OVERVIEW OF ORLANDO SEX ADDICTION COUNSELING
The list of celebrities that are reported to have received sex addiction treatment includes Tiger Woods, Steve Phillips, David Duchovny, Michael Douglas, Eric Benet, Charlie Sheen and Amy Winehouse. Unfortunately, this list will continue to grow with the bombardment of messages of casual sex, hooking up and “just do it” being viewed or listened to every 30 seconds through TV shows, commercials, music, etc.
Is sex addiction real or is it an excuse for bad behavior? The debate will continue among mental health professionals, but regardless this is something everyone should learn about whether you are professional treating sexual addicted persons or a person that is interested in recognizing the signs in your loved ones.
WHAT IS SEX ADDICTION?
Sex addiction is defined as any sexual related, compulsive behavior acted out regardless of the negative consequences to the individual’s life including causing severe stress on their family, friends and their work environment.
Sex addiction has also been referred to as sexual compulsion or dependency. Regardless of the name, the result is the same. It can dominate the sex addict’s life. They will make it a priority over their family, friends, and work. They will sacrifice what they cherish the most in order to continue the unhealthy acting out behavior.
There is no single behavior pattern for sex addiction. However, when a behavior has taken control of the addict’s life and it has become unmanageable, it will include the following (it is important to note that not all sex addicts will become sex offenders):
- Compulsive masturbation (self-stimulation)
- Multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs)
- Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
- Consistent use of pornography
- Unsafe sex
- Phone or computer sex (cybersex, sexting)
- Prostitution or use of prostitutes
- Obsessive dating through personal ads
- Voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking
- Sexual harassment
The Psychotherapy Model and Sex Addiction
The psychotherapy model examines the patterns and rituals of the sex addict along with their sexual history, usually beginning at a young age. This model also treats any sexual abuse the sex addict may have experienced as child or adolescent and helps the addict make any connections to their acting out behaviors.
The addict learns to identify their triggers and danger zones that can contribute to a tendency to want to repeat past behaviors. The model also identifies their automatic negative thoughts, so that they can learn thought stop behaviors.
It is important that the individual seek treatment from a professional that has received training specifically in sexual addiction and has also worked with individuals in the past that have had a successful recovery plan.
Therapists will also include contracting with the individual to participate in a weekly support group, establish an accountability circle with at least two other recovering sex addicts, find a mentor/sponsor who they meet with at least twice a month and read recommended books between sessions to further their insight to their condition.
The Medical Model and Sex Addiction
The medical model examines the cause of sex addiction by physiological factors. However, there is no specific drug therapy for sex addiction. Therefore, psychiatric drugs usually are prescribed that can treat the psychological conditions associated with the addiction. Sex addicts are often prescribed antidepressants, specifically selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Depressive Disorders are a common coexisting condition with sex addiction.
In some cases, the sex addict is treated for obsessive-compulsive disorder. In these cases, medications such as Prozac and Anafranil are prescribed to curb the compulsion.
It is suggested that when the sex addict is engaged in sexual–related activity, they are getting the highest reward in the brain system by producing dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. This contributes to the addict becoming addicted to producing these chemicals which produces the high for the addict.
There is also research that suggests a pre-existing condition such as ADHD, which is suspected of leading to obsessive-compulsive sexual behaviors that the addict uses to cope with the untreated ADHD. Therefore, psycho stimulant medications such as Adderall, Ritalin, Vyvanse Concerta, Dexedrine and Focaline are prescribed to treat the ADHD.
Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Sex addiction is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic Statistic Manual (DSM IV). According to Chester Schmidt, chair of the DSM-IV Sexual Disorder Work Group, there is “no scientific data to support a concept of sexual behavior that is called sex addiction. It is more like a symptom of other psychological problems like depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or bipolar disorder.”
However, many sex addiction professionals are hopeful that this will change in the expansion of the diagnostic choices in 2012. Until sex addiction is formally included in the DSM V, professionals derive a “diagnosis” through assessment protocols specifically designed for the addiction. According to data provided by Patrick Carnes, many sex addicts have co-occurring addictions such as chemical dependency, eating disorders, workaholism, compulsive spending, and gambling, to name a few.
Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict
Don’t Call It Love: Recovery From Sexual Addiction
Facing the Shadow: Starting Sexual and Relationship Recovery
In The Shadows of The Net: Breaking Free from Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior
Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction
The Betrayal Bond: Breaking Free of Exploitive Relationships
Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction
ORLANDO SUPPORT GROUPS
Orlando Faithful and True (Men Sexual Addiction)
Mondays, 7:30 to 9:30 PM Student Minstries and Care Center, Fellowship Hall.
Workbooks are available at Northland’s bookstore for $17. Details and registration:
Bryce Hagedorn (407-227-3072 or Brycehagendon@yahoo.com) or Kevin Urichko
(407-949-7166 or Kevin.email@example.com)
Orlando Women’s Healing Support Group (for women who have been sexually betrayed by their partners)
Wednesdays, 7 to 8:30 PM, Northland Church, Longwood, Florida
Vicki M. Wotring (520-631-0886 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Living In Freedom Everyday (L.I.F.E.)
Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA)
Sex Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA)
Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
IN-PATIENT TREATMENT CENTERS
Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services
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