Sex addiction treatment helps stop uncontrollable sexual behaviors that feel secretive, shaming, or abusive. Experts suggest seeking sex addiction treatment when uncontrollable sexual behaviors cause feelings of distress or despair. Unfortunately, people struggling with sex addiction tend to ignore or minimize signs of distress before they seek professional help. And other times the sex addict will try to find ways to justify their behaviors or rationalize the consequences. Rationalizing sex addiction can even resort to blaming others for the addiction. Justification and rationalization strategies to avoid getting help are usually a pattern of denial. Denial can be the biggest obstacle for an addict to stop their behavior. Sex addiction treatment is designed to break through denial – creating hope for recovery.
Sex addiction treatment includes individual therapy, group therapy, and intensives. All of these treatment strategies involve working with trained professionals. Effective treatment is always focused on stopping painful and troublesome sexual patterns. Research has shown the process of recovery must be broken down into a series of discreet tasks for sex addiction treatment to be effective. Professional sex addiction specialists take the guesswork out of this complicated process. First, the client stops uncontrollable sexual behaviors through a step-by-step treatment approach. Then the therapist determines which sex addiction treatment tasks are best suited for each client.
How to Assess for Sex Addiction:
Before coming in for a session, feel free to take one of the free online assessments found on my website. If your results are concerning and you come in for a session, a comprehensive assessment period takes place in which a full history is examined. This includes: origin of the sexual problem, points of escalation, current stressors, family issues, past trauma and current health concerns. Often early childhood trauma, including emotional neglect lies at the root of the problem. A complete diagnosis is made. Together with the sex addiction therapist, clearly defined sex addiction treatment plans and recovery tasks are chosen.
Sex Addiction Treatment:
Successful resolution of sexual addiction begins with cognitive behavioral therapy to stop the problem behaviors. This begins in individual therapy or an Intensive with a therapist who is a trained expert in treatment protocols. Next, the underlying trauma is addressed in individual therapy, while fellowship in 12-step meetings and group therapy begins. If a sex addict is involved in a committed relationship, his or her partner is also strongly advised to seek help as a means to deal with the trauma of living with an addict.
As mentioned above, the individual work begins with recovery tasks that help the client maintain sobriety. Some examples of this are exercises around breaking through denial, understanding the addiction, surrender, creating a culture of support, and maintaining physical integrity (Carnes, 2008). Once sobriety is established, the client will move into addressing the underlying trauma and striving to find balance in life. Some examples of these tasks would be interventions around cycles of abuse, reducing shame, grieving losses, building spiritual life, and reconnect with a relationship with self.
Wayfare Counseling offers several weekly sex addiction recovery groups for men and women. These therapy groups utilize the impact of peer experience and peer support to create a strong foundation for sobriety. Some of the goals in group work are as follows: participate in recovery techniques, which have helped thousands of sex addicts; stop destructive sexual patterns such as infidelity or excessive use of pornography; understand addiction and break through obstacles, which prevent recovery; and build a support network and realize you’re not alone in your struggles. Each group is limited to 6 participants due to the intense nature of this therapeutic work.
12 Step Fellowships:
Why should you go to a 12-step group? To answer that question, I would love to quote the SAA website in their section on “A Path to Recovery” as I think it offers a great and concise answer to this question…
Recovery was possible for most of us only when we accepted the fact that we were powerless over our addictive sexual behavior and that we were incapable of changing through will power alone. Many of us came to this realization when we started attending SAA meetings. In that setting, we heard stories similar to ours and realized that recovery from our addiction was possible. We learned through the SAA Fellowship that we were not hopelessly defective. Through applying the Twelve Steps conscientiously in our lives, we received the capacity to refrain from obsessive mental preoccupation with sex and from compulsive sexual behavior. As we exercised courage and grew in faith, we began to realize our daily problems were stepping stones to spiritual growth. As we continued working the Twelve Step Program, we experienced the return of personal integrity and found a new sense of purpose in our lives. We discovered the joy of freedom from addiction (Sex Addicts Anonymous, 2015).
I have included the websites and phone numbers for local 12-step fellowships below:
o Sex Addicts Anonymous, 800-477-8191
o Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, 210-828-7900
o Sexaholics Anonymous, 866-424-8777
o Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, 404 239-8048