HEALING FROM SEX ADDICTION
There continues to be great debate in our society today concerning the issue of sex addiction. Some even question whether sex can become an addiction like drugs or alcohol. What is a sex addict? The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health defines sex addiction as:
“A persistent and escalating pattern or patterns of sexual behavior acted out despite the negative consequences to self and others.” (SASH 2007).
Sex Addiction is often referred to as an attachment disorder. It woos the addict into a false sense of intimacy. These individuals are unable to manage their sexual behavior to the point where they begin risking the loss of their families, careers, and in some cases their lives.
Indicators of Sex Addiction:
Sex addiction often presents with compulsive and unmanageable behaviors, thoughts, and emotions. The consequences of leaving sex addiction untreated can include: Jumping relationship to relationship, sexually- transmitted infections (STI’s), unwanted or unexpected pregnancies, extortion, and or arrests.
What then defines compulsive sexual behavior?
- Excessive or compulsive masturbation.
- Obsession with pornography.
- Paying for sexual services (escorts, massage parlors)
- Anonymous Sex
- Cyber Sex
- Multiple Affairs
What are some examples of these behaviors?
- Keeping secrets or hiding sexual activities
- Increased isolation
- Having sex at inappropriate times in inappropriate places with inappropriate people
- Willingness to compromise vows and commitments to loved ones
- Legal or career issues due to sexual behaviors
The consequences of sex addiction and all that it encompasses leaves the individual with extreme shame, guilt, depression, anxiety, and loneliness. These emotions fuel the cycle of shame and guilt which in turn fuel the sex addiction cycle of addiction. To learn more about the cycle of shame and guilt, click here.
Treating Sex Addiciton:
There are measurable criteria we access from an initial assessment and screening. We utilize the SAST- R, SDI, and PTSI screens which have helped thousands discover whether their behavior is situational in nature or has evolved into an actual addiction. We then take a comprehensive approach utilizing proven techniques to help you identify, understand, and process how your sex addiction has developed over your life.
PORN ADDICTION & CYBERSEX
Technology is changing how we view sexuality and intimacy. Wherever you find technology the pornography industry will also have a presence. This includes but is not limited to desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and virtual reality devices.
Dr. Al Cooper called it the Triple” A “Engine (1998).: Affordability Accessibility and Anonymity
Some things we know from working with clients with this behavior:
- Once started, sexual addiction that involves online behavior can escalate quickly.
- Sexual Addiction born on the internet can extend to offline behavior.
- Sex Addicts in recovery report that online sexual behavior is one of the leading factors in relapse.
The problem of cybersex addiction is difficult to address, but talking about it with a professional who is trained to deal with this issue can bring the person closer to developing a healthier sexuality and help restore relationships impacted by this addiction.
Call Doug White and Associates today and schedule your appointment. We can help!
Love addiction presents as an obsession with the feeling of euphoria and excitement of being in a relationship or even the fantasy of being in one. Love addicts might engage in unhealthy patterns of behavior in their relationships or stay in unhealthy, abusive, or co-dependent ones. For love addicts, it is common to experience fear, pain, rejection abandonment, and/or loneliness when it comes to their relationships. The love-addiction cycle often syncs up with the love-avoidant cycle, which reflects fear of completely being engulfed in a relationship or being in obligation-based relationships. This dance between enmeshment and obligation typically is painful for the love addict and their partner. At Doug White and Associates, we help Love Addicts and their partners create new, healthy patterns in their relationship and help them identify and navigate through their “dance.”
At Doug White and Associates our staff is professionally trained to help you and your loved ones through these difficult times. Call or e-mail for your initial session.
Developed with the help Dr. Patrick Carnes - the PATHOS questionnaire have been proven with statistical significance to effective screen a clients appropriateness for entering treatment as a potential sex addict.
Please either answer yes or no to the following questions.
Preoccupied - Do you often find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts?
Ashamed - Do you hide some of your sexual behaviors from others?
Treatment - Have you ever sought therapy for sexual behavior you did not like?
Hurt others - Has anyone been hurt emotionally because of your sexual behavior?
Out of Control - Do you feel controlled by your sexual desire?
Sad - When you have sex, do you feel depressed afterwards?
SCORING: A positive response to just one of the six questions would indicate a need for additional assessment with a certified sex addiction therapist. Two or more are considered to certainly indicate sexual addiction.
If you are interested in taking our assessment(s) and processing the results with a trained mental health professional, contact us today!