It's Not About the Sex

It's Not About the Sex

It's Not About The Sex is a podcast based on the book by the same name. Psychotherapist Andrew Susskind examines issues such as shame, grief, narcissism, and codependency to demonstrate how people use out-of-control sexual behavior to cope with broken heartedness. Each podcast he interviews other therapists who work with clients dealing with addictive behaviors around troubled relationships.


September 15, 2023 29 mins

This episode features psychotherapist and spiritual seeker, Claudia Lewis, LMFT as we discuss her recent provocative book entitled Happy, Silly, Wise: Creating a Magical Life in Challenging Times. Themes such as “not enough-ness”, human being vs. human doing, letting go of seriousness and cultivating creativity are just some of the topics explored. Contact Claudia at

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In this meditation we focus on the possibility of holding both pleasant and unpleasant feelings/ sensations simultaneously. Borrowed from the Mindful Awareness Research Center (MARC) at UCLA, this mindfulness exercise allows you to feel your capacity to hold whatever life has to offer you. For more information and mindfulness resources, visit

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As a bilingual, bicultural clinician, Dr. Carlos Canales comes to us from Des Moines, Iowa with an open heart and a clinical wisdom that transcends traditional recovery. In this stimulating conversation, he discusses the “many necessary recoveries” every person needs to engage in for well-being. With an emphasis on the vulnerability and courage it takes to seek growth in recovery, Dr. Canales offers a broader perspective on the lif...

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In this episode Andrew and Sue explore the Window of Resilience, originally

coined by Dr. Dan Siegel as the Window of Tolerance. Building somatic awareness

is part of long-term, sustainable recovery, and this descriptive diagram illuminates

the contrast between regulation and dysregulation. Learn simple strategies to

move toward resilience and embodiment includin...

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In this episode we welcome Nate Larkin, founder of a mutual aid society for Christian Men called the Samson Society and co-host of two podcasts, The Pirate Monk and the Positive Sobriety Podcast. Nate brings his salt-of-the-earth approach to 12 step recovery as we discuss the movement from isolation, loneliness, and resistance to humility, intimacy and deeper connection. Don’t miss this open-hearted look at recovery from compulsive...

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April 28, 2023 30 mins

Andrew returned from his annual pilgrimage to the American Group Psychotherapy Association (AGPA) conference feeling well-fed and fortified with the love around him. AGPA has become a staple of love for both Andrew’s professional and personal life so tune in to learn more about how “receiving love” is a necessary component of long-term sustainable recovery. Andrew and Sue explore the ways love is all around us and the...

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In this episode Mariya Javed-Payne, LICSW visits with us from her program located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Not only does she share valuable and comprehensive information about healing from ritualized self-soothing activities but she also embodies a  heart-centered, relationship-focused approach.  Mariya is a Brainspotting trainer as well as owner of Awaken Consulting Services and co-owner of Institute for Integrati...

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Susskind and Merlino explore the sacred nature of men’s therapy groups and the lasting benefits such as shame resilience, self-compassion, empathy and emotional risk-taking just to name a few. Listen to this episode and learn how men’s groups can be a catalyst for sustainable healing from both addiction and trauma recovery.

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Practical Psychotherapist Joni Lavick, LMFT joins us today on the podcast as we discuss Assets-based Therapy and The Elusive Nature of Feeling Good About Yourself. In this episode, Joni walks us through the correlation between Attachment and Addictions and also illuminates what she calls assets-based therapy. Tune in to this refreshing, positive conversation regarding sustainable addiction recovery.

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The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu visited together for five days in 2015 resulting in a book and a documentary developed from their conversations of inspiration and wisdom. Andrew and Sue discuss the profound nature of their brief visit and the depth of their spiritual leadership. In this episode we try to capture just a little bit of the joy and compassion that were exuded in this extraordinary film.

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February 3, 2023 6 mins

Andrew leads you through a personal favorite, a Visioning exercise adapted from Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles. It’s not about getting caught in the “supposed to’s” or what others think is best for you. Instead, it’s an opportunity for soul-searching and expansiveness as you consider the limitless possibilities ahead of you. As you listen to this guided visioning exercise, you’ll create a space to identif...

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January 20, 2023 33 mins

In this New Year’s episode Andrew and Sue discuss the Visioning exercise originally developed by Jack Canfield. Playing with the possibilities, asking yourself what you truly want and desire and giving yourself the freedom to unlock your twelve-month vision. Often utilized by coaches, visioning allow you to take a closer look at where you are and where you want to be in the future. Join this energizing discussion and begin to envis...

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Today we welcome Dr. Martha Koo, Board Certified in Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine, who describes the treatment of depression with Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Dr. Koo shares the history and current usage of TMS with patients who have not responded effectively with antidepressants or ECT. This cutting-edge approach is a best-kept secret in the mental health field so don’t miss this informative and resourceful episode...

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December 16, 2022 32 mins

In this up close and personal episode, Andrew and Sue explore the challenges associated with asking for help. Andrew reviews his 30-year journey of not only learning how to ask for help but becoming more and more comfortable seeking consultation from trusted friends, colleagues and mentors.

To contact Andrew please do so through his website:

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As a certified life and recovery coach, Linda works extensively with couples

interested in revitalizing their intimate, sexual connection. With a focus on

deeper contact to self and to one another, Linda shares her respectful approach

to couples in recovery including somatic tools, mindfulness and “homeplay” that

she suggests for practice between sessions. With m...

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 Andrew and Sue discuss their recent experience on Santa Monica Beach entitled “MindTravel”. In this episode, they re-visit the theme of forgiveness which was the focal point of this multi-sensory experience. Spiritual? Metaphysical? Psychological? All of the above were present during this highly-creative experiential evening.

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November 4, 2022 34 mins

In this episode we discuss sexual integrity based on Dr. Davidson’s book of the same name. We also take a fresh look at the depathologizing language of compulsive sexual behavior rather than sex addiction. Dr. Davidson shares his direct, psycho-educational approach to working with couples to help them expand their capacity for discussing and exploring sex in safe and productive ways.

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Did you know that the term Positive Psychology was coined less than twenty-five years ago? Although it’s one of the newer additions to the mental health field, it has taken its place as a refreshing, optimistic approach to life fulfillment. In today’s episode we take a look at its connection to coaching as well as a comparison with the Twelve Steps and psychotherapy.

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September 23, 2022 6 mins

Mindful self-compassion has taken the world by storm as a power tool for wellness and self-acceptance. Borrowing from the Self-Compassion. Break developed by Chris Germer and Kristin Neff, Andrew walks you through this exercise which provides a valuable way to speak to yourself kindly and mindfully.

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September 9, 2022 31 mins

To celebrate our 75th episode, we turn the tables on our podcast producer, Sue Merlino as we discuss her career which has involved several twists and turns but always comes back to both storytelling and connection. As a close friend and collaborator for the past 37 years, Sue and Andrew take a stroll down memory lane as well as a mindful chat about purpose and direction.

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