Samaritan Counseling Executive Director David C. Olsen Recommends 12-step Treatment for Masturbation “Epidemic”

In this article, Executive Director David C. Olsen reassures people that they will not go blind, but that masturbation is a serious problem and has become an ‘epidemic’. He then recommends therapy, an addictions specialist and 12-step meetings.

“Health begins with admitting you have a problem. From there, you must take steps toward recovery. Find a therapist, find an addictions specialist, join a 12-step program.”

Yes, he wants to hear your fifth step.

This is very misleading advice. There are ways to get mentally healthy that don’t involve religious coercion or telling a pastor or a group of self-proclaimed sex-addicts about how you you struggle not to touch your self. Additionally, this article deliberately ignores the problems of 12-step coercion, rehab fraud, systemic abuse and pathologization of normal behaviors and feelings which have been repeatedly brought to the attention of the author, and met with absolute silence. It is unethical for professionals to refuse to acknowledge or address complaints about the 12-step programs.

If you’re not familiar with what 12-step treatment entails, it involves ‘admitting powerlessness’, insanity (that you are incapable of thinking for yourself), and giving your will and your life over to a ‘higher power’ (usually a person who also claims to be powerless but speaks to God on a daily basis about what God wants), and praying to your ‘higher power’ to remove your defects of character, confessing the ‘exact nature’ of your wrongs and doing whatever you are told to do by a sponsor.

If those dynamics seem like a recipe for abuse, you won’t be surprised to learn that there are many people who agree.

The insistence by a state licensed social worker and organization-wide supervisor and trainer that people need to surrender to lifelong participation and promotion of a religious cult is ethically extremely questionable and psychologically harmful to many people who are told that ‘working the program’ is the only way to be truly ‘sober’.

Both the Clinical Director and my therapist expressed concern about 12-Steps WITHIN the organization, but they repeatedly referred me to the 12-step interventionist after they had consulted with David Olsen after my complaints.