Many sex addicts try therapy first.  Although it may be appropriate for some sexual problems, conventional forms of psychotherapy alone don’t address sexual addiction effectively. It has long been understood that addictions in general- drugs, alcohol, gambling and so on- are different and require “treatment.”

Treatment vs. therapy

What’s the difference?  In the simplest terms, therapy is more about insight into why you do certain things and feel certain ways; treatment is more about “follow these instructions and complete these tasks and you’ll end up in a better place.”  Treatment often takes place in programs and most of them use a range of inter-disciplinary  of interventions.

But both treatment and therapy can take place in any setting from an outpatient therapist’s office to a residential treatment program.  Certified sex addiction therapists practice “treatment” in their private practices.  So when I refer to “therapy” I’m talking about the traditional kinds of therapy that do not deal specifically with sex addiction.

Here are some reasons to try treatment first

2 Comments to
Should You Choose Treatment or Therapy for Sex Addiction?

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  1. Therapy first, with an AASECT-certified sex therapist who also has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. Even an authority like Rob Weiss admits that many cases that present like sex addiction are either situational or not sex addiction at all. It takes a clinical psychologist — please, one who acknowledges the reality of sex addiction but is not simply trained as an addictionologist — to do the most dispassionate assessment and create a treatment plan for whatever brings the patient with sexual issues into therapy.

  2. This was a brilliant article, and helps to explain why the couples’ therapy I went through with a SA was so useless. Most of it was focused upon making sure he didn’t feel bad about anything, and the rest upon how I must have been the cause of his addiction. So he simply found a new “partner” and now continues his addiction–happily.

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Relationships in Recovery & Living with a Sex Addict.


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