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Dr. Carnes TeachingIn the early 1980s, Dr. Patrick Carnes published Out of the Shadows, raising awareness about sexual compulsivity and addiction; earning himself a reputation as the leading expert in his field. As Dr. Carnes’ popularity grew, addiction practitioners began associating their business practices with him — whether they were qualified to treat sex addiction or not. It became apparent that a standard of training and certification was necessary; thereby creating a unified group of certified professionals that would 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 assessment 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, the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) was born.

Amanda and IITAP BoothAs IITAP continued to grow and expand, the certification programs offered also expanded. Previously, the CSAT certification was limited to specific therapists; however, with the growing need for qualified help, additional certification options were created to encompass professionals across a multitude of diverse settings: Associate Sex Addiction Therapist (ASAT) and Pastoral Sex Addiction Professional (PSAP).   Training opportunities are expanding the 30 task model to other addictions, such as financial and work disorders and chemical dependency, were also created. To this day, IITAP continues to develop more programming applying the task model approach to various addictions and/or populations and tools to assist therapists in providing the highest level of quality care possible.

Since its inception, IITAP’s vision is to be a premier training resource for therapists specializing in the areas of addiction recovery and trauma.

Core Beliefs 

  • 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 by 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


  • 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 Partners