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Sexual Addiction Recovery Program

Challenges of recovery from sexual addiction

It is difficult to change any behavior that has become routine, let alone one that has reached the level of addiction, unless there are powerful and consistent rewards for ceasing the behavior or equivalent adverse consequences for continuing it. With sexual addiction, all of the usual denial patterns and resistance to arresting the addiction are found in full force, but there are other obstacles as well. The addict is almost always deeply divided and double-minded about stopping his or her addictive behavior, even when they are aware that the behavior is creating serious problems for themselves and others. This is the nature of addiction.

A beam of sunlight streaming through the trees in a forest with a dirt path going through it, illustrating the concept that 12 Step programs have proven to be the most effective approach to recovery from any form of addiction – be it to substances or behaviors.

The addict is obsessed with continuing the activity while at the same time having lost the power to stop of their own accord.

Foundations of recovery from sex addiction

Recovery from any kind of behavioral addiction must start with the fundamental acknowledgment by the addict that they have become powerless over their problematic behavior and have lost the ability to control it or stop it based on willpower alone. They have to recognize that their addictive behavior is a compulsion, that it is no longer a choice, or a recreational activity, or a simple habit. The addict must face that the behavior grew out of a deep-rooted need and that though it provided relief, it became unhealthy and detrimental long ago.

A large part of the addict’s reluctance to stop his addictive behavior results directly from his longstanding intimate relationship with his addiction as a source of security. Despite the great harm the activity has done to the person, the addict actually feels sheltered and protected in actively participating in his destructive behavior. Meanwhile, in the absence of his addictive behavior, the person feels painfully insecure, exposed, and liable to all kinds of harm. The addictive activity has a pacifying effect. The behavior can always be depended upon to produce feelings of safety and security — despite the reality he has experienced. In the case of the food addict, food has given him a sense of ease and comfort in the face of his problems. For this kind of behavior, the addict to acknowledge his behaviors as something that needs addressing – that it is, in fact, an impediment to dealing with other problems in his life – is difficult.

Recovering from this compulsion, though not easy, is possible and has been accomplished many times. But it does require a complete change in beliefs and attitude, along with how to deal with life and its problems. For the food addict, it means learning a set of tools and skills to cope in a healthy manner. Recovery means changing his relationship toward sexual behavior.

Effective approach toward recovery from sexual addiction

For recovery to start, all that is required of the behavior addict is to accept that there is a behavior that has become destructive and to want to recover and live a healthier way of life. The addict must break through his denial to begin the recovery process. He or she has to acknowledge that their behavior has become destructive, and that they are now ready to take steps to recover from it. They have to be willing to learn a new way of living, one not dependent on addictive activity for relief and escape from life’s problems. The addict has to admit that they can’t use willpower to combat their addiction. 

Giving up addictive behavior for a short time may be relatively easy. As the saying goes in 12 Step fellowships: “It’s easy to quit – I’ve done it a hundred times!” The goal of recovery is to “stay stopped.” There is also the danger of substituting one destructive behavior with another. Staying stopped requires hard work and effort. It requires that the person commits to a program of recovery. Given that the disease of addiction is threefold — mental, spiritual, and physical — recovery programs address these three areas of a person’s life. These programs offer the tools and the support to maintain recovery on a daily basis.

Recovery from an addictive behavior means major changes in the way an addict thinks and lives. This is no easy task, but it is done little by little, a day at a time. Having engaged in behavior that for years — though destructive — was the means by which the addict dealt with life, means recovery also takes time. 12 Step programs have proven to be the most effective approach to recovery from any form of addiction – be it to substances or behaviors.

Together, I can help you:

  • Stop unwanted compulsive sexual behavior
  • Learn relapse prevention 
  • Examine unprocessed grief, feelings of abandonment/neglect 
  • Increase positive communication about your needs/desires
  • Identify healthy relationship skills 
  • Learn how to esteem internally rather than externally
  • Set manageable and attainable goals
  • Reestablish healthier communication skills with loved ones
  • Assist with disclosure of acting out behaviors to partner or loved ones
  • Learn to love yourself again