3 Best Methods for Treating Sex Addiction

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There are many ways to treat sex addiction. From twelve step programs to therapies to intensive programs at treatment facilities, the way to go can be a confusing. When your recovery is on the line, which one should you choose? Which is the best?

 There are many ways to treat sex addiction, but how do you know which one is the best one? Each one has its high points and drawbacks.

1.  Twelve step programs

Twelve step programs, such as Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous or Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous function as support and treatment groups. By following the twelve steps to recovery and checking in with other group members, it is hoped that recovery can be reached and maintained. There are many benefits to twelve step programs. First of all, twelve step programs are easily the cheapest method for treating sex addiction. Membership is free, and the only true cost is the gas money it takes to get to meetings and back. But, this is sometimes not even a problem because people will often carpool. The support provided by a twelve step program is fantastic. Lifelong friends and confidants can be made since these are people who are going through the same struggle, or have already gone through it.

Twelve step programs are also seen as less intimidating than jumping into therapy, and can be a great way to taste recovery without going to therapy. However, there are some drawbacks to twelve step programs. The largest drawback is that it’s not really ‘treatment’ per se. Success in recovery depends entirely on the conscience of the attendee, since there is no help from therapists or mental health facilitators. This means that the addict has to be truly and 100% ready to recover, and give it their all, or it really won’t work. Also, as with any regimen such as weight loss or quitting smoking, it can be quite easy to fall off the wagon. And it’s not always as easy to get back on that wagon.

2. Sex addiction therapy

Some therapists are certified sex addiction therapists (CSAT’s). Sex addiction therapy concentrates on abstinence, sex education, trauma history, intimacy, and the linkage of behaviors to their consequences. Sometimes, family and marital therapy is included. Sex addiction therapy is very successful due to its structured nature and the qualifications of the therapist. Both of these factors help get the patient into the right mindset. The biggest drawback to sex addiction therapy is it is not covered by insurance by default. Sex addiction is not considered a reimbursable condition, which means if the patient does not meet the criteria for other mental disorders (for instance, depression or personality disorders), the therapy is at risk of not being covered. Another drawback is the time required; it can take four or five years to fully reach true sobriety from sex addiction, with the time required depending on the patient’s individual case.

3. Sex addiction treatment facilities.

Sex addiction treatment facilities cover a wide variety of facets of sex addiction, from treatments for pornography addiction, to therapies for non-violent offenders. Sex addiction treatment facilities are fully dedicated to the recovery of their patients, and the intensive programs often lead to shorter recovery times. However, such facilities are likely to be located far away from the addict’s home and are quite expensive since the treatment process is not a quick fix and requires months of in-patient treatment. This makes the financial and emotional toll of treatment a great burden to bear. Sex addiction programs are not routinely covered by your run-of-the-mill health insurance, so one would either have to invest in expensive insurance or pay out of pocket to receive such treatment. However, the success rate is quite high, so this may be worth it.

In the end, there is no ‘one best’ treatment for sex addiction. Each treatment method has its pros and cons, and it is up to the individual to decide which fits their situation best.

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6 Responses to 3 Best Methods for Treating Sex Addiction

  1. I would like to know if you all would have any information on if there is any 12 step programs near Mifflin County, PA or if there is even one in Mifflin County, PA????

    • scottv on at

      The best options are:
      Go to slaafws.org for a list of local, online and telephone meetings for that fellowship
      saa-recovery.org also has programs and meeting schedules
      Both of these sites will provide 12 step information to help you with your questions

  2. shoukat on at

    i have sex addiction very day i don’t want but i cant control every time
    i am think about sex my wife is also in trouble what shoulad should i do

    • scottv on at

      The best options are to find a 12 step meeting for recovery from sex addiction or sex and love addiction and see which is best for you. Attend an online, phone or in person meeting. Find a therapist who works with the disease of sex addiction.
      These are good first steps


  3. Sara on at

    My husband is in treatment for voyeurism. He speaks mainly Spanish and we were lucky to find a treatment center that has a Spanish-speaking therapist and a group for Spanish speakers. He has homework most weeks and sometimes he struggles with the assignments, partly because he is not well educated and just doesn’t understand what’s expected and partly because, while the therapist speaks Spanish, it is not her native language.

    When he struggles with the homework, he asks me for help. I am very aware of not being co-dependent so this is really his process and I don’t get involved unless he asks me. The therapist gets angry with him if he doesn’t do the homework correctly and he gets very worried and frustrated. (He got in trouble with the law and so he is always worried that if he doesn’t do things right, he’ll get arrested again…)

    Right now he is frustrated with the homework and I don’t understand it either. He has done it once and the therapist said he did it wrong and that he has to do it again. But he says he has no idea what he’s supposed to do. The logical thing would be for my husband to call the therapist and ask for help, but he refuses to do that. He loses hope easily and decides that everything is pointless and impossible and he can’t fix the problem. (He has a 6th grade education and grew up in horrible poverty…)

    He is supposed to journal about two things and even I don’t have a clue what she wants from him: He is supposed to think about what his experiences as a victim have been and how he is supposed to prevent it in the future — and he is supposed to journal about how he is supposed to manage his shame in a positive manner in the future, distinguishing between shame and guilt and identify the role of each in the sex offense, resolving the negative images of himself. I have two Masters degrees and I feel intimidated by this task.

    What are some examples of what he can write down so he can get started and have a clue as to what he is supposed to do?!!! Thanks.

    • scottv on at

      Thank you for your email.

      I do respect and admire you for helping hour husband in his recovery and not being co-dependent.

      Let your husband know everything is not pointless and is not impossible he can fix the problem. Recovery is a process and takes time to fix what’s wrong.

      The two things he’s supposed to journal about:
      What his experiences as a victim have been: Has he had any trauma in his life?
      Was he abused physically, sexually, emotionally, spiritually?
      Was he neglected by his parents, caregivers?
      Was he abandoned early in life by those who were supposed to guide him?
      Was he enmeshed into roles he should not have had to take on?

      He should write how he may have been a victim of any of the above traumas, what was done to him, who did what to him, how he reacted to it
      Once he had defined the traumas or victim experiences above, he can write about what he can do in the future to prevent these things from happening.
      It seems from the limited information, he was not properly educated, he grew up in poverty and there is probably more. Somewhere in his upbringing he was exposed to
      someone or something that led him to act out sexually. This is where he became a victim and should write about it.

      As far as managing his shame;
      Guilt is how he feels about what he did
      Shame is about how he feels about himself and what he has done

      He should write about how to take the shame that was given to him, the shame he feels and turn that shame into positive energy, talking about it, finding others in recovery to discuss his shame so it is not as powerful in harming him.
      When he writes about his guilt in his sex offense, he writes about how he feels about what he did
      The shame he writes about how he feels about himself, the negative images and messages he thinks.

      As far as the negative images of himself, he should begin to work on positive affirmations, writing about how he wants to see himself, who he is now and who he wants to be.

      Example of writing about guilt and shame:
      When i was acting out as a voyeur, i felt guilty about violating another persons privacy, their private space, their intimate places
      I felt shame that I needed to watch someone in a state of undress or in their “type of clothing” I felt ashamed that i knew it was wrong but was excited about it and could not stop.
      It the future when I think about wanting to watch another person, and violate their privacy I will realize what it did to my victims, how they were harmed and how I was harmed and I will work on positive affirmations, I will call a fellow in the program of recovery and talk about my shame and my guilt and not act out on it.

      I hope this helps your husband.
      Let me know if I can be of further assistance


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