Sex Addiction, often referred to as a process addiction or non-substance-related addiction is Addiction that is manifested by a compulsion to repeatedly engage in or act out sexually despite it causing negative consequences to the person’s physical, mental, social, and/or financial well-being. Behaviours persisting in spite of these consequences are commonly a symptom of Addiction.
Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, memory, motivation and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by the use of substances and/or behaviours such as sex, food, gambling, shopping etc. Addiction is about differences in brain functioning where the substance use or behaviours are recognized as consequences of the disease. Addiction is a single condition-Addiction is Addiction rather than describing “addictions” such as alcohol addiction in distinction from cocaine addiction and sex addiction.
Addiction is characterized by:
A. Inability to consistently Abstain
B. Impairment in Behavioural control
D. Diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviour and interpersonal relationships and
E. A dysfunctional Emotional response
Sex Addiction treatment
While total abstinence is often not the long-term goal of treatment for Addiction involving sex, periods of complete abstinence are often necessary, particularly in early recovery. Through counselling, goals are set around sexual behaviours that can be done without shame or compromise of values and behaviours are discussed honestly. Slips into compulsive behaviour are to be expected and are used to re-draw boundaries and reestablish goals. This work may be done in residential, partial hospitalization, intensive or outpatient settings and participation in sex-specific 12-step groups is often very useful.
At Health Upwardly Mobile, we provide outpatient continuing care for Addiction. All new clients initially undergo our full comprehensive assessment. It is recommended that all 3 appointments be done on separate days to optimize the opportunity for you to talk openly and honestly with each professional and learn incrementally through each interaction. A comprehensive treatment plan will be developed throughout this process and shared with you as the assessment progresses. By the third and final assessment session, recommendations will be discussed, which will provide guidance regarding ongoing services at HUM, which includes individual counselling and group therapy. Referrals to external resources can be done as needed.
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