Compassionate and Effective Treatment for Sex Addiction
Do You Find Yourself Unable to Stay Within Limits You’ve Set for Yourself? You Might Have A Sexual Addiction…
Do you find yourself preoccupied with sexual thoughts that at times lead to distressing sexual behavior you keep secret from others? You might have a problem. It’s possible that you are suffering from uncontrollable sexual behavior that might be a type of sexual addiction.
Sexual compulsion problems emerge in a diversity of patterns or forms including: Compulsive masturbation, Compulsive prostitution use, Cybersex (pornography, Internet dating, etc.), Exhibitionism, and many other problematic sexual behaviors. We specialize in all types of compulsive sexual behavior problems and we can help you. Call 208-755-7114 Today.
For the sexual addict, boredom, rejection, fatigue, or proximity (i.e.: association with or the actual place of past use, viewing sexual movie scenes, or time alone) will provoke exposure to conditioned dopamine rewarding behavior patterns. These behaviors are driven by the anticipation of the reward. This is the seeking, searching, and planning behavior that often goes unnoticed or intentionally kept secret. Anticipating the reward, these behaviors trigger strong cravings to sexually act out. This is so even after someone has developed long-term abstinence, so just quitting your acting out behavior doesn’t address the powerful conditioned response that anticipation of doing the behavior has within the sexual addict. Qualified sexual addiction therapy opens the door to healing by getting at this entwined brain-based pattern.
What is Sex Addiction?
The term “sex addiction” describes an individual having an unmanageable preoccupation with sex. Constant daydreaming about sex takes over and controls an addict’s thinking, making it challenging to work or manage healthy personal relationships. Despite the possibility that their actions may eventually carry serious and/or harmful consequences, sex addicts often indulge in a variety of high-risk, acting-out behaviors.
Sex Addiction Podcast
The following link is a podcast by Rob Weiss, CSAT that explains sex addiction well. It includes information on partners of sex addicts and love addiction. I invite you to listen to this 30 minute podcast, and for more information call Ed at 208-755-7114. Thanks!
Sexual Addiction Is An Illness
Sexual addiction is a self-destructive illness, and the truth is there is no quick fix. For those working so desperately hard to get you to realize your self-destructive behaviors, learning there is no quick fix might be devastating, for they hold dear their relationship with you. Yet the pain caused by your behavior, your arguments and defensiveness, your secrets and lies they desperately want to end so they enjoy the real you, the you recovery can reclaim. This truth is the same for everyone seeking to reclaim their life from sexual addiction. Nothing compares to the quality of life that recovery provides because it opens up the pathways to deeper spiritual faith, to intimate and long lasting love relationships, and the deep appreciation of knowing and accepting yourself. You matter! And recovery helps you connect into that. Through recovery, your sexual addiction changes into a life-giving experience. Call today for help overcoming your sexual addiction. 208-755-7114
If you have any concerns about loss of control and/or life consequences from your compulsive sexual behavior, or you wonder if you may have a Sexual Addiction, we encourage you to take a free and confidential screening test by clicking HERE. You will be taken to an external site to complete the survey. It is free and confidential. You will not be asked any identifying information. Once you have completed the questions you may print the result. To understand your screening results or answer other questions, call Coeur d’Alene Counseling at 208-755-7114.
Sex Addiction is Real!
Sex is addiction not only real, it’s more widespread than most realize. Sex addiction is a chronic disease of the brain’s reward and related circuitry systems. The dysfunction in these circuits explain the unmanageable life circumstances. Sex addiction is a progressive disease. If sex addiction is not treated or otherwise engaged in recovery activity, it most often results in severe life consequences such as premature loss of primary relationships, inability to sustain adequate work, and other chronic mental health problems such as depression. Coeur d’Alene Counseling is able to treat sex addiction and help sexual addicts achieve a life of sexual health and fulfillment.
Are You A Sex Addict?
If you are uncertain that you might be a sex addict, ask yourself the following questions. You may find some clarity.
- Do you feel as if you are inordinately preoccupied with sex? For example, when you wake up you might grab your phone, even before you get out of bed, to check your hookup app profiles, looking to see if anyone contacted you in the night.
- Have you tried (and failed) to either cut back on or quit certain sexual behaviors altogether. For instance, you might have promised yourself (and maybe others) that you would stop looking at porn and you might have kept those promises for a few days or maybe even a few weeks. But then, you found yourself right back at it.
- Have you experienced negative consequences related to your sexual behaviors? For example, have important relationships been ruined, have you struggled or been reprimanded at work or in school, have you gotten anxious or depressed, have you spent money you’d rather spend elsewhere, or have you experienced other problems?
If you answered yes to these three questions, you may be sexually addicted. You certainly should reach out to better understand if you are sexually addicted. To find out more and have all your questions answered, call Ed Dudding, CSAT at 208-755-7114.
Slips, Relapse, Abstinence, and Sobriety
An often asked question is what’s the difference between a “slip” and “relapse” and what is the difference between “abstinence” and “sobriety.” These terms and concepts are important to sex addiction recovery.
In the early stages of sexual addiction recovery, there are many adjustments sex addicts must make and it is not uncommon that slips and relapse happen. As sex addicts move deeper into their recovery, however, slips and relapse are less common. So what is a slip and a relapse? A slip is a brief, mostly unintended, return to acting out. Slips are managed and contained by immediate and honest disclosure to a therapist, sponsor, support group, or other supportive person. The disclosure is followed up by a revised plan to shore up their recovery program. Sex addicts in committed relationships, such as marriage, must planfully and thoughtfully tell their spouse or partner. This avoids creating new secrets. Relapse is when a sex addict is unwilling to be honest about a slip and conceals and justifies the behavior. This sets the stage for secret-keeping and more frequent slips and a return to their secretive life and isolation from all support. This is considered relapse.
Abstinence and sobriety are two important sex addiction recovery terms as well. Sobriety refers to the totality of how sex addiction recovery is benefiting a sex addict’s life, whereas abstinence refers to not engaging in specifically defined sexual behaviors. Abstinence from specifically defined sexual and other-related behaviors is an important tool to help establish sex addiction sobriety. Sobriety is often measured by resilience, which may be thought of as the remaining in a specific set of parameters during all the inevitable stressors in life. Thus, sobriety is the outcome of a life designed to retain alignment of the sex addict’s lifestyle to their values, and in all circumstances experience life as thriving.
Rationale for a 90-day Abstinence Period
In the sex addiction treatment field, a common practice is to ask patients to include a 90-day abstinence period to their program. Though, to my knowledge, there are no studies supporting the idea of a 90-day abstinence period, there are a few rationales for this practice that I’ve found supports sustained sex addiction recovery over time. Firstly, it gives the opportunity for the addict in recovery to design their sobriety by using this period to thoughtfully plan out their sexual recovery plan. Furthermore, the wisdom behind this brief clinically-observed abstinence is that it allows the addict a period where they are not medicating any feelings with sex. This, as well, opens up the opportunity to use new healthy coping tools and strategies that include the experience of dismantling their common cycles of acting out and self-medicating. Additionally and very importantly, there is the neuro-biology; where the brain’s reward system stops being flooded with dopamine and gives it a chance to re-calibrate itself. Finally, there is the relational opportunity. Such an abstinence period can be very helpful for some partners (depending on the situation). To have a “sex vacation”, for some, helps reestablish a renewed sexual relationship within their relationship. For more information, please feel free to ask.
What’s the Difference between Sex Addiction and Sexual Offending?
Sexual offending is not indicative of sexual addiction. By definition, sexual offending involves illegal or non-consensual sexual behavior. Sexual offenders that identify as sexual addicts may knowingly do so not to avoid punishment but to avoid judgment – to my knowledge. Others may have different views on why they identify as sexual addicts and not sexual offenders. Another view of on this is that the sexual offender may lack the knowledge that these two are different.
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In a Committed Relationship?
Dr. Patrick Carnes in his research learned that recovering sexual addicts who are married or in long-term committed relationships, have the highest quality of recovery when their partner committed to their personal recovery and as a couple they commit to coupleship recovery. Coeur d’Alene Counseling highly recommends coupleship recovery and individual partner recovery. Laura Taylor specializes in working with the unique needs of partners of sexual addicts; and, as well, she is a certified EMDR therapist specializing in trauma and stress-related disorders. She can be reached at 208-818-2619.
Recovering Couples Anonymous (RCA) is an S-fellowship 12-step program for couples. They use the metaphor of a three-legged stool to describe coupleship recovery: There is the addict’s recovery, the spouse/partner’s recovery, and the couple’s recovery. RCA offer couples the opportunity to look at relationship deficits and use Twelve Step principles for consistent and cohesive coupleship support and pathways to change. Couples that share the principles of recovery can make dramatic differences in the quality of their intimacy.
Twelve-step meetings are where a person can join an S-fellowship to discover that they are not alone and that help is available. In addition to attending 12-Step meetings, individual and group therapy is extremely helpful to teach a person to stop unwanted behaviors. Call today. 208-755-7114
Coeur d’Alene Counseling Can Help
Many sex addicts face the challenge of overcoming a sophisticated thinking pattern that justifies their actions while blaming and criticizing other people. This supports the addict’s belief that he does not have a problem or a disease that needs attention.
At Coeur d’Alene Counseling, clients are provided a safe, confidential and healing environment for sexual addiction treatment. The expert team of independent providers helps each client look at the core issues that caused the addiction and provides a pathway to healing the underlying cause of the addiction.
Our clients’ progress has shaped our reputation that is unmatched in the Inland Northwest. To learn more about Coeur d’Alene Counseling’s state-of-the-art Sexual Addiction Program, call (208) 755-7114.