Sex Rehab: Healthy Sex vs. Sex Addiction
Sex Rehab Leads to Understanding that Sexual Behaviors Are Not The Problem
Sex Rehab can put the Sex Addict on the Road to Sexual Health
Sex Rehab can put the Partner of the Sex Addict on the Road to Sexual Health
1. Sex Rehab: Healthy Sex vs. Sex Addiction
The main factors determining sexual addiction are loss of control over sexual behaviors, failed attempts to stop and persistent pursuit of self-destructive or high-risk behaviors despite the threat of serious negative consequences including marital, job and legal problems.
Sex addiction is not about sex. Sex is not enjoyable for the addict but rather is the vehicle for acting out:
- childhood trauma and sexual abuse
- sexual shame
- addictions within families
2. Sex Rehab Leads to Understanding that Sexual Behaviors Are Not The Problem
There is not any particular sexual behavior that identifies someone as a sex addict. Recovery is not about pathologizing sexual behaviors, rather it is to understand the compulsive and destructive relationship with the sexual behaviors.
Many people falsely believe that recovery from sex addiction makes people afraid of their sex fantasies, desires and arousal templates. The goal is not to fear the sexual desires and behaviors, but rather to understand them.
3. Sex Rehab can put the Sex Addict on the Road to Sexual Health
The goals for the sex addict to pursue in sex rehab are:
- Write out all the ways sexual behaviors have interfered with your life.
- Disclose to a therapist or 12-step group member sexual secrets to eliminate shame as shame drives much of sex addiction.
- Consider medication, as many anti-depressants curb sexual arousal, which in turn can help manage compulsive sexual behaviors, especially in the beginning of recovery.
4. Sex Rehab can put the Partner of the Sex Addict on the Road to Sexual Health
Many partners of sex addicts mistakenly believe that providing more sex will help the addict from acting out. Remember, this is not about sex; it is about inner problems within the addict.
The goals in helping the partner learn healthy tools in sex rehab are:
- Understand it is not your fault. It is not about how much or little the addict loves you. This problem is theirs and came with them into the relationship.
- Write out all the big and little traumas caused by the sex addict’s behaviors and prepare to have a dialogue with the addict about them.
- Focus on your own recovery and not the addict’s. It is common to be overly focused on the addict’s recovery and lose sight of your own sanity and well-being.