Need treatment? Find help or get online counseling right now!

Archives for Treatment

General

Hiding in Recovery: How Recovering Sex Addicts Act Out in Plain View

I have seen many sex addicts who have frequent "slips" (recurrences of addictive behavior), even though they have been working what looks like a rigorous recovery program.  These people may be in individual or group therapy, attending regular Sex Addicts Anonymous meetings, engaging in a spiritual practice, and generally attempting to use the tools of the program.  And yet they will predictably act out in little ways every few weeks or months even though they feel...
Continue Reading

General

Is Masturbation Bad for Sex Addicts?


Sex addicts in treatment for a sexually compulsive behavior are generally asked to decide which behaviors are out of control and interfering   with their life.  These sexually addictive behaviors differ widely from person to person and they can change over time.  They include behaviors like excessive pornography use, commercial sex, voyeurism, compulsive hook-ups, and serial infidelities.  These are designated as "bottom line" behaviors or "inner circle" behaviors.  These are the things that the addict needs...
Continue Reading

General

Sex Addiction Relapse: High Risk Scenarios

Sex addiction is by definition a pattern of compulsive sexual behavior that resembles any other behavioral addiction such as gambling addiction in that it is maladaptive and difficult to put down.  You may think of sex addiction in any of a number of ways: as a symptom of deeper problems relating to early attachment injury, or a constellation of symptoms such as intimacy avoidance, secrecy and dissociation, or a brain disorder resembling chemical dependency.  Or all...
Continue Reading

General

Quick, What’s the Opposite of Mindfulness?

In the treatment of addictions it may be that mindfulness is best understood in terms of what it is not.  Most people are pretty sure about what mindfulness is.  In common usage mindfulness is being aware of something or attending to it.  In a spiritual sense you  might say mindfulness is being "present" or "in the moment".

What mental processes stand in the way of this important recovery skill?

Continue Reading

Diagnosis

Sex Addiction Deniers: A Post-Truth Movement

The diehard sex addiction deniers

Over the last four years I have written no less than eight posts* in an effort to understand and counter the claims of a fairly small but zealous segment of professionals who are on a mission to protect an unsuspecting world from what they see as a dangerous conspiracy.  No, it's not vaccinations or GMOs.  The claim is that those of us who have a sub-specialty in sex addiction treatment are perpetrating...
Continue Reading

General

Sex Addiction Insights From Across the Pond: UK vs. US

Sex and porn addiction treatment are alive and well in the UK.  On a recent trip, I met and talked at length with two wonderful colleagues, one in London and one in Edinburgh.  Our two countries approach  sex addiction treatment in much the same way.  But there are differences, things we can learn from one another.

Obviously this is not intended as a comprehensive survey but rather as food for thought based on my own observations and...
Continue Reading

Diagnosis

Therapy-Interfering Behaviors: Crucial, Predictable, and Often Ignored

Therapists, particularly those treating sex addiction and in the addiction field generally, are familiar with therapy-interfering behaviors. Frequent lateness or failing to show up for appointments, fomenting conflict with the therapist, and many other forms of direct and indirect ways of undermining the process.  As with problem behaviors generally, these are maladaptive attempts to solve a problem.

I first encountered an analysis of therapy-interfering behaviors in the work of Dr. Marsha M. Linehan.  Dr....
Continue Reading

Gay-Straight

An Explosive Issue: Are Sexual Behaviors Learned?

The question is not whether our sexually addictive behavior and fantasies are learned, but rather which ones are learned, when they are learned, and which ones are carved in stone?

This issue quickly can become radioactive. Talk of any changes in our patients' sexuality brings on accusations that clinicians want to alter people's sexual orientation or fit them into a particular model of sexual health. But the fact that something can be learned or...
Continue Reading

General

Signs a Sex Addiction is Spiraling out of Control

Addictions tend to grow increasingly serious over time. Sex addiction is no different from other addictions in that it tends to become increasingly severe and all consuming.

But sex addicts typically differ from other addicts in that they can appear more normal over a much longer period of time than say, an alcoholic or a drug addict. The damaging affects of substance abuse and other addictions such as food and gambling tend to be...
Continue Reading

General

Why You Should Stop Calling Sex Addicts “Perpetrators”

People who have been on the receiving end of a sex addict's betrayal, manipulation, lies, and other forms of uncaring and abusive behavior experience serious emotional trauma. Lives are torn apart, children are affected, families are alienated and as if that weren't enough there are often dire health and/or financial consequences.

But is any given sex addict really a perpetrator?  A psychopath?  Well, they could be.  And there is no doubt...
Continue Reading