An Introduction to Sex Addiction Part 2


Reclaim Sexual Sanity:  Find Recovery Now by Calling 212-673-5717 for an Initial Consultation.  See www.sextreatment.com for 35 full-length articles about sex addiction and for details about my private practice.

Sex addiction, of course, has nothing to do with sex. Any sexual act or apparent “perversion” has no meaning outside of its psychological,unconscious context. A simple definition of sex addiction is not dissimilar to definitions of other addictions.
 But a simple definition of this complex and intractable condition doesn’t suffice. What sets sex addiction apart from other addictions and makes it so persistent is that the subject of sex touches on our innermost unconscious wishes andfears, our sense of self, our very identity.
Current treatment might include participation in a 12 step programs, going to an outpatient clinic, working with the Patrick Carnes material, aversion therapy, or the use of medications to stave off hypersexuality. Most therapy is cognitive/behavioral, designed to help the patient to control or repress the instinct for a period of time, usually out of a desire to comply with the group norms of their 12 step program or a need to please the sex addiction therapist.
 While I recognize the value the 12 step programs in providing structure and support, in my opinion, the reason that relapse is so prevalent is that these treatment modalities do not effect long-term structuralpersonality change that eliminates compulsive behavior at its roots.
Current treatment aims to transform psychic energy, enabling thereality part of the mind to dominate the personality so that the impulseto act out can be understood, controlled, and ultimately eliminated.
Sex addiction is a symbolic enactment of deeply entrenched unconscious dysfunctional relationship patterns with self and others. It involves a person’s derailed developmental process that occurred as a result of inadequate parenting. Hence, permanent growth and change are most likely to occur in the arena of contemporary psychodynamic therapy, which seeks understanding and repair of these unconsciousdysfunctional relationship patterns along with the development of a more unified and structured sense of self.
This new personalityrestructuring can better self-regulate feeling states without  using destructive  sex and can find meaningpleasureintimacy, meaningfulgoals and a sense of achievement from attainable and appropriate sources in life.
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One thought on “An Introduction to Sex Addiction Part 2

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