What is sex addiction therapy?
Sex addiction therapy refers to psychological and pharmacological measures used to manage excessive sexual relations.
Although sex addiction has not been officially recognized as a seal of addictive behavior, it has been recognized as a behavioral challenge that may require proper control.
A person may seek this therapy to manage compulsive fantasies, interests, or behaviors that affect their daily lives and functions.
Like compulsive behaviors such as gambling and hoarding, sex addicts have little control over impulses that may exceed them throughout the day. These impulses usually need to be satisfied, no matter how inconvenient it is to achieve this.
In order to control sexual addiction, the following management techniques can be used:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a treatment technique that helps individuals identify and change dangerous thinking patterns or behaviors. These patterns and behaviors often have a destructive effect on happiness, so it is important to control them.
For sex addiction, CBT helps to identify the triggers that may encourage negative behaviors and replace them with healthier and beneficial sexual attitudes/thinking patterns. For example, CBT may help treat excessive pornography as a compromise to maintaining loyalty to your partner.
This therapy can also help pick out different states that encourage sexual activity, such as periods of relaxation or boredom. After identification, when faced with similar triggers, non-sexual behaviors may be introduced.
This technique emphasizes self-reflection and inspection to understand the reasons for emotional challenges.
Psychodynamic therapy promotes a better understanding of the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and attitudes that make up behavior. This means exploring cues that form an unhealthy attitude towards sex.
This form of treatment will help highlight the shame, fear, or anger that prompts people to view sex as a necessary way to vent.
Ideally, the role of exposure therapy is to introduce the patient to the object of their fear for better management. For sex addiction, this may require something different.
Rather than placing a person with this addiction in a comprehensive trigger, it is better to change the environment that normally triggers sexual impulses.
This may include building a stable resistance to pornography by being offline for long periods of time or avoiding pornographic sites when using the Internet.
Motivational enhancement therapy
This collaborative effort between the therapist and the client helps the latter find inspiration to solve the problems surrounding sex. This method is usually the first choice because it makes it easy to set goals for healthier sexual attitudes.
On a good day, navigating the complex field of sex addiction is a daunting task. This process can be more complicated when a person seeks treatment without the full cooperation or knowledge of family members.
Parents and siblings can overcome addiction by involving family members in the rehabilitation process. Treatment can also help smooth the process of communicating thoughts and feelings while overcoming addiction.
Living with a partner dealing with sex addiction can be very challenging. In addition to the inadequacy that this may cause, intimacy and trust will undoubtedly be hit. Couples therapy can help manage the difficult situation of addiction recovery, communication and improving relationship intimacy.
Drug treatment of sex addiction
In addition to treatment, different classes of drugs may help control sexual addiction. They include:
- SSRIs: This drug is widely used as an antidepressant. Its role is to increase the content of serotonin (a mood stabilizer) in the brain. To help control sexual impulses and behavior, taking this drug may help control cravings and obsessions with sexual behavior. However, it is considered more effective when sex addiction occurs at the same time as depression, anxiety, or other obsessive-compulsive disorders.
- Naltrexone: In the same way this drug can control cravings and euphoria associated with alcohol and opioid use disorders, naltrexone can also help control similar feelings associated with sex addiction.
Drug management of sex addiction has several advantages because it can reduce the desire for uncontrolled sex without reducing the motivation for healthy sexual habits. The drug can also reduce sexual urges related to addiction, masturbation, and pornographic interests.
However, drugs only provide short-term benefits for sex addiction and are most effective when combined with treatment.
What sex addiction therapy can help
Sex addiction or compulsive behavior is divided into sexual behavior and non-sexual behavior.
Paraphilic behavior refers to sexual behavior that deviates from the norm, including the following behaviors:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Urinary addiction
Non-hobby behavior refers to excessive participation in more common sexual behaviors, such as:
- Hire prostitutes
- Visit a strip club
- Engaged in multiple affairs
Sex addiction treatment can help control such behaviors. It will teach different measures to control unhealthy sexual urges while encouraging a sustainable attitude towards sex.
Benefits of sex addiction treatment
For anyone struggling with forced viewing of pornographic content, engaging in unconventional sexual behavior, excessive sexual behavior, and other signs of sexual addiction, treatment is usually recommended for help. This is because sex addiction therapy has the following advantages:
- Helps to identify the triggers and characteristics of sex addiction
- Can help develop healthy mechanisms for coping with sexual impulses
- Teach appropriate measures to overcome the obsession with sex
- Sex addiction treatment can also encourage healthy communication between partners and family members while controlling the condition
Effectiveness of sex addiction therapy
Although sex addiction therapy is a common recommendation for managing excessive sexual behavior, there is little data to support its effectiveness.
However, since sex addiction treatment usually uses trusted techniques such as CBT and psychodynamic therapy, focusing on managing compulsive habits, positive changes may be observed in people seeking professional help.
However, although sex addiction therapy has been shown to be beneficial in controlling this condition, due to the lack of reliable data, it is difficult to determine how effective this therapy is on the relapse of unhealthy sexual behavior.
Things to consider
When seeking treatment to control sexual addiction, it is important to control expectations. As with other forms of individual therapy, repeated treatments may be required to achieve breakthroughs in sexual behavior.
It also requires considerable honesty, which can be difficult given the nature of the conversation. However, frank discussions are essential to transition from a negative attitude towards sex to a healthier attitude.
How to start
For anyone wishing to receive treatment for sex addiction, contacting a qualified professional is usually the first step.
The professional may come from the referrer, or it may be discovered from an online directory.
After finding a good choice for the therapist, they may discuss the challenges and goals of treatment in the first consultation. If the first consultation with a professional proves appropriate, sexual addiction treatment may be started in earnest.
If physical therapy is a bit difficult to handle, you can consider online group therapy, couples counseling, and other online therapies.