In the early 1980s, Dr. Patrick Carnes published Out of the Shadows, raising awareness about sexual compulsivity and addiction and eventually earning himself a reputation as the leading expert in his field. Due to Dr. Carnes' popularity, addiction practitioners began associating their business practices with him — qualified or not. It became apparent that a standard of training and certification was necessary to create a unified group of certified professionals and preserve the quality of Dr. Carnes' work.

This led to the creation of the Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, or CSAT®, program, a cutting-edge training and certification program built around academic study, experiential training, supervision and testing competence. As the program grew, so did the number of candidates, requiring the formation of an "institute" to handle the administrative duties and related tasks. Hence, IITAP was born.

Since IITAP's inception, we now offer additional certification options for mental health professionals: Associate Sex Addiction Therapist (ASAT®) and Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional (PSAP®) as well as trainings on other addictions, such as eating disorders and chemical dependency. IITAP also offers cutting-edge workshops about other topics related to addiction and trauma. IITAP's vision is to be a premier training resource for therapists specializing in these areas.

To date, IITAP's dedicated staff facilitates the CSAT program, providing addiction recovery resources for both practitioners and patients.

The IITAP team strives to meet and achieve the organization's goals every day:

  • Set the standard of excellence in sexual addiction education and treatment
  • Promote professional training and knowledge about sexual addiction and compulsive behaviors, in addition to related addictions and deprivations
  • Encourage communication and collaboration among treatment professionals and provide resources for them
  • Support our professional community of treatment providers
  • Provide continuing educational opportunities to professionals through training and newsletters
  • Research and implement a task-centered approach to treatment

IITAP’s core beliefs include the following:

  • Sex Addiction is real and recovery is possible
  • Addicts and their families deserve quality treatment by compassionate providers
  • Sex addiction does not discriminate.  It impacts people of all races, sexual orientation, nationalities, religions, creeds, ethnicities, gender expressions, ages, physical attributes, or mental abilities.
  • IITAP celebrates diversity and our ethical guidelines promote non-discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, height, weight, physical or mental ability, veteran status, military obligations, and marital status.
  • IITAP does not condone the practice of Reparative Therapy.  Homosexuality is not pathological and is not a mental illness.
  • Sexual addiction is not defined by the type of sexual act or the gender of the sexual partner


Learn more about IITAP's training, certification and continuing education programs.

Sexhelp.com offers those suffering from a sexual addiction access to certified practitioners, resources, treatment options and referrals.

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