Sex addiction therapy, what you need to know
It’s unknown how many people experience and suffer from sex addiction or seek out sex addiction therapy as there is no clear definition of what sex addiction means. Certain behaviours and tendencies are common, for example:
- Obsessive thinking about and planning sex.
- Using sex as a distraction from poor mood or in response to stress.
- Failure to take control of sexual behaviour and thoughts.
- Repetitive sexual behaviour with disregard of physical, social and emotional risk.
What we do know for sure is that you can get better.
Considering sex addiction therapy, here is what you need to think about:
- Am I ready to work? – therapy is not easy, your therapist will expect you to work, possibly doing meditation or relaxation exercises, making lifestyle changes. Whatever it may be it will take time and effort.
- What is the best type of therapy? – there is no simple answer to this as many approaches Sex addiction therapy approaches have yet to be rigorously tested, however I recommend active therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and hypnotherapy.
- Does the therapist have the skills and experience? – There are no hard and fast rules about identifying the right therapist for the job but generally look for someone who says they specialise in sex therapy, psychosexual work or sexual issues … and then phone them up and talk to them… most therapists will be willing to discuss briefly on the phone or arrange a free consultation that will allow you to get to know them and make up your own mind. Just because someone has done some specialist training doesn’t mean they are the best, talk to them first to find out if you could get along.
- How long does it take? Again this may vary significantly, I personally tend to say that 6 sessions are a good starting point for the way I work and most people find this is sufficient to enable change. Some people do long term support work beyond this to prevent relapse.
The most important thing towards a successful life change is picking up the phone and asking for help.
Matt Krouwel is a hypnotherapists in Birmingham who specialises in sexual issues and problems including sex addiction and pornography addiction
Further reading –
Binik, Y. M., & Hall, K. S. (Eds.). (2014). Principles and practice of sex therapy. Guilford Publications.