More than a habit or a quirk, and more than simply choosing negative behaviour
Behaviours that are compulsive and result in the individual experiencing harm - and consequences of engaging in that behaviour - are considered addictions.
In the case of those with sex addiction, specific acts or thoughts about sex become the problematic behaviour, rather than the use of a physical substance like alcohol or drugs. The addict focusses intensely on these behaviours and thoughts, just as a person with drug or alcohol addiction is focussed on their next fix or drink.
Many sex addicts are able to hide their addiction or make excuses for their behaviour in the short term. But over time, and as the addiction becomes more pronounced, the ability to hide their actions or make excuses can no longer be maintained. This can result in loss of relationships, loss of work an even criminal conviction. In some cases it also results in health issues, including diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease.
Most sex addicts are not engaged in illegal sexual activities, although that can occur as an addiction progresses. Each individual will have different behaviours related to sex, and these may change over time and with increasing exposure to alternative forms of sex, pornography or in sexual encounters.
Treatment at The London Practice
As a specialised area of therapy work, the psychotherapists and counsellors at The London Practice are highly experienced in the treatment of sex addiction. At our Harley Street office clients can meet with therapists in complete privacy and confidentiality, allowing them to seek the assistance they need to move from addiction to recovery.
Treatment for sex addiction requires a holistic, integrated approach. Private sessions allow the individual to explore the causes of their addiction, as well as looking at how issues in the past may have contributed to their current sexual behaviour. Research shows that the majority of people with sex addiction have come from dysfunctional families. This may include families where there was physical abuse towards the children, and possibly sexual abuse.
By bringing in approaches and techniques from different psychotherapy methods, our therapists are able to guide clients through discussions and exercises which help determine the cause of the behaviour, and to allow us develop new and healthy ways to cope.
The Challenges in Treatment
Sex addicts, like food addicts, have to engage in a different type of treatment than substance abusers. It is impossible to simply go without food, and the sex drive is a basic drive in all human beings. For sex addicts in relationships, with spouses or partners, sex will be a part of the ongoing relationship. As addicts recover they will move into healthy relationships, and knowing how to manage sexual intimacy without triggering the addiction is a central part of any treatment.
If you or a loved one is concerned about sex addiction, call for a confidential meeting with a psychotherapist trained in addiction recovery. We work with clients in Mayfair, Chelsea and throughout London, from our conveniently located Harley Street office.
Contact us to find out more about how we might be able to help. Call us on 07809 668193, or use our secure email contact form.