Our monthly series delves into the personal and professional lives of clinicians from all over the U.S. Therapists reveal everything from the trials and triumphs of conducting therapy to their career path and coping strategies.
This month we’re pleased to present our interview with Linda Hatch, Ph.D, a clinical psychologist who pens the popular blog “The Impact of Sex Addiction” on Psych Central. Hatch is a certified sex addiction therapist in private practice in Santa Barbara, Calif. There, she specializes in treating sex addicts and sex offenders, along with their partners and families.
Throughout her career, Hatch has worked with both adult and juvenile sex offenders, mentally disordered offenders and sexually violent predators in and outside of the courts and prison system. She also has consulted with the Superior Court, the Probation Department, the Board of Prison Terms, and the State Department of Mental Health, providing forensic assessment and expert testimony.
Hatch is the author of the book Living with a Sex Addict: The Basics from Crisis to Recovery. You can learn more about Linda Hatch at www.sexaddictionscounseling.com, where she also blogs about sex addiction.
1. What’s surprised you the most about being a therapist?
I guess it’s that after the 40 or so years I’ve been a clinical psychologist I continue to find it endlessly interesting. It is as though the work and I have gone through many changes over time and I have evolved along with those changes. I have done so many different things: teaching, research, student counseling, child psychology, crisis intervention and forensic psychology.
In the last five years I have gained a whole new specialty in sex addiction, which has revitalized my professional life yet again. I had wanted to be a therapist from a young age but I did not know how much my work as a therapist, and lately as a writer, would be continuously intertwined with my own emotional growth.
2. What’s the latest and greatest book you’ve read related to mental health, psychology or psychotherapy?
I recently read Chemical Dependency and Intimacy Dysfunction edited by Eli Coleman PhD. It’s a superb collection of articles about every aspect of the relationship between chemical dependency and human sexuality. What interests me so much about it is that it is, in part, a foundational attempt to look at common roots of chemical dependency and sex as a drug of abuse in terms of family dysfunction.
The book is truly comprehensive and holds up extremely well, dealing with every possible aspect of addiction and relationships including attachment issues, addiction interaction, codependency, boundaries, communication, shame and so on.