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Sexual Harassment and Power; Why Cuomo is Clueless

Therapist explains why most offenders are in denial
Seattle, Washington – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) is in the fight of his political life. A dozen accusers have come forward claiming he sexually harassed them. One of the governor’s top strategists, Melissa DeRosa, just resigned and the New York state Assembly convened its impeachment investigation into Cuomo’s actions.
In the aftermath of the #MeToo movement, one would think Cuomo would clean up his behavior. He didn’t. But Cuomo is not the only one as Christian superstars, Carl Lentz and Bill Hybels, both fell before unceremonious exits from their churches. Dr. Gregg Jantz is a therapist and author of two books that deal with addictive behavior. After decades of counseling addicts, he’s found one common denominator – denial. How can we forget Bill Clinton’s angry defiance, “I did not have sex with that woman!” But he did as we later found out.
Sexual harassment is nothing new, says Dr. Jantz in When A Loved One is Addicted (Aspire). “People I have counseled with sex addictions are often bewildered that their addiction has taken such control of their lives,” he says. But there is another problem and one that keeps people from seeking help – denial. “I didn’t do anything wrong” or “She misunderstood my intentions.” Or, as Cuomo emphatically stated, “I want you to know directly from me that I never touched anyone inappropriately or made inappropriate sexual advances.” This, as far as Jantz is concerned, is never the way to start the healing process. Healing only begins when people accept responsibility for their behavior and seek help -- especially when there are multiple victims and negative patterns.
“For people addicted to sex and sexual activities, observes Jantz, “the satisfaction is too fleeting and the feelings must be repeated. Sexual addictions are insatiable.” Men or women in positions of power often use their power to get what they want from others and this becomes a habit. Jantz believes these patterns of behavior begin to feel normal. When they are called out, they seem bewildered or confused – immediately trying to protect their power and minimize the damage. In more extreme cases, they will attack the person who accuses them of wrongdoing. “These are shame-based behaviors,” says Jantz. The good news, as he says in Too Close to the Flame, is “Society’s intolerance of their behavior is finally catching up.” With recognition of hurtful behavior, change is always possible. With denial, change is transitory.


To schedule an interview contact Don Otis at 719.275.7775

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