Sex Addiction Recovery Takes a Long Time– or Not

By Linda Hatch, PhD

struggling with recoveryPeople seeking help for sex addiction are anxious to see the light at the end of the tunnel. They are often stunned when I tell them that, even for those who are diligent and motivated, the whole process takes about 3 to 5 years.

Some practitioners might say that, like alcoholism, sex addiction is a chronic condition requiring continuous treatment for life to prevent relapse. I don’t think this is always the case. As I have argued elsewhere  I believe that sex addiction recovery is possible and lasting. At some point people can say “I am a recovered sex addict”.

And yet the actual process of getting to that point of solid and reliable recovery seems to take a determined effort over a period of years. There is one possible form of sex addiction which may be different, and I will discuss that further on.

The Six Stages of Sex Addiction Recovery

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4 Types of Subtle Manipulation

By Linda Hatch, PhD

feeling manipulatedManipulation can be very subtle. We often talk about how manipulative addicts are. And in particular we talk about how sex addicts manipulate others in order to avoid discovery, throw their partner off the scent and “gaslight” their partners. In gaslighting, a term taken from the 1944 movie Gaslight, a person controls another person by finding ways to make them think that they are imagining things or that they are actually delusional.

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Voyeurism: What it is and What it isn’t

By Linda Hatch, PhD

voyeurMost sex addicts, no matter what their behaviors consist in (prostitutes, anonymous sex, serial seductions, pornography etc.) will tend to sexualize other people they look at. You might say that sex addicts view the world through sex colored glasses. But this does not mean that they are voyeurs.

Voyeurism is a distinct category of behavior that characterizes certain sex addicts.  And although most people who identify as sex addicts have more than one type of behavior, research by Patrick Carnes and others found that there were 10 distinguishable types or clusters of addictive behavior of which voyeurism was one.

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Making Friends with Your Inner Sex Addict

By Linda Hatch, PhD

Diversity in businessWe commonly think of our sex addict self as bad. And indeed the addict part of us does things that harm others and ourselves and that usually go against our deeply held values. We would like to distance ourselves from this part of us, to stamp it out.

In poetic language we think of the addict as a “dark passenger”. Clinically, we think of the addict behavior as a learned byproduct of early attachment injuries.

But in practice I believe that it is impossible to simply lock that evil twin in a closet or cut it out of us.

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Using Polygraph Tests to Keep Sex Addicts Honest

By Linda Hatch, PhD

Costs Benefits Choices On Signpost Showing Analysis And Value Of An InvestmentAsking a sex addict to take a polygraph seemed ludicrous to me at first. First off, it seems like something you do with a criminal, not with a patient who has come in for help with a sexually compulsive behavior.

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Leaving a Sex Addict: 5 Frequently Asked Questions

By Linda Hatch, PhD

Businessman Chasing His WomanDivorce is always a big adjustment and often carries with it a period of grief and other strong emotions. But breaking up with a sex addict brings its own strange set of challenges.

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9 Good Reasons to Stay with a Sex Addict

By Linda Hatch, PhD

happy coupleI do not take sides on the issue of whether it is better to stay in a marriage or committed relationship with a sex addict or whether it is better to get away and start over.  I think there are many valid arguments on both sides depending on the situation.

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The Inner World of a Sex Addict

By Linda Hatch, PhD

looking insideA reader asked how it feels for a sex addict to lead a double life. This is an interesting question and to some extent the answer is “It depends on the addict.”

New studies in progress using the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory), The Millon Clinical Inventory and the Sexual Dependency Inventory suggest that different general types of sexually addictive behavior tend to clump together with different personality types or traits. These types vary from less to more severe.

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4 Tips to Avoid Picking an Addict

By Linda Hatch, PhD

Man shaking woman handI was starting a romantic relationship a while back with a guy I liked a lot. I was talking to a friend about it and the friend said “how does he get along with your dog?” This was a striking question at the time because the guy, as nice as he seemed, didn’t relate to the dog at all! As it turned out I should have trusted my friend– and the dog.

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Why is Institutional Betrayal so Traumatic?

By Linda Hatch, PhD

Overworked - businesswoman with strong migraineSince the posting on psychcentral a year ago of the article called “Organizational Infidelity Amplifies Sexual Trauma“there has been a great deal of attention paid to the poor handling of sexual trauma by institutions such as universities, the military and the church.

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Check Out Linda Hatch's books,
Relationships in Recovery & Living with a Sex Addict.


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