About My Writing

Writing by Atlanta Counselor and Therapist Bill Herring LCSW, CSAT

Writing gives me an opportunity to share my perspective on different topics in a way that I hope can be helpful to people I may never have the pleasure to meet.  My writing falls into three categories:

(1) My professional publications 

     These are articles that appear in academic journals, most often the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity.

(2) My blog posts 

     These are generally short essays and observations that cover a wide variety of topics that give a taste of how I think.  Note that I've recently removed almost 100 of them that I am editing to publish in book form in 2021.

(3) Lengthier articles and essays, loosely grouped into the following categories.  

Clicking on any title will take you to each article.  I hope you will find something that interests you.  Of course, nothing takes the place of a personal meeting, so please reach out to me if you would like to schedule an appointment with me.



These are articles I wrote years ago, when my counseling practice had a more general focus rather than being dedicated to helping people overcome problems associated with sexual infidelity, pornography struggles and sex and porn addiction.  They are still useful so I have kept them on this site.

John Gray's Love Letter Technique

Here's a simple and effective way to communicate complex  and conflicting feelings you may be having toward an important person in your life.

Get 'SET' For Effective Communication

When you are having difficulty dealing with another person, the “SET” model of communication, which stands for "Support, Empathy, Truth", can help you to communicate more effectively.  Simple and powerful! 

Gary Chapman's Five Love Languages

Here's a useful way to evaluate the communication patterns in any relationship in order to convey support and caring in the best way. 

The Four Denials of Responsibility

It can be difficult to truly take responsibility for doing something that caused pain to another person. Sometimes different forms of denial sneak in to reduce responsibility.  This article focuses on how to get it right.

The Art of Apologizing

The ability to apologize for a wrongdoing requires character, self-awareness and a willingness to do more than say you're sorry.  Here's some ways to think about apologies that can help them do the most good to both the giver and receiver.

Gather Up Your Resources

This is a list of questions to help you gather up a list of positive resources in your life, from the people who have cared about you to obstacles you've overcome, to favorite songs and much more.  Completing this list of positive resources, reminders, affirmations and associations will help you during hard times when you are feeling down.  


These articles are all related in some way to issues related to sex and porn addiction, repeated infidelity and related examples of sexual behavior patterns that conflict with a person's commitments, values and/or self-control.  Some of them are pretty lengthy!

The Problematic Sexual Behavior (PSB) Framework: Expanded Summary Review 

I'm putting this article at the top of the list because it is new and covers a topic that is central to how I work with clients and one that I recommend other therapists consider incorporating into the way they assess people for any difficulties they are experiencing because of their sexual behavior.  I think anyone with an interest in this topic will find it useful, even as a self-assessment.

Applying the Problematic Sexual Behavior Framework to Group Therapy

In August 2023 I presented a workshop to teach therapists how to apply the Problematic Sexual Behavior to group therapy.  After the workshop ended I realized there was more to convey about this topic so I wrote an "addendum" that basically turned into an article, so I'm posting it here.  It's primarily written for therapists.

An Important Note to Betrayed Partners About My Treatment Approach

I want to make sure that spouses and other partners who have been sexually betrayed understand and support why I sometimes do not use the sex addiction model when I am working with chronic betrayers.

Recovering From Infidelity: The Long and Winding Road

How long does it take to heal from broken trust?  To read my opinion, take a deep breath and click the link.

Partners of the Chronically Unfaithful

The impact of a single act of infidelity can't compare to the pain of finding out your partner has done it over and over.  This lengthy article examine the challenges that must be faced to heal from this kind of pain. 

Chronic Infidelity: Many Causes and Many Solutions

Chronic sexual deception happens for a lot of reasons.  This means there can be a lot of issues to address for a person who has strayed this far off course. 

Understanding and Addressing Excessive Online Pornography Use

Access to an endless river of pornography has created problems that have never before existed.  This article looks at some of the issues related to online pornography use, including what it takes for a person to break any dependence on it that may have developed.

Sex Addiction and the 3 Second Rule

Unhealthy thought patterns can lead a person struggling with sexual self-control to spiral into relapse long before any specific behavior occurs. This brief articel explains how the "3 Second Rule" can help prevent fantasy, intrigue and objectification from spreading to dangerous proportions.

What Is "Sexual Sobriety"?

When it comes to substance abuse, sobriety is easy to define: no more use of alcohol or drugs.  But the concept of 'sexual sobriety' is sex addiction is somewhat more complex.  This article explains some of the basic of what is means for a sex addict to be "sober".

What Are the Triggers of Sex Addiction Relapse?

A person seeking to manage an addiction to sex must learn how to recognize and respond to a variety of "triggers", which are risk factors that can lead to a return to unwanted behavior.  It's been said that a relapse of sexual sobriety starts well before the actual behavior returns, and so it's wise to be vigilent about these categories of triggers.

GuIde to Atlanta Sex Addiction Resources

This article reviews the resources available in Atlanta for people affected by sex or porn addiction.  It covers the range of services available for helping people recover from sex addiction in the metro Atlanta area.

The Next 20 Years: Developmental Challenges in the Field of Compulsive Sexual Behavior (2004)

This early article, which appeared as a guest editorial in the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity in 2004, may have little more than historic interest at this point.  I'm including it under this category to provide a link to it and have it available if anyone wants to see what I was writing about back then.

The Ethical Limits of the Sex Addiction Label 

This is a 'think piece' I wrote in 2011 that appeared as a guest editorial in the journal Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity.  It reflects the development of my thinking at this time, which resulted a few years later in the Problematic Sexual Behavior framework as described in the next article.

My Approach to Assessing Problematic Sexual Behavior

This is a summary of the framework for categorizing problematic seual behavior patterns that I devised and published a few years back.  It is a central component to the way I help my clients assess their sexual behaviior patterns for problematic components

A Framework for Conceptualizing Problematic Sexual Behavior

This is the actual article about my framework that I wrote in 2017, which was awarded "Article of the Year" by the publishing company, Taylor & Francis. It serves as the basis for the "Advanced Topics in Problematic Sexual Behavior" certificate program offered by the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health.This article introduces a framework for categorizing chronically problematic sexual behavior.  It identifies patterns of commitment violations, values conflicts, diminished self-control, negative consequences and lack of sexual responsibility as independent categories of chronically problematic sexual behavior.  This framework has broad application as an effective sexual health assessment tool.


This group of articles is related to the topic of support groups, such as 12-step fellowships and a listing of Atlanta support groups for various issues.

12 Step Groups: Twelve Objections and Twelve Responses

12-step groups have helped millions of people recover from many different kinds of unhealthy behavior patterns.  So why won't some people go to them?  Maybe this article can provide some answers..... and some motivation.

Comparing the Different 12-Step Meetings for Sex Addiction

There are several different 12-step groups for sexual behavior.  One way to figure out which one is best is to learn how each of these groups defines what it means to be sexually "sober".  

Free Online and Telephone Support Groups for Sex Addicts and Their Partners

Here is a list of online and telephone-based forums to bring support and assistance to anyone, any time, anywhere.  .

Atlanta Area Support Groups

If you are looking for a support group for just about anything in the Atlanta area, you've come to the right place!.


These articles, all of which I wrote years ago, deal with some of my observations and philosophy related to the art and science of the counseling and psychotherapy professions.

What Does It Mean to Get Better in Therapy?

Other than feeling better, what does improvement mean in psychotherapy?  This article describes three types of improvement that are helpful to keep in mind.

What's the Difference Between Counseling and Therapy?

This article explains the differences between "counseling" and "psychotherapy", as I see it. 

How to Gain the Most from a Counseling or Psychotherapy Session

Here are ideas to help a person make the best use of a counseling or psychotherapy session. It's your time, your energy and your money, so use it well!

Your Journey From Birth to Adulthood

Here is a list of 21 questions to help you reflect on your life prior to becoming an adult, to give you insight and appreciation for themes and patterns in your life.

The Many Problems of Psychiatric Diagnoses

A diagnosis is a way to think about a set of problems in order to determine the best course of action.  While they can be very helpful, diagnoses also have their own risks and limitations.