Sexual Compulsive Behaviors and Pornography Addiction . . .
"Shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we are capable of change."
- Brene' Brown
Sexual addiction/compulsion can be very harmful to people and their loved ones. The addiction can start innocently enough, but within a short period there is usually an escalation in risk taking and type of things sought out. The person can become so consumed with the sexual compulsion that other areas in his or her life begin to become less important. Sexual addiction and Internet sexual addiction can create a level of shame and guilt in the person that is very intense. The shame and guilt is usually experienced immediately following each episode of acting out, and will grow more and more intense as the addiction progresses. The shame and guilt may become so intense as to provoke feelings and thoughts of suicide. This process is cyclical in nature and usually ends with a “vow” to stop doing it, only to find shortly thereafter the person is right back into it.
Many sexual compulsives feel hopeless that they cannot change and they have resolved themselves to “this is how it is for me.” Also, there are plagued with ambivalence. The desire to stop the behavior can be just as strong as the desire to continue the behavior. This can cause great turmoil in a person.
Our treatment program for sexual addiction/compulsion is based mostly on a cognitive behavior model of treatment. We strongly encourage family involvement because there are some external controls that need to put in place while the person is working on developing internal controls. Some of these controls include limiting access to sexually stimulating material, monitoring computer activity, checking cell phone records, monitoring whereabouts, etc. Our program also addresses distorted thinking and mistaken belief systems that contribute the ongoing behavior. We have found that some people have benefitted from medication interventions. This is assessed on an individual basis. Additionally, there is a strong empathy component to our program. The sexually compulsive person typically causes a lot of emotional pain to those around him/her.
Group treatment is the preferred method of treatment because there is the benefit of learning and gaining from other group members’ experiences and input. Individual and family treatment are offered as an adjunct and strongly recommended.
If you would like to enroll in one of our programs for sexual problems, click here for information on contacting us to schedule your appointment.