For Treatment Professionals
Identifying sexual addiction or other hypersexual disorders in clients can be difficult. First, most sex addicts are deeply ashamed of their compulsive sexual fantasy life and sexual acting out, which makes them reluctant to talk about their problem. Instead, they tend to discuss their addiction’s related symptoms — low self-esteem, stress, depression and anxiety, for example. As such, careful inquiry by the therapist is often required to properly identify sexual addiction. Questions provided in our screening quizzes can be very helpful in this regard.
If you’ve identified a client as sexually addicted, treatment typically utilizes the same strategies that have proven effective with substance abuse, including cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, and 12-step support groups. Nearly always, treatment of sexual addiction is best handled by a sex addiction specialist, or at least by a clinician who is trained in the principles of addiction treatment and recovery.
Many sex addicts new to recovery can jumpstart their healing process with a period of intensive residential treatment. After that, ongoing outpatient therapy, group therapy and 12-step programs form the backbone of lasting sexual sobriety. There are a number of nationwide self-help support programs for sex addicts including Sexaholics Anonymous (SA), Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA), Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA), Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA), and Sexual Recovery Anonymous (SRA).
It’s important to understand that every sex addict is different. Each person arrives in treatment with a unique background and a specific set of problem behaviors. As such, each sex addict needs a program of recovery tailored to his or her particular needs. The addict’s path to healing may include intensive outpatient treatment, and it will almost certainly include individual therapy and/or sex addiction focused group therapy. Twelve-step meetings are also critical for sex addicted clients. If you are in a smaller town that does not have local sexual recovery meetings, you can recommend online meetings.
For more information about our programs at The Ranch and Right Step, please contact us at 855-900-7357.