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Treating Sexual Addiction

Have your sexual behaviors spiraled out of control? I can help you understand this problem, take action, and restore sexual health.

Outlined below are some key components of my treatment approach:

 

The Problem = Out of Control Sexual Behavior (OCSB)

Certain therapists might define “sexual addiction” by specific behaviors: soliciting escorts, going to strip clubs, masturbating several times daily, etc.

However, a more recent treatment model (Braun-Harvey & Vigorito, 2015) indicates the problem should be defined by whether or not you feel “out of control.” When your sexual behavior is at odds with your values, honesty, or the agreements of your relationship, it creates a conflict that deserves attention.

Context is key.

For some people, it might not be a problem to view pornography or to indulge some kinky interests. But when you hide secrets from your partner(s), or feel like these behaviors control your life, it might be time to seek help.

Motivation Matters

Exploring therapy as an option makes sense if you want to better understand your sexual behavior, examine relationship values, and have some motivation to change.

Many individuals contact me after being “caught” or “busted,” much like an unruly child who has been sent to detention. It is important that the decision to begin treatment is yours, rather than the consequence of partner’s ultimatum.

Are you motivated by an internal conflict or the external consequences?

Therapy can be an effective tool, but only if you believe there is a problem and accept some responsibility. Working with a trained professional can help you address competing motivations—wanting to do one thing while choosing another—-and take the first steps in regaining control and direction.

Identifying the Root Cause

The OCSB model views sexual acting out as a symptom of a dysfunctional system rather than the cause. Through a comprehensive assessment we will explore individual and relational problems, which may include:

Sexual shame and/or trauma

Co-occurring diagnoses- anxiety disorders, substance abuse, compulsive gambling, etc.

Partner differences in optimal sexual frequency

Partner differences in optimal sexual activities

Poor sexual communication and conflict resolution

Cultural and sub-cultural differences in sexual expression

Cultural and religious conflicts

My goal is to create a safe, non-judgmental space to explore your thoughts and feelings. I respect diverse forms of sexual expression and look forward to helping you create a life with greater authenticity.

**For additional reading, I recommend Joe Kort’s article, “Why I’m No Longer A Sex Addiction Therapist,” which further explains the limitations of past treatment models, and my philosophical orientation on this complex and charged issue.

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