Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Relationship addiction, Love-Psychological aspects.


This qualitative study was inspired by the gap between discussions of love addiction in pop culture versus academic literature. The data was derived from 45-minute, open-ended interviews with eight clinicians (six LCSW's and two LMFT's) in the San Francisco, Bay Area. This thesis discusses the preexisting literature, analyzes data from the interviews, and explores differences and similarities between the two. Participants tended to view love addiction patterns as related to early caretaking dynamics and, regardless of the participant's personal views on love addiction, they felt that 12-step-groups, such as Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), are beneficial. Participants also discussed the natural drive for love and the spectrum from healthy to maladaptive which love can manifest. A majority of participants suggested love addiction may be useful as a framework and can be normalizing, but also spoke to the worrisome potential of pathologizing an individual's desire to seek love.




[65] p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2012. Includes bibliographical references.

Limited Access until August 2017