Sex Addiction Counseling
"You so understood the pain we were feeling and
taught us to get to the core of that pain and
learn how to heal each other."
Sexual addiction is pandemic. Our culture is flooded with sexual content. Christians are constantly bombarded with sexual images and messages, yet within our churches, sexuality is rarely mentioned. In the shadows of practically every church body, are sexual behaviors many prefer to ignore.
For instance, did you know that every second 28,258 Internet users are viewing pornography? And that every second, 372 Internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines. The number of online and resultant physical and emotional affairs are astronomical.
As such, we need to become actively aware of the issues, challenges, and effective treatment strategies to offer a healing path to those caught in this web of consuming desire and destruction.
What is Sexual Addiction?
In his book, "False Intimacy", Dr. Harry Schaumburg defines it thusly: "Sexual addiction exists when a person practices sexual activity to the point of negatively affecting his or her ability to deal with other aspects of life, becomes involved in other relationships - whether real or through fantasy - and becomes dependent on sexual experiences as his or her primary source of fulfillment….regardless of the consequences to health, family, and/or career."
Dr. Schaumburg describes the evidences of sexual addiction as:
- Compelling and consuming behavior
- Behavior leading to negative consequences
- Out-of-control behavior
- Denial of the behavior's seriousness
Much like alcoholism and drug addiction, sex addiction is a serious and harmful condition resulting in significant suffering for the addict and the addict's family. The condition is treatable: addicts and their families do find recovery.
Sex addiction is not a weakness of character; sex addicts are not 'bad' people who lack a moral compass. In fact, in most areas of their lives they are highly ethical - valuing integrity and justice. They are as perplexed and frustrated with themselves as others are about the nature of their behavior in the sexual area.
My Approach to Sex Addiction Treatment
As a companion on your journey, my approach is non-judgmental and empathic, but I will respectively challenge you to make appropriate behavioral changes and guide you steadfastly toward recovery.
My treatment plan is a holistic, three-fold approach with education, individual or couples therapy (whichever is appropriate), and group therapy intertwined throughout treatment. Because addiction affects the entire family system, I also encourage treatment for a spouse or partner with group therapy and at times couples therapy. I offer 1, 2, or 3 day intensives if that is an appropriate approach which is often for those who travel or out of the area of Central Florida.
I depend on the work of Pat Carnes as well as Mark Laaser's approach. These are task centered methods to form the basis of my treatment plan. If couples therapy is recommended I use an Imago Relationship Therapy model which gives couples skills and processes to use outside of the office and find the root causes of addictive behavior. Treatment begins with a confidential assessment session of 90 minutes. During this time, we discuss the addictive and compulsive behaviors that are causing pain for you and your loved ones.
My assessment involves evaluating the consequences of sex addiction on marriage, family, and other meaningful relationships; and ramifications in the work, social, spiritual, and financial realms. There are often significant and catastrophic repercussions of sex addiction such as divorce, job loss, physical injury or even criminal arrest.