What is Sex Addiction and sexual compulsivity?
What people sometimes refer to as "sex addiction" is actually a number of clinical presentations of problematic sexual behavior that can manifest differently across individuals. If you are struggling with your sexual behavior, you may feel trapped in your preoccupation with sexual activities and your behaviors may persist despite significant risk or consequences. Many individuals experience an escalation in their behavior over time, finding that they were led to a place that they never could have predicted years earlier. You may tell yourself that you will stop, and yet find yourself repeatedly returning to the same behaviors over an over again. Such loss of control can make stopping these behaviors feel daunting and fuels shame and despair. Without help, it is possible that your sexual behaviors may become more intense or damaging to your life.
Compulsive sexual behavior, and similar difficulties, are not about someone having a strong sex drive or diverse sexual interests. Many healthy individuals experience an above average drive for sex and having sexual desires that don't fit in the mainstream is generally not a matter of clinical concern. Sexual behaviors are considered to be problematic when they violate well-reasoned values, are dishonest, harmful to others, put you at elevated risk, or diminish joy from your life.
Moving Beyond a “one size fits all” approach to compulsive sexual behavior
There is ongoing scholarly debate as to whether these type of struggles are impulsive, compulsive, or addictive in nature. Empirical evidence is emerging that suggests that each of these possibilities may be true for different individuals. The reality is that problematic sexual behavior is a complex phenomenon that cannot be fully accounted for by a single explanation. It is critically important that individuals who struggle with their sexual behavior be evaluated by a clinician who is able to fully account for the complex (and often confusing) intersection of human sexuality and mental health.
Individuals who suffer from sexual compulsivity commonly struggle with depression, anxiety, trauma, attention deficit difficulties, or other addictions. There are also some struggles that appear similar to addiction and can make compulsive behaviors extremely difficult to manage, such as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. To ensure that you receive the most successful care possible, it is essential to examine how these factors may be playing a role in your behaviors. Unfortunately, many well-meaning providers fail to thoroughly screen for or address these other very real and often debilitating conditions. We frequently see the aftermath of this when individuals come to us after attempting other, less comprehensive approaches. They are often frustrated that they are not getting better or feel that treatment is hopeless. Together, we can work to figure out how the pieces fit together for you. We can then build an appropriate treatment plan to help you achieve a rich, rewarding, and connected life.
How We Work With sex Addiction & sexual compulsivity
We start by getting a clear sense of who you are and what difficulties you are facing through a comprehensive assessment. A one-size-fits all approach for treating sex addiction is ineffective and can contribute to ongoing behavioral struggles, continued relationship hardship, and a lack of overall success in establishing hope and joy. Our team of specialsts will design a treatment plan that meets your specific needs and budget. We offer a combination of individual therapy, group therapy, couples therapy, mindfulness and support groups, as well as an Intensive Outpatient Program. Our goal is to help you stop the destructive cycle and empower you to live an authentic, intimate, and joyful life.
WHAT MAKES OUR TREATMENT UNIQUE?
At Pacific Behavioral Healthcare, we provide the most comprehensive and progressive treatment of compulsive sexual behavior in the Puget Sound region. Our founders are trusted members of the sexual health community and conduct national level training on how to treat problematic sexual behaviors and foster healing in hurt relationships. We understand the complex nature of sexual struggles and can set you on a path for growth, connection, and success.
Intensive Outpatient Treatment Program
If you have significant difficulties breaking behavioral cycles or are looking to make progress fast, and you want the comfort of staying home without having to travel to a costly inpatient facility, we offer a comprehensive intensive treatment program that is custom tailored to your specific needs. This is an appealing option for those with work schedules that do not allow for extended absences, those who want to make rapid treatment progress or repair their relationship in a more efficient manner, and those who are transitioning out of inpatient back to their day to day life. Learn more about our Intensive Outpatient Program here.
More about sex addiction & sexual compulsivity
Issues with sexual compulsivity can be hard to identify and understand. Sex is a natural part of the human experience. We are hard wired to emotionally connect and be intimate with others. When this process is not nurtured, due to early attachment traumas, we are left with maladaptive ways of relating sexually and emotionally to others.
A broad range of sexual behaviors can become dysfunctional and compulsive including:
- Massage parlors
- Obsessive Dating
- Toxic Relationships
Discovering that your significant other had a secret sexual life is traumatic and you deserve support. We understand this level of pain and help hurting partners & spouses establish safety and stability and reclaim their lives.
If you or a loved one is suffering from problematic sexual behaviors, reach out today.