When is sexual addiction treatment needed?
There are several criteria established by psychological professionals to determine whether or not an individual needs sexual addiction treatment. While all of the following signs and symptoms of sex addiction may not apply to every individual, the presence of one or more of them strongly suggests that professional help should be sought out.
Signs and symptoms of sexual addiction
- Unable to resist sexual impulses, even with an understanding that it puts the individual’s health or relationships in jeopardy.
- A preoccupation with sex and sexual behavior
- An inordinate amount of time spent pursuing sex or engaging in sexual behavior
- Entering into high risk sexual situations including: transmission of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, herpes or other venereal diseases (VD)
- Repeated unsuccessful attempts to stop the compulsive sexual behavior.
Statistics regarding sexual addiction treatment
- According to research at the National Council on Sexual Addiction Compulsivity, anywhere from 6% to 8% of all Americans can be classified as addicted to sex. This represents an astounding 18-24 million people.
- A recent study by Stanford University for MSNBC reported that 25 million Americans spend between 1 and 10 hours a week looking at pornography online, and that another 4.7 million individuals spend over 11 hours per week view porn sites.
- Studies have found that the fastest growing 12-step programs in the world involve sexual addiction, including: Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sexaholics Anonymous, and Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous.
Entering into a sexual addiction treatment program can be an intimidating experience. For most people, the idea of having a sexual addiction is quite embarrassing and the thought of discussing it with an addiction recovery professional does not sound too enticing. However, understanding the process of treatment can help demystify the experience. Sexual addiction treatment includes
What to expect during sexual addiction treatment.
- Individual counseling – Much like the process at an addiction treatment center, during counseling, the individual is given a chance to speak privately and honestly about their compulsive behavior. Through these conversations, the individual will come to understand the root causes of the sexual addiction and how to avoid these triggers moving forward.
- Group counseling – Many addiction recovery programs feature group counseling sessions that allow the individual to listen to the stories of other sex addicts, and share their own experience. These group sessions can lead to amazing breakthroughs for the individual, many of whom felt isolated because of their compulsive behavior.
- Planning – Sexual addiction counselors will help the individual learn how to make better decisions and craft a plan for the rest of their lives. Counselors are experts in helping individual prepare for almost any situation the “outside world” might throw at them.
- After-care – Finally, sexual addiction treatment helps individuals stay the course, and continue to implement the things that they learned during treatment. Follow up counseling and information about 12-step programs are just two of the ways treatment center help insure the long-term health of their patients.