Sex Addiction Treatment

Sex Addiction

My approach when working with people suffering from compulsive sexual behaviour is first of all, to conduct a thorough assessment using tools from the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). This helps to understand the nature and intensity of the problem.  Frequently, individuals who develop this problematic behaviour, come from families where there may have been a lack of emotional nurturance and rigid structure.  Growing up in such an environment teaches you to be overly self-reliant and not to talk about your feelings or your needs.  Perfectionistic traits may develop as a coping mechanism.  When sexuality naturally emerges or if someone is sexually abused, sex can become a way to deal with difficult emotions.  Like any addiction, once the person is used to using sex to feel good, it can take on a life of its own which can lead to problems down the road particularly once involved in a significant relationship.  When clients come to me for help, they are often experiencing a crisis due to having been exposed in some manner and not having a choice but to take action- which can seem daunting after years of living a double, secret life.  After using sex as a mood altering behavior for many years, people must learn to deliberately practice using other coping skills which are taught gradually through a task based approach developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes. Over time, clients have shown that progress eventually happens and that it is possible to develop a healthier relationship not only with themselves but also with others and even their sexuality.