As we learned in Chapter 2, the way in which we interpret our experiences, as well as our own and other people’s behaviour, is determined by our thinking. When we are caught up in a cycle of addiction, it is likely that there are some errors in our thinking. These often appear as irrational excuses offered for our sexual behaviour in a moment of panic. This section examines the most common thinking errors that generally accompany inappropriate sexual activity. Psychologists normally refer to these errors as ‘cognitive distortions’. I personally call them ‘cognitive deceptions’, because they emerge from our inner world and do not necessarily reflect reality. We will see how they emerge from feelings of shame and are designed to protect us from the true burden of the behaviour, through a denial of responsibility. We will also see how these thinking errors arise from our core beliefs about ourselves.