Last updated: 04/8/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Amidst American society’s changing perspectives and attitudes, everyday roles and boundaries have blurred considerably. These changes have drastically altered sexuality’s “place” in everyday life. According to the U. S. National Library of Medicine, the adult entertainment industry yields an estimated $4 billion per year in profits.
Add to this the use of sexuality in advertising, movies and network television shows and someone with a weakness for promiscuity doesn’t stand a chance. Not surprisingly, sex addiction treatment programs are seeing an ongoing influx of people seeking help for an out of control lifestyle.
Sex addiction treatment works in much the same way as any other form of addiction treatment. Sex addiction treatment programs help addicts confront denial, work though underlying issues and learn to manage addiction behaviors within their daily lives.
As with any type of addiction, the ability to experience near immediate rewards drives sexual addiction practices. Since cultural norms have not only made sex more acceptable, but also more accessible, the addict can easily get lost inside the addiction cycle.
A disregard for negative consequences becomes the hallmark of any addiction behavior. Likewise, sex addicts continue to engage in compulsive sexual behaviors regardless of the losses they incur along the way.
Sexual addiction treatment objectives work to break compulsive behavior cycles while helping addicts confront the underlying issues that drive these behaviors. Sexual addiction treatment programs offer a structured and controlled environment where addicts can distance themselves from the triggers that drive addictive behaviors.
Ultimately, a sexual addiction becomes a way of coping with life stressors and escaping uncomfortable emotional issues. Through talk therapy treatment, addicts can work through underlying issues while confronting the shame, guilt and depression that result from a sexual addiction lifestyle.
Confronting feelings of denial regarding the negative effects of sexual addiction in one’s life becomes an essential first step towards recovery. Sexual addiction treatment programs use group therapy work as means for helping addicts face the damaging effects of addiction in their lives.
As group therapy members have had similar life experiences, it becomes hard for an addict to rationalize or deny sexual addiction as a problem when others in the same boat confront him or her directly.
Working Through Underlying Issues
More oftentimes than not, the underlying issues that drive sexual addiction stem from other emotional and/or psychological problems. Sexual addiction treatment programs use cognitive-behavior therapy approaches to help addicts identify what triggers and reinforces compulsive behaviors. In the process, a person learns healthy ways of coping with emotional life stressors. The overall goal of therapy works to help addicts better manage their impulses and establish a sense of self-control in their lives.
Managing Addiction Behaviors
Unlike alcohol and drug additions, sex addiction treatment helps addicts better manage compulsive behaviors rather than eliminate sex from their lives altogether. In this sense, recovering from sexual addiction closely resembles the types of everyday changes a recovering food addict would make.
As part of an ongoing treatment plan, sex addiction programs introduce a person to the 12-Step recovery process by requiring regular attendance at 12-Step support group meetings. These groups become an ongoing part of the recovery process both during and after completion of a treatment program.