Sex Addiction Treatments
What are the six primary treatments for sex addiction?
Sex addiction treatment was once a little talked about concept without many successful recovery programs and devoid of many standard modalities of treatment. The general outlook in the past was that sex addicts were people who "like sex a little bit too much" and who would spend inordinate amounts of time seeking out sexual encounters compared to the rest of the population. Fast forward to today and the problem that sex addiction poses is becoming increasingly mainstream and recognized.
The field of sex addiction therapy and treatment is a relatively new field in comparison to other forms of addiction and behavioral treatment. The idea that sex addiction is an acute disorder and directly related to (if not synonymous with) hypersexuality and compulsive sexual behavior has become accepted by licensed psychologists and behavioral health professionals around the world. Interest has grown to an extent where sexual disorders are being proposed for entry into the International Classification of Disease (ICD).
The compulsive sexual behavior disorder is specifically receiving more attention with relation to the ICD-11 and may be added as a diagnosable condition under the impulse control disorder section. With increased awareness of sex addiction, comes increased opportunities and modalities to help sex addicts recover.
Treatment options for sex addicts have branched into several different categories and there six major types of sex addiction treatments. They are inpatient, 3 and 5 day intensives, outpatient, retreats, twelve step support groups and self-help. As awareness has grown significantly over the last few decades, more professional psychologists have entered the field of sex addiction treatment by offering solutions to provide sex addict help.
When considering treatment options for sex addiction, it is important to carefully review the organization, certifications and leadership of the treatment program. Effective modalities and treatment programs will address the sex addiction at its core, define the underlying causes, help relationship partners cope and present achievable paths to recovery.
Sex Addict Help: Treatment Option 1
What Is Inpatient Sex Addiction Treatment?
- Complete sex addiction recovery programs.
- Can address multiple needs for different disorders.
- Isolated environments to help sex addicts recover.
- Personalized treatment plans and facilities.
- 24/7 supervision and staffing.
- Most expensive of the treatment options.
- Costs can range from $10,000 to $100,000+.
- Can take a large amount of time from weeks to months.
- Some sex addiction "treatment centers" are not certified and their aftercare programs are not clearly defined.
When Is Inpatient Sex Addiction Treatment Recommended?
Inpatient sex addiction treatment is a complete recovery solution. It is recommended when people struggling with sex addiction have tried most other options, continually lose track of themselves in the recovery process and have trouble fighting the sexual urges which keep them trapped in the addiction. This treatment option can help you recover by providing you with the resources you need while you are in the facility. Inpatient programs are a big commitment of both time and money, so it is important to understand what you are signing up for before you enter a facility to undergo treatment.
If you think this treatment option might be an option you would like to consider, take a hard look at facilities (tour them if you can) and ask the director and staff hard questions about their experience, what their program looks like, how it will help you, how will it help your partner and what you expect in the aftercare phases when you complete the inpatient therapy.
Sex Addict Help: Treatment Option 2
What are 3 and 5 Day Intensive Sex Addiction Treatment Programs?
3 and 5 Day Intensive Pros:
- Complete sex addiction recovery programs for sex addicts and their partners.
- Short time spans covering 3 or 5 days.
- Structured environments with focuses on sex addiction recovery while having contact with the outside world.
- Includes partner recovery and helping her heal.
- Lower cost compared to the inpatient treatment.
3 and 5 Day Intensive Cons:
- Not the cheapest treatment option.
- Costs range into the thousands of dollars.
- Doesn't include on-site amenities, food or lodging.
- Aftercare takes work when the intensive is finished.
- The couple's healing session doesn't shorten their grieving process.
When Are 3 and 5 Day Intensives Recommended?
3 and 5 day intensive treatments are complete recovery solutions to help you understand the sex addiction, what is causing it, how to stop it and the direction you need to go to move forward into recovery. Intensives are recommended when people struggling with sex addiction are in early recovery or are stuck in recovery and cannot move past certain points. Intensives are also helpful in accelerating recovery and helping couples heal their relationship together.
If you attend an intensive training program, make sure that whoever is offering the intensive is certified in some manner to treat sex addiction. Ask them what their background is in counseling, if they are a licensed psychologist, do they offer psychological testing and polygraphs, and what does their disclosure process look like.
Sex Addict Help: Treatment Option 3
What Are Outpatient Sex Addiction Treatment Programs?
- Flexible sex addiction recovery programs.
- Is based around meetings with local counselors.
- Can also be accomplished through telephone counseling.
- Utilizes resources like twelve step support groups, recovery books, workbooks and DVDs.
- More cost-effective with paying by the session.
- Limited contact and not a complete recovery program.
- Includes fewer resources than intensives and inpatient.
- Some therapists do not address partner recovery.
- Your average "counselor" is not certified to treat sex addiction or deal with the associated issues.
When Is Outpatient Sex Addiction Treatment Recommended?
Outpatient treatment is treatment option which includes combining counseling sessions (whether in person or by phone) with outside resources like recovery groups. It is recommended if you are self-aware of your problem of sex addiction, are working toward recovery on your own and need occasional help from outside your circle of influence to help you and your partner or spouse make positive steps in recovery.
If you plan on undergoing an outpatient sex addiction treatment program ask yourself this: "How many times have I relapsed?" and "Am I actively struggling with _____?" (Insert your struggle here whether it's lust, pornography, affairs or something else.) Outpatient treatment is not recommended if you are constantly relapsing or actively fighting sex addiction because you are already fighting an uphill battle and the chances of recovering successfully are lower.
Finally, make sure your outpatient counselor or therapist is certified to treat sexual addiction. While many counselors are great at helping you understand your feelings and relationships, they may not understand specific sex addiction triggers, patterns of behavior and recovery paths. Certifications like the Sexual Recovery Therapist (SRT) can be crucial to helping you start a life free from sexual addiction.
Sex Addict Help: Treatment Option 4
What Are Sex Addiction Treatment Retreats?
- Informative recovery sessions featuring defined topics.
- A great introduction to what sex addiction recovery looks like and how to take next steps in that direction.
- Short time frames usually involving a Friday, Saturday and Sunday or another short period of days.
- Usually grounded in a religious belief system.
- Fixed cost covering the retreat fee.
- Usually do not provide deep dives into sex addiction treatment, therapy and healing.
- Group taught - meaning there may not be focus sessions with you and a counselor learning how to best help you.
- Can present a "camp mentality" where you may find it hard to adapt the taught principles to your reality and situation after leaving the retreat.
When Are Sex Addiction Retreats Recommended?
Sex addiction treatment retreats are recommended when people are seeking to learn more about sex addiction and the specific topics the retreat focuses on. Retreats are usually pretty good about presenting information in a group setting in the form of lectures and seminars. It is important to select the right retreat which will help you toward your goals.
If you are thinking about attending a sex addiction treatment retreat, do your homework on the organization and group hosting it. Try to dig into the topics and the speakers presenting those topics to learn more about their backgrounds. It is important to understand how the retreat will help you before you attend or pay any money upfront. If you already understand what sex addiction is or are looking for a more personal treatment approach, you may be better suited to other forms of sex addiction treatment.
Sex Addict Help: Treatment Option 5
What Are Twelve Step Support Groups For Sex Addiction Treatment?
Twelve Step Support Group Pros:
- Supportive group environment which helps you find recovery from sex addiction.
- Sponsors who will support you during recovery.
- A system which helps you work the steps.
- Calls which give you barriers to acting out and relapsing.
Twelve Step Support Group Cons:
- Not a complete recovery solution in itself.
- Does not include recovery solutions for partners.
- Recovery and sobriety can have different definitions depending on the group.
- Some groups have more relapses than recovery.
- Finding a local group can be challenging.
When Are Twelve Step Support Groups Recommended?
Twelve step support groups are used to define a variety of types of groups which work the twelve steps of recovery including sexaholics anonymous, sex and love addicts anonymous, sexual compulsives anonymous, and sexual recovery anonymous. These groups vary from location to location, so you will need to see which twelve step group chapters are located near you.
Twelve step groups are recommended to anyone in recovery from sex addiction or who is looking for more avenues of accountability and structure in their life. You may have to attend several meetings to see if a group is the right "fit" for you. There are online and local groups as well, so if you are unable to find a local group in your area, check out virtual support groups.
Sex Addict Help: Treatment Option 6
What Is Self-Help Sex Addiction Treatment?
Self-Help Treatment Pros:
- The lowest cost sex addiction recovery option.
- A great starting point to arm yourself with knowledge and learn what you need to know to be successful.
- Low-impact - only you know about your sex addiction.
- Easily transitioned into other sex addiction treatment programs which are complete recovery programs.
Self-Help Treatment Cons:
- Limited in scope since you can only do as much as you know and are limited by yourself and available resources.
- Secrecy - to fully recover it helps if more people know and understand your sex addiction.
- There are no set timeframes, goals to achieve, or established structure and guidelines.
When Is Self-Help Treatment Recommended?
Self-help sex addiction treatment is recommended when people are just starting out on the recovery journey. The more you know about sex addiction the better you can fight it and the higher your chances of recovery will be. There are many great books, workbooks, and DVDs which can empower you with knowledge about sexual addiction. Self-help treatment is not a be all and end all however.
Recovering addicts are only as strong as their strongest moments and weak moments can lead to relapse in a moments notice. It is helpful to seek help outside of yourself even if you are greatly benefiting from your own studying and self-therapy. Solutions like talking with a certified sex addiction counselor as part of a 3 or 5 day intensive or an outpatient sex addiction recovery program will enhance and increase your recovery drastically.