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  • Dr. Lauren D. Costine

Pasadena Recovery Center Groundbreaking Speaker Series Features Dr. Lauren Costine

The Pasadena Recovery Center will be hosting clinical psychologist, educator, author and LGBTQ activist Dr. Lauren Costine at its January Expert Speaker Series on Wednesday, January 27, 2016, starting at 12 noon.

The monthly series, which is free and open to the public, brings in community leaders and addiction experts to educate Pasadena residents, alumni and staff, and provide a “unique educational setting that helps differentiate PRC from other facilities,” says the PRC announcement on its website.

Dr. Costine published her first book, “Lesbian Love Addiction: Understanding the Urge to Merge and What to Do When Things Go Wrong,” in November 2015. In the book, she encourages readers to develop an understanding of how to view traditional psychotherapy through a lesbian-affirmative lens in order to help themselves or their lesbian clients toward recovery from love addiction.

“I wrote it for two reasons,” Costine says. “Basically, first of all, because I’m in recovery for love addiction myself and I’m a lesbian. And so when I was out reading all the books that are available – Pia Mellody, Kelly McDaniel, Peabody, anyone I get my hands on – and it was all heterosexually oriented. It was always he/she and it was speaking to basically the heterosexual woman. At the time, I was desperate enough that I was like ‘I’ll read all this,’ but we have to translate and it’s not totally applying to me and I don’t feel mirrored, I don’t feel seen because my story is not there.”

Costine relates she had some discussions with another author, Robert Weiss who wrote “Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men,” and both agreed there was a need for her to write her own book, because love addiction is “pretty prevalent in the lesbian community even though it’s not well-known at all.” She also admits her reasons for writing the book were both professional and personal.

“Even though things are getting much better and, really, the last ten years have been remarkable, we’re still dealing with thousands of years of repression and discrimination and shaming and invisibility and hiding, and all kinds of things that has still impacted our community,” Costine says. “So for lesbians – we have a small community and we tend to what we call the ‘urge to merge,’ we tend to kind of couple very quickly – I wanted to educate them about the dangerous of that, how it has helped help me, how there’s healthier ways to get involve in a long term loving relationship, and how a lot of lesbians have this kind of addiction and they have no idea that they do.”

Costine says she has not been told what kind of audience she will be facing on Wednesday, but says she’ll speak to both the clinician mind and the average listener as well, including lesbians and gay men and their families, whom she encourages to be there at the PRC event.

She will be discussing what she calls the “psycho-educational” setting and the reasons that lead to love addiction and how early personal attachments would impact romantic relationships later in life. She also promises to include stories in her book that relate to the average person’s search for answers and guidance.

“If you’re having any issues in finding a partner in your relationships – you find yourself cycling through relationships and they don’t last very long, you find yourself pre-occupied with wanting to find somebody, you find yourself having a difficult time being alone – all of these kinds of signs and symptoms and that it really is impacting your life, and it really is making you feel bad about yourself, this is the talk to come to,” Costine says. “There’ll be a lot of answers, there’ll be a lot of ways to start seeing new things about yourself and it will bring some awareness and some understanding of why you may be suffering in this way, and then there’ll be some answers as to what you can do to make things better.”

Dr. Costine is currently Chief Clinician of Convalo Health, Inc. and the founder of The LGBT-Affirmative Track of Convalo’s BLVD Treatment Centers – a collection of outpatient addiction treatment centers whose flagship facility in Hollywood was opened in April 2014.

She received her M.A. in Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles in 2001 and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Depth Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2007.

Costine played a pivotal role in the development and management of The LGBT Specialization in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University Los Angeles, one of the first such programs of its kind in the country. She created and co-created such courses as LGBT History and Myth, Human Sexuality, Lesbian Love & Liberation and Community Action.

Pasadena Recovery Center Groundbreaking Speaker Series Features Dr. Lauren Costine

To attend PRC’s Expert Speaker Series, call

(626) 389-9730 or send an email to

The Pasadena Recovery Center is at 1811 N Raymond Avenue in Pasadena.


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