Sex addiction is a preoccupation with sexual thoughts or actions that are difficult to control and negatively affect your life. Unresolved trauma usually results in sex addiction, although other factors may be involved. The good news is that various types of sex addiction counseling are available to help anyone who has difficulty keeping sexual actions and thoughts under control.
Understanding Sex Addiction
Sex addiction may look different, depending on the person. But some common behaviors are typical.
Signs of sex addiction include:
- Denial. You may tell yourself and others that nothing is going on or that you’ve got things under control.
- Withdrawal. You prefer solitude to being around others, possibly for fear that someone else might notice something off. Or you may spend the time you used to spend with friends and family engaging in the addictive behaviors.
- Using Sex to Cope. You use sex to cope with stress or other negative emotions.
- Preoccupation With Sex. You can’t really think about or focus on anything but sex. So much so that it interferes with your ability to complete necessary tasks.
- Lack of Self-Control. The inability to control your urges and thoughts, whether you try to resist them or give into them.
There can bemany signs of sex addiction, but if you recognize that sex or thoughts of it are taking over your day, it may be time to seek professional help.
Types of Sex Addiction Counseling
It can be difficult to let someone else know about your troubles with sex addiction, but it can also be liberating to share your feelings and difficulties with someone; especially a professional who’s experienced in working with the same types of concerns and can hold a non-judgemental space to talk and listen.
Sex addiction counseling options include:
- Certified Sex Addiction Counseling. This counseling is conducted by a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. This type of counseling focuses on the specific needs of sex addiction, behavioral containment, and coping skills for urges to act out.
- Trauma Therapy. As most, if not all, addiction is rooted in trauma, it’s highly beneficial to engage in trauma treatment to alleviate some of the pressure to act out or engage in dysfunctional relational patterns. There are various effective trauma treatments such as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Brainspotting, Neurofeedback, Somatic Experiencing, Guided Meditation, Internal Family Systems… and many others. Find what works best for you.
- Couple’s/Marriage Counseling. In this type of counseling, you and your wife talk to a professional about the problems you’re facing. You could see a professional counselor or therapist or even your pastor at church. Many pastors have the training to help couples overcome various problems. But make sure your counselor has experience with addictive behaviors.
- Group Therapy. In group therapy, you can share your concerns and victories with people who share similar issues. You also can get guidance about how to work on problematic behaviors and support from others who know what you’re experiencing.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. This type of individual counseling focuses on your behaviors, emotions, and thoughts. CBT also aims to help you take more control in changing negative thoughts and actions.
- Psychodynamic Therapy. This type of therapy focuses on your relationship with the world around you by exploring the unconscious mind and early relationship patterns. It helps you understand how suppressed emotions from the past can affect your decision-making and behavior.
Regardless of the type of counseling you choose, there are options for support in your journey to sobriety, recovery, and healing.
Benefits of Counseling
Talking to someone about sex addiction will increase the odds of overcoming it. Not only will you help yourself gain more control, but you can also gain other benefits for yourself and your relationship in the process.
Some benefits of counseling include:
- Encouraging Communication. If you can share your feelings with a counselor or therapist, it may help break down walls between you and your wife and let you open up about what you’re experiencing.
- Reconnecting. A therapist or counselor can help you and your wife reconnect in ways you used to rely on.
- Helping Identify Possible Triggers. When talking things out, you can pick out what makes you want to turn to sex, whether it’s thoughts, images, stress, or other things.
- Suggesting Healthy Coping Mechanisms. When you pin down your triggers, you can work on alternatives to giving in to weaknesses, like prayer or exercise, or even hobbies and activities.
Going to counseling with an open mind and open heart, ready to heal, will go a long way toward helping you recover.
What to Remember About Counseling
Once you decide to pursue counseling or therapy, you’ll need to keep a couple of things in mind about the process. First, your initial choice of counselor might not be the right one for you. It’s OK to try different therapists or counselors that fit your preferences, schedule, or budget.
Second, keep your expectations realistic. While treatments can be effective, you won’t solve your problems with a small amount of effort in just a session or two. You need to consistently attend your scheduled sessions and do the work your counselor encourages you to do outside of the office.
What Boulder Recovery Offers
Boulder Recovery is a treatment retreat especially for men who have sex, pornography, and relationship issues. Our 14-Day Men’s Intensive helps men face these issues and deal with the root causes, including unresolved trauma.
Wives also deal with their own issues regarding their husbands’ sex addiction. So Boulder’s Partner Support Program teaches them tools to help them positively and effectively address those concerns head-on.
Boulder Recovery’s trained counselors take the appropriate approaches to address each individual’s needs, including group meetings and individual counseling sessions.
Boulder Recovery has counselors ready to help you work through sex, porn, and relationship issues. Get in touch with us today to start your journey to recovery.