If you are addicted to sex, your thoughts and behaviors revolve around sexual activity. These may take up a significant portion of your day or cause problems in your relationship, work and health. You might feel powerless over your sexual urges and behaviors, which is why sex addiction therapy can help.
You might use sex to escape negative emotions, relieve boredom or to feel less alone. Many people with sex addiction don’t get satisfaction from the behavior and feel guilt or shame for their actions. In some cases, the urge to engage in sexual behavior is triggered by trauma from childhood or other experiences that may have left you feeling unworthy of healthy relationships.
It’s important to recognize that compulsive sexual behaviors are not a choice and that they can have serious consequences for your physical and mental health. A CSAT (Clinical Sexual Addiction Therapist) can help you identify core triggers and beliefs that are contributing to your addiction, as well as teach you healthier choices and coping skills that will reduce your urges.
Treatment for sexual addiction may also include a variety of psychosocial therapies and support groups like 12 Step recovery programs. These aren’t for everyone, but can be a useful tool to supplement your individual and group therapy.
Behavioral treatments for sexual addiction include cognitive behavioral therapy, which helps you learn to recognize and challenge negative thoughts that lead to sexual acting out. Other psychotherapies that may be used are psychodynamic therapy, relapse prevention and acceptance commitment therapy, which teaches you to accept distressing feelings and change your relationship with them. In addition to these therapies, some people may find relief from taking anti-anxiety and antidepressant medication to control their urges and obsessive thoughts.