Treatment Approach

If you’re considering beginning to start in a sexual addiction recovery or porn addiction recovery counseling program, you’re probably baffled as to what, exactly, will happen as part of that program.  Accordingly, I’ve put together a bulleted list of some of the activities that comprise a sex addiction treatment protocol.

Early Recovery/Stop the Behavior

  • Assessment/Evaluation
  • Do a Cost/Benefit Analysis of the Sexual Behavior
  • Resolve Ambivalence About Letting Go of Behavior
  • Establish Definition of Personal Sobriety
  • Establish Goals
  • Identify Triggers
  • Cultivate Alternative Coping Skills for Dealing with Triggers
  • Learn Phases of Your Addiction Cycle and Ways to Intervene
  • Establish Support/Accountability System
  • Establish Appropriateness of 12-Step Participation
  • Learn About Alternatives to 12-Steps
  • Use Behavioral Techniques to Stop Intensity of Fantasies
  • Understand and Learn to Overcome Urges and Cravings

Later Recovery

  • Explore family-of-origin issues – How did Family Dysfunction Contribute to the Beginning of Sex Addiction?
  • Challenge Old Ways of Thinking/Develop New Ways to Think About Self/Relationships and Sexuality
  • Learn New Coping Skills for handling fear, anxiety, shame, isolation and especially Stress
  • Communication, Social, and Assertiveness Skills
  • Develop a Written Relapse Prevention Plan
  • Dealing with Slips and Relapse
  • Receive Psycho-education about sex education, and new attitudes and skills about healthy sexuality
  • Learn and decide on a different type of therapy that may be appropriate for you: cognitive/behavioral, psychodynamic, group therapy, couples counseling, family therapy, psychodrama, trauma-based, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, gestalt, and behavioral.
  • Choose the Path of Forgiveness – of Self and Others. Eliminate Shame
  • Enter couples counseling, when appropriate, to re-build trust, to learn about healthy intimacy, to resolve conflicts, to learn effective communication skills, to cultivate an identity as a recovering couple,  and to establish short and long-term goals as a couple
  • Establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle based on individual values that have been violated by addiction, healthy intimacy and sex, pleasurable social activities with people both in and out of the program, regular exercise, support from family, significant others, friends and program support networks
  • Intense involvement in hobbies and activities that take you out of yourself
  • Interest and involvement in community activities
  • Move from being a pleasure-oriented person to a meaning-oriented  person
  • Cultivation or return to a spiritual life that gives meaning and transcendent experiences to your daily life.

Sexual addiction recovery is a life-long process.  It moves you out of a narcissist position where your needs are imperative and only see others as need-supplying objects to where you are capable of true self-love.  Personal authenticity enables you to have empathy and compassion for others and allows you to take genuine pleasure from giving love rather than always being a self-centered taker.

This is one of the markers of a mature, peaceful personality.