of the laws has changed as the world has changed, and what additional information has been adapted to help maintain the nature of these laws. The research designed involved the utilization of a qualitative research method to examine the perceptions of each participant. By exploring the perceptions of each individual who had experienced learning the Laws of Taharat HaMishpaschah, this research helps understand the difference in how the laws are conveyed today. Qualitative findings showed both similarities and differences between different age groups and level of observance.  The findings showed why it is significantly important and beneficial to learn the rules of Taharat HaMishpachah, as well as additional information that would be useful to help couples. The two main focuses of the study were to see how modern society impacts the laws, and to see if during the time couples are separated, it would be helpful to learn how to connect to your spouse in a non-physical way. The results provided examples of essential topics that participants wanted to see taught in classes, such as human physiology, building emotional intimacy, and achieving a connection with their partner during the times of prohibited physical connection.


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