Sex Addiction Therapy
Has Sex Addiction Caused Your Life To Spiral Out Of Control?
Are you making harmful and risky decisions based on your preoccupation with sex? Have you compromised your relationship with your wife or partner due to infidelity? Do you wish you had a healthier relationship to sex and intimacy in general?
You may feel as though you are obsessed with sex and will go to great lengths to have it. Whether you are visiting strip clubs, hiring sex workers, visiting porn sites, or masturbating excessively, you probably worry that you cannot control your sexual behaviors. Naturally, this has impacted your intimate partnerships and may have even been the cause of a separation. Not to mention, your compulsions may have led to other consequences, whether your sex addiction has impacted your ability to work or landed you in legal trouble.
You’re Probably Avoiding Intimacy And Closeness With Others
Upon deeper reflection, you may realize that what you lack—yet what you are desperate for—is emotional intimacy. You may not be used to feeling safe or secure in your relationships. As a result, you seek out the constant adrenaline rush of reaching climax, hiding your behaviors, or getting caught to feel emotionally fed and satisfied. Instead of wanting to maintain closeness and meaningful connections with others, you may avoid becoming vulnerable or intimate, fearing rejection or abandonment. You’ve probably always identified as having a commitment phobia, despite trying your hand at serious relationships in the past.
Yet, your constant need for sex continues to get in the way of developing meaningful, trustworthy connections with your partner(s). Instead of emotional depth, you obsessively seek pleasure, whether through web cam streaming, porn use, or anonymous sex (sometimes for pay). You may frequently lie or keep secrets about your sexual activities, and when caught, you continue to cover up your behavior with more lies. If confronted, you might be quick to anger, defensiveness, or blame. Maybe you’re numb to the feelings of others and have been accused of not caring about how your behaviors affect your loved ones.
Therapy is a healing antidote to the isolation that is fueling your sex addiction. By working with a trained, nonjudgmental counselor who can guide you in understanding and overcoming your sex addiction, you can save your relationships, work, and everyday life.
Despite The Stigma, Sex Addiction Is Both Common And Treatable
While your obsession with sex has likely caused you to feel alone and ashamed, the reality is that sex addiction is a very common issue. Researchers continue to discover more about how certain sexual behaviors originate and who they affect. Still, many estimates show that anywhere from 12 to 30 million American adults—both men and women—struggle with sex addiction.
When compared with the general population, these individuals are much more likely to be survivors of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse from childhood, demonstrating that sex addiction and unresolved trauma are closely linked. Sex and intimacy are strongly connected to shame, fear, and isolation for these survivors, and so they cope by making the sexual experience one devoid of emotional depth and vulnerability.
Furthermore, our often chauvinistic, sex-obsessed culture perpetuates addictive tendencies. There is a strong stigma attached to sex addiction even though we live in a society that normalizes excessive porn use, infidelity, and pleasure at all costs.
Sex addiction therapist and expert Dr. Patrick Carnes sums up these cultural risk factors, saying, “If a man comes from a family in which he feels bad about himself, has little confidence that women would want to be with him, and believes that sex is the only comfort he cannot do without, addiction can occur. Place that man in a culture that makes women into sexual objects, and that addiction will thrive.”
Maybe you’re ashamed of your behaviors or not even aware that you have a sex addiction—despite your behaviors putting you at major risk in your daily life and relationships—but you will not be rejected in therapy. Instead, I will collaborate with you on solutions that will contribute to a healthier view of yourself and your sexuality.
Sex Addiction Therapy At Century City Counseling
For you to heal, grow, and be accountable, you will need to have a safe, nonjudgmental space where you can explore your sexuality. Counseling with a trained sex addiction therapist can be a life-changing opportunity to process your trauma and understand its relationship to addictive patterns so that you can work towards new ways of achieving satisfaction.
With my inclusive, goal-oriented approach to treatment for sex addiction, you can foster a new definition of what emotional and physical intimacy look like in your life.
Therapy for sex addiction is, first and foremost, a place to explore your deepest fears. By allowing yourself to process the experiences that led to emotional disconnection, you can more clearly draw the line between early relationship experiences and your current fear of intimacy.
With this newfound awareness, you can overcome the denial of your addiction by seeing your sexual behaviors as the cause of your emotional discomfort—not the solution to that discomfort. You will then be able to practice relapse prevention by identifying both the internal and external triggers that lead you to act on your impulses. For example, if unstructured time alone or travel away from home are situations in which you feel a compulsive need to act on your arousal, then we will strategize on how you might be able to limit or avoid those situations.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective tool in counseling for sex addiction. Its structured, time-limited approach ensures quick results. And when you can identify your triggers, you are better prepared to replace them with healthier, more rational behaviors. Homework is also an element of this therapy, as it will benefit you to practice protecting yourself against the stressors and situations that might cause relapse in between our sessions together.
My goal as a therapist is to help you break the cycle of sex addiction and retrain your focus away from unhealthy sexual behaviors. Rather than constantly hiding and justifying these behaviors, you will be able to observe them as harmful patterns impacting your life and relationships. Together, we will collaborate on a toolbox that you can rely on every time an obstacle presents itself so that you can live the healthiest, most connected life possible.
Maybe You’re Still Not Sure If You Need Treatment For Sex Addiction…
I can’t tell if I have a sex addiction or a high libido.
It’s important that you are honest with yourself. If you frequently break agreements with yourself or others by lying, hiding, or going out of your way to have sex despite negative consequences, it’s very possible you have a sex addiction. This can also be true for those who feel distressed when unable to watch porn for long periods of time.
On the other hand, if you feel selective about when you have sex, are unattached to having sex right now, and engage in sex without negative consequences, you may not be struggling with a sex addiction. As long as you feel consistently good about your choices before, during, and after sex—and you don’t feel the need to hide your behaviors from yourself or others—you may just have a high libido.
How did I become addicted to sex/porn?
Those suffering from sex addiction seek to answer this question because they’re in search of an external reason on which they can blame their behaviors. However, this question doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of treatment.
Sex addiction is a combination of genetic and environmental factors that spiral when trauma is added to the mix. Knowing the why behind your sex addiction is ultimately less important than dealing with it in therapy.
Is my therapist going to confront me or hold me accountable?
My job as a sex addiction therapist is to challenge you and help you be accountable for your actions so that lasting, meaningful change can take place. Though I strive to make the counseling space feel safe and inclusive, I will nevertheless guide you toward assuming responsibility for your sex addiction.
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