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Crazy for You: Breaking the Spell of Sex and Love Addiction (Paperback)
A psychologist and bestselling author redefines love and sex addiction as a spectrum disorder, and offers a new approach for healing.
For anyone who has wondered Why does everyone else seem to be able to make romantic relationships work, and I can’t? What’s wrong with me? Why is love so hard?
Psychologist and bestselling memoirist Kerry Cohen is all too familiar with the questions she often hears from her clients—and has asked herself. Even though sex and love are some of the most universal, sought-after experiences we have, many of us lack the tools and understanding to approach them in a healthy way. Without knowing it, many people struggling with sex and love actually fall somewhere on the spectrum of sex and love addiction (SLA).
Sex and love addiction is still wildly misunderstood. It’s shrouded in secrecy and shame, and many counselors lack the training to address it—leaving people who need help without resources. Yet SLA isn’t a binary of you are or you aren’t, rather, it’s a spectrum. Kerry Cohen knows this all too well as both a therapist and someone who identifies on the SLA spectrum. Based on research and her own clinical experience, Crazy for You dives into SLA and provides an inclusive framework for understanding relationships, along with practical exercises and advice for self-assessment, discovery, and healing:
Part one explains the sex and love addiction spectrum, helping you determine where you fall on it and how you got there
Part two introduces strategies for breaking the spell of sex and love addiction, like behavior modifications and self-awareness techniques
Part three teaches you how to navigate healthy, safe, and fulfilling relationships
About the Author
Kerry Cohen is a doctor of clinical psychology and works as a licensed therapist in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of the memoirs Loose Girl, Seeing Ezra, and GirlTrouble. Her work has been featured in the New York Times and Washington Post, and she has been a guest on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Her story was also featured on WE Network as part of the documentary The Secret Lives of Women.
"In exploring Sex and Love Addiction as a broad and varied spectrum, Kerry Cohen's Crazy for You seems destined to resonate with just about anyone who has ever been in an unhappy or insecure relationship (in other words: almost everyone). If you fall on the Sex and Love Addiction Spectrum (SLAS), this book is full of practical tools for breaking unhealthy patterns that prevent true intimacy, and provides a language and context for self-sabotaging patterns. But better yet, Cohen illustrates that between all-too-common childhood wounds, the pervasiveness of a patriarchal/racist/classist culture, and media portrayals of 'romance,' it would be virtually impossible for anyone not to recognize some aspect of our lives and the lives of those close to us in these pages. Crazy for You encourages all readers to consider our own relationships--even the happy ones--more mindfully and to move towards self-healing amidst a flawed world." —Gina Frangello, author of Blow Your House Down: A Story of Family, Feminism, and Treason
"Sex and love addiction is one of the most challenging addictive habits: it promises us love but leaves us broken hearted and alone. Kerry Cohen offers a compassionate, comprehensive approach to healing.”—Kelly McDaniel, LPC, NCC,, author of Mother Hunger and Ready to Heal
“Two things are generally true about self-help books for general readership: Sex sells [and] [o]nly well-written books significantly guide the reader to successfully help themselves. Crazy for You: Breaking the Spell of Sex and Love Addiction by Kerry Cohen PsyD rings the bell on both counts…well written, easy to read, and comprehensive…. While some readers might benefit from using a therapist to help with recovery, reading this text would be an excellent start."—New York Journal of Books
“Cohen takes a deep look at an addiction that mainstream psychology has largely dismissed. A practicing therapist, Cohen asserts that sex and love addiction fall on a spectrum, not a binary; in Crazy for You, she dispels previous research that focused on extreme cases and explains her theory to shed light on the struggle and shame that Cohen has seen in patients—and experienced herself—while offering tools for those who feel similarly and want to make a change."—Bitch Media
Praise for Loose Girl "Cohen's brutal honesty about her relentless request for companionship is refreshingly relatable."—Entertainment Weekly
"Cohen recounts her harrowing litany of hookups through clear, poignant, spare-no-details prose."—Marie Claire
Praise for Lush "Raw, intimate and brave, Lush tears apart the usual advice about drinking and addiction (guess what, AA isn't the only answer), and chronicles Cohen's journey toward a healing that at first she can only image. Gorgeously written and audaciously intelligent, here is a controversial and compelling look at finding your own way back."—Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
"Kerry Cohen applies her legendary wit and sagacity to women's often subtly destructive dance with alcohol. With great vulnerability and dynamic prose, Cohen examines her own descent into the bottle, its ruinous consequences, and her courageous fight to find her footing in her real life again. This is a story you won't soon forget."—Jillian Lauren, New York Times bestselling memoirist of Some Girls: My Life in a Harem and Everything You Ever Wanted
"Holy mother of wine--finally a woman wrestles the story of what it is really like to be a woman away from what we've been told we are supposed to be. Kerry Cohen's Lush will light you up, crack you up, make you bawl, and most of all, allow you to breathe again. I'm beyond thrilled to read a book where a woman tells the truth without falling into the sap-hole of the sin-and-redemption narrative. There is no sin and redemption. There's just our lives, and as Cohen reminds us one truth bomb at a time, they are messily gorgeous. Move over Mary Karr."—Lidia Yuknavitch, bestselling author of The Book of Joan and The Misfit's Manifesto
"I love this book. I am this book. Kerry Cohen has written a memoir that wrestles with the subtleties, the ambiguities, the sheer alluring horrifying real-life mess of mid-life alcohol addiction. For those of us wrestling with demons--and who isn't?--Lush is a solace as powerful as red wine."—Claire Dederer, bestselling author of Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses
"Unapologetic in that it offers no trite "darkness to light" narrative about alcoholism, Cohen's book instead offers a sharp-eyed look at what it means to be a midlife female unable to cope with either personal demons or the heavy external social pressures placed on women. An intimate and unsparing book of self-reflection."—Kirkus
Praise for Dirty Little Secrets "Very few people can write about teen girls' sexual promiscuity with the candor, empathy, and intelligence Kerry Cohen does...I think any girl who reads this will recognize at least one girl she knows-and that girl may be looking back at her in the mirror."—Rosalind Wiseman, New York Times bestselling author of Queen Bees and Wannabees and Boys, Girls, and other Hazardous Materials.
"As compassionate as it is enlightening, Kerry Cohen's Dirty Little Secrets argues for female safety and desire, and provides a road map for authentically healthy, vital sexuality."—Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Look Both Ways, F 'Em, and Manifesta
"Kerry Cohen has 'been there'-and it shows in her empathy, her insight, and her remarkable ability to draw out the truth...Dirty Little Secrets busts the myths, breaks down walls, and takes us where we need to go to understand the private lives of so many young women today."—Hugo Schwyzer, PhD, Pasadena City College, Coauthor, Beauty, Disrupted: the Carré Otis Story
"Ms. Cohen's Dirty Little Secrets is a perfect catalyst for mother/daughter discussions. It is a safe place to start a scary talk about this issue so relevant to young women-and young men...At its heart, Dirty Little Secrets is a wake-up call. Settle in, relax, and embrace its shocking content."—New York Journal of Books
"Serves as an engaging catalyst for discussions about a taboo issue."—Kirkus
"A strong beginning to an important conversation. An important book for feminist and social science collections."—Library Journal