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BREAKING NEWS: Changes in treatment landscape for sex addiction, as Carnes relocates Gentle Path to The Meadows

July 15, 2013
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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The expert who is perhaps most identified with advances in the assessment and treatment of sex addiction is relocating his trademarked treatment approach. Patrick Carnes, PhD, is leaving Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services in Mississippi and taking his Gentle Path program to The Meadows in Arizona, which will launch the 26-bed Vista residential program for adult men in October.

The announcements of changes at Pine Grove and The Meadows have followed each other by a few days over the past week. In a letter attached to a Pine Grove news release stating that little will change clinically with a sexual addiction treatment program that Carnes started there 10 years ago, Carnes emphasized lifestyle factors in his decision not to renew his contract with Pine Grove when it expires this September.

“The key factor in this shift is facing the reality of approaching 70 years of age,” Carnes wrote. “It takes more time to stay healthy as I get older.” However, Carnes added that he will be joining The Meadows’ high-profile faculty, will assist it in launching a new sexual addiction treatment unit, and also will continue to advance the research and data collection agenda of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).

Carnes added in his letter that he is leaving a “superb staff” and a “smooth running program” at Pine Grove, and will remain involved with program events and alumni.

The Gentle Path program encompasses trauma therapy as well as treatment of addictions and comorbid mental health issues (The Meadows is one of the field’s most prominent providers of trauma-centered care). 12-Step groups and an intensive one-week Family Care Program also are part of the Gentle Path model, and The Meadows intends to supplement the program Carnes founded with features such as equine therapy and its Survivors Workshop.

“I look forward to a collaborative, exciting, and innovative new version of the Gentle Path Program,” Carnes said in a statement from The Meadows. Vista is scheduled to open its doors on Oct. 15.

Pine Grove announced last week that it has begun the process of a rebranding initiative for its program in sexual addictions, intimacy disorders and trauma, though the program itself is not expected to undergo changes. Deborah Schiller continues as program director and Jes Montgomery, MD, is the psychiatric medical director; he has worked with Carnes for more than 20 years.   

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