Sexual addiction treatment is multi-dimensional and generally requires utilizing a variety of therapeutic modalities as the need arises. These different modalities are needed to help heal the various hurts and deep wounds that the addict, partner, and couple experience as a result of sex addiction. Damage to the couple relationship is usually extensive and grievous. The relationship itself is a victim of the sex addiction.
These different modalities are needed to help heal the various hurts and deep wounds that the addict, partner, and couple experience as a result of sex addiction.
Individual Addict Therapy
Individual therapy with the sex addict is a needful part of recovery. It is utilized to address, not only the addictive behavior itself, but the root causes of the addiction, defenses which hinder recovery, and strategies for relapse prevention. Patterns of behavior are uncovered, negative thought processes exposed, triggers identified, and shame and guilt feelings are addressed. Thus individual therapy is intended to be comprehensive and holistic.
Individual Partner Therapy
Counseling is available to the partner, who is invariably damaged, not just by the addict’s sexual behavior, but by the accompanying patterns of deception, lying, betrayal, gaslighting, manipulation, etc. The discovery of these various behaviors can be very traumatic and create PTSD-like symptoms in the partner. These symptoms can include anxiety, depression, emotional numbing, rage, self- esteem loss, grief. Therapy can help the partner toward healing from the emotional devastation brought about by the addict’s behaviors.
Damage to the relationship caused by sex addiction is extensive and grievous. Marital stress is severe and often leads to emotional and sexual distancing. Neither person knows what to do. The partner often wrestles with the question, “Should I go or stay?” Couple therapy offers support and care for both parties while strongly encouraging the addict to take full responsibility for the acting-out. While it takes time, many couple have found healing and wholeness as they work together to repair, rebuild, and restore their relationship.
Partner Group Therapy
The betrayed partner often feels isolated and alone with her pain. The nature of this addiction makes it difficult for the partner to share her story with others. Shame, fear of being judged or misunderstood can cause the partner to feel the need to bear the secret and the pain of her partner’s addiction alone. However, mutual support, empathy, and compassion can be experienced in a partner group. The group therapist works with the group members on issues such as trauma recovery, managing the crisis, communicating feelings, and making empowered choices.
Addict Group Therapy
Group therapy offers a supportive, caring environment while also providing opportunity for mutual accountability. Deeper issues can be explored and a strong sense of community can be created. Slips and relapses can be dissected without fear of judgment or criticism. Group therapy accepts that addicts recover best in a social setting where they can depend on each other and count on each other on their recovery journey together.