Understanding Sex Addiction Therapy

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Sex addiction therapy is one of the methods available for the treatment of sex addiction. In treatment, you’ll be asked to tackle some tough issues and work through some hard problems.

Sex addiction therapy is not like “normal” therapy, where a person sits down and talks about life issues with their therapist. You’ll certainly do that, but sex addiction therapy entails more than just sharing your feelings and problems.

If you’re considering getting sex addiction therapy, know that sex addiction is not considered a reimbursable diagnosis by most insurance companies. But since sex addiction is very often accompanied by anxiety disorders, trauma, depression or a myriad of other accepted mental issues, these are reimbursable diagnoses. This means that your therapy will be paid for, so long as your chosen therapist accepts your insurance. Also keep in mind sex addiction therapy is a commitment you’ll have to stick to for some time to come. At a minimum, it takes one to two years to make significant lasting progress, and recovery isn’t generally fully reached until four or five years later. This seems like a long time to be having once or twice weekly meetings, but sex addiction therapy is one of the most thorough and effective treatment methods available.

Stopping your obsessive, compulsive and unwanted sexual behaviors is just the first step in the recovery process. To fully experience sobriety and reclaim your true self, you’ll need to work through the issues that cause your sex addiction. Unfortunately, this is a process not an activity. It is worth it though to live a life void of your sex addiction.

You will almost definitely be expected to remain abstinent for a period of time near the beginning of your sex addiction therapy. This request can seem quite daunting and nearly impossible, but it is imperative and crucial for the success of your recovery. Living a life free of sexual behavior (however temporary it may be) will allow you to begin to get at the root of your addiction with a clear head.

Your therapist will want to discuss many issues and areas of your life with you, including your trauma history. ‘Trauma history’ refers to your personal history of traumatic events that have profoundly affected you. These may refer to things like big car accidents, childhood abuse, neglect, enmeshment, abandonment, sexual assault, or witnessing a violent crime. Your trauma history is important is because even if you don’t consciously realize it, past traumatic events can have a huge effect on your life today, and may have even played a part in the development of your sex addiction.

Some other important areas you’ll discuss in sex addiction therapy are the legal, social, financial, occupational, spiritual, emotional and relational consequences of your sexually addictive behavior. This is important to talk about because it helps you to fully realize the far reaching effects of your actions. You may already have a really good grasp of what could happen as consequences of your actions, and you may very well have already experienced some of these consequences.  However, it’s good to discuss this action-and-consequence relationship further. There are many consequences from sexually addictive behaviors that are often not seen or even thought about and often times denied, justified or rationalized, so realizing their existence is more motivation to refrain from these behaviors.

 Your therapist will likely be trained to work with your spouse and family members as well, and may want to set up some therapy sessions that include them. These sessions can be extremely useful and effective for getting everything out on the table and eliminating lies and excuses.  While the sessions can sometimes be difficult, both for you and your family, you may be surprised at how valuable they are.

 Sex addiction therapy is just one of the treatment methods available for recovering sex addicts. Other treatments include twelve step programs and attending a treatment facility.

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