Noted Authority on Addictions and Trauma Dr. Stefanie Carnes Joins the Elements Behavioral Health® Programs

Share Article

Stefanie Carnes, PhD, LCSW, a leading therapist, author and expert in the treatment of sexual addiction and intimacy disorders, will develop special trauma-informed programming for women at two residential addiction treatment centers: Malibu Vista in Malibu, Calif., and The Sundance Center in Scottsdale, Ariz.

News Image
This programming will be one of very few resources in the U.S. for partners of sex addicts, and there’s a tremendous need for it.

Stefanie Carnes, PhD, LCSW, a noted therapist, author and expert in the treatment of addiction and intimacy disorders, is joining two of the Elements Behavioral Health® programs as a clinical consultant. Dr. Carnes is a certified sex addiction therapist and supervisor specializing in the treatment of couples and families struggling with sexual addiction.

Dr. Carnes has more than two decades of experience in addiction treatment, including managing and directing drug rehabilitation centers and providing training at the advanced professional level. She is currently president of the International Institute for Trauma & Addiction Professionals and a frequent speaker at professional conferences nationwide.

“We’re proud to have someone of Dr. Carnes’ caliber joining our family of treatment centers and expanding our programming for women and families,” says Keith Arnold, senior vice president of clinical outreach, marketing and strategic development for Elements Behavioral Health. “She has the ideal blend of expertise in sexual addiction, intimacy disorders and trauma needed to develop programming relevant to women and families struggling with addictions and mental health issues.”

Dr. Carnes’ new role will include expanding residential treatment services for women at two Elements Behavioral Health owned facilities: Malibu Vista in Malibu, Calif., and The Sundance Center in Scottsdale, Ariz. Dr. Carnes will set up groundbreaking “partners programs,” offering intensive couples therapy and residential treatment for partners of sex addicts struggling with issues of betrayal, grief and loss.

“This programming will be one of very few resources in the U.S. for partners of sex addicts, and there’s a tremendous need for it,” says Dr. Carnes. “We know that 70 percent of partners of sex addicts have acute stress disorders, including PTSD, and that they need higher levels of support than is usually available in residential treatment.”

Dr. Carnes is also going to be expanding programming to include treatment for co-occurring sexual addiction, love addiction and intimacy issues. The programs will provide intensive couples therapy, and will extend treatment services to include children and other family members, when warranted.

“I’m thrilled to be developing these programs for Elements Behavioral Health,” says Dr. Carnes. “I’m hoping to be able to build on the already strong base of sex addiction and intimacy programs developed by Rob Weiss, who is one of the nation’s foremost experts on sex and intimacy disorders as well as technology addiction.”

Dr. Carnes has written extensively on sexuality, intimacy disorders and addiction. Her books include Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts; Facing Addiction: Starting Recovery from Alcohol and Drugs; and Facing Heartbreak: Steps to Recovery for Partners of Sex Addicts.

In taking on this new role, Dr. Carnes joins a clinical team of thought leaders that includes sexual addiction expert, psychotherapist and mating/tech/relationship author Robert Weiss, LCSW, CSAT-S; renowned nutrition scientist and expert in integrative medicine Pamela Peeke, MD, MPH, FACP; and psychologist, distinguished trauma specialist and author Christine Courtois, PhD, ABPP.

About the Malibu VistaSM Mental Health Center

The Malibu VistaSM mental health center is an exclusive residential treatment center for women suffering from trauma, depression, anxiety, personality disorders and other psychiatric issues. Situated in two private, boutique-style residences with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, Malibu Vista supports women’s recovery in a way that embraces their specific physical, mental, relational and spiritual needs. To learn more about us, call (866) 285-9441 or visit

About The Sundance Center

The Sundance Center is a Joint Commission-accredited residential addiction treatment center in Arizona that offers innovative therapies such as a nutritional program from a naturopathic doctor and equine therapy as well as world-class amenities including onsite massages and a gourmet chef. Our multidisciplinary team treats the whole person, using personalized treatment approaches that heal the body, mind and spirit from addiction and its root causes. To learn more about us, call (855) 893-5987 or visit

The Malibu Vista mental health treatment center and The Sundance Center are members of the Elements Behavioral Health® family of behavioral health programs located throughout the U.S. Elements Behavioral Health offers comprehensive, innovative treatment for substance abuse, sexual addiction, trauma, eating disorders and other mental health disorders. We are committed to delivering clinically sophisticated treatment that promotes permanent lifestyle change, not only for the patient but for the entire family system. For more information about Elements Behavioral Health, visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Karen Krebs

Dr. David Sack
since: 07/2009
Follow >
Visit website