Sex addiction treatment helps people stop uncontrollable sexual behaviors that feel secretive, shaming, or abusive. They can also create family and relationship problems, lead to sexually transmitted diseases or unplanned pregnancies. Often, sex addiction occurs along with underlying anxiety or mood disorders. These are usually treated at the same time.
Often, sex addiction is the result of a person trying to self-medicate from past abandonment, abuse or neglect. The brain elevates the feelings of self-worth and personal value through the euphoric endorphin highs of sexual behavior. Psychological sex addiction can be overcome by learning how to address the underlying issues and find other ways of elevating one’s sense of worth. This is best accomplished through counseling with a licensed mental health therapist.
If you have a loved one who is struggling with sex addiction, it’s important to remain patient and encouraging. They will need to go through an initial intake process to learn more about their needs, medical history and co-occurring illnesses. Then, a treatment center will design a treatment plan that fits them.
There are many types of sex addiction treatment available, including individual and group therapy. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of sex addiction treatment that works to change negative, triggering thoughts into more positive ones. It is often paired with other therapies such as EMDR, somatic experiencing and post induction therapy. Some sex addicts will benefit from 12 step recovery groups but these should be used as a support system to supplement therapy, not as an alternative to it.