Definition of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity
It is engaging in persistent and escalating patterns of sexual behaviour that are acted out despite negative consequences to self and others. It is where an individual will continue to engage in certain sexual behaviours despite facing potential health risks, financial problems, broken relationships or even involvement with the criminal justice system, facing arrest.
- Am I obsessing, craving sex and have difficulty controlling my thoughts.
- Am I concerned that my intrusive sexual thoughts may cross the line between social acceptability and the law?
- Do I feel irritable and agitated when I am unable to engage in the desired sexual behaviour?
- Do I spend substantial time in activities related to sex, such as cruising for partners and visiting online pornographic websites?
- Does my sexual behaviour involve having sex with multiple partners or sex workers?
- Is my sexual behaviour/activity escalating in order to achieve the desired effect, such as more frequent visits to prostitutes, more sex partners or more intense use of internet pornography and excessive masturbation?
- Does my sexual behaviour affect other activities in my life, leading to neglecting responsibilities such as work and family, although I have a desire to stop but still carry on?
- Do I continually engage in the sexual behaviour despite negative consequences, such as damaged relationships or potential health risks?
We are sexual human beings and sex is a fundamental part of our existence and need. The goal of sexual addiction/compulsivity treatment is not to achieve lifelong abstinence from sex, it is to learn how to manage our intrusive thoughts, terminate compulsive unhealthy sexual behaviour and begin to understand and distinguish between healthy and unhealthy sex.
The programme is a combination of either 1:1, face to face psychotherapy consultation dealing with in-depth unresolved psychological issues with psycho-educational learning, or you can join the structured 12-week academic psycho-educational and therapeutic group-work facilitation. Whatever is suitable and comfortable for you.
It is evident that the group work dynamic has significant successful outcomes in achieving sexual sobriety. It is beneficial interacting and engaging with like-minded people, building healthy relationships, getting support and dealing with shame. Shame being seen as the underlying force driving sexual addiction/compulsivity.
The philosophy is to encourage and support abstinence from any sexual behaviour during the primary phase of treatment – 90 days of self-imposed abstinence. This time period will enable you to understand the emotional cues and circumstances that trigger your sexual thoughts and compulsivity.
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