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Sex Addiction Counseling: Therapy, Side Effects And Rehabilitation programs

Last Updated: Mar 02, 2020

Is Sex addiction real?

Sex addiction is a real phenomenon and affects the brain in a similar manner to drug or alcohol. People who suffer from the addiction not only crave for sexual acts but suffer from stress, anxiety and depression. Studies state that sex addiction is a real disorder and people suffering from it actually needs help. The condition puts social and personal life, job and health of an individual at risk. However, it is often confusing to differentiate between sex addiction and advanced libido.

How can I overcome a sex addiction?

It is not easy to overcome addiction. A person having sexual addiction would find it difficult to bring a change in their thought pattern and behavior. First and foremost, the support of friends and family helps in controlling addiction to sex. Apart from it, counselling and medications can enable an individual to get rid of sex addiction. Therapies can be given to these people in order to bring a change in their behavior.

How Sex addiction counseling is done?

Sex addiction counseling is generally done in 3 steps, which involves-

  • Acceptance- Firstly, sex addicts have to realize that they are suffering from a Progressive Intimacy Disorder. Making them realize the problem is the first step of the treatment. During this period they have to accept that the problem is not going to disappear on its own and help is required otherwise they can be a threat to themselves and others.
  • Action- This is the next step when the counselor actually starts the process of management. He may suggest abstinence from sex for a certain period of time. This sort of abstinence means no sexual activity at all, not even masturbation. This period is generally very difficult for addicts as they go through withdrawal symptoms such as sudden cravings, strange fantasies, lack of sleep and sex dreams. After the initial withdrawal symptoms re-adjustment of mind and body occurs.
  • Accountability- Once the addict learns to abstain, he is encouraged to read about sex addiction and how to deal with it on a regular basis. During this period the addict becomes conscious about the life that he had been leading and the life that he should now lead. Regular meeting with his counselor and group meeting are encouraged.

During the last stage of counselling-CBT may be introduced, in which the patient is given certain tools and introduced to techniques which help him shift his focus and thoughts away from sex. This type of therapy also helps avoid relapse. In some cases anti-depressants are prescribed as well.

Are there any side effects?

In the process of sex addiction counseling, during the second stage of Action, an addict will go through withdrawal symptoms. Withdrawal symptoms can lead to cravings, strange fantasies, lack of sleep and sex dreams. But with time these symptoms will soon stop and the individual can learn how to manage his addiction.

If an addict is prescribed anti-depressants during his/her treatment period he may experience nausea, insomnia, constipation, dry mouth, fatigue and weight gain.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Post the counseling treatment the addict has to stay honest with himself/herself and his/her family and abstain from sex. Being sexually sober is very important, especially during the first year post treatment.

One also needs to work on emotional growth and slowly and steadily repair his/her relationship with family and friends.During this period it is highly essential that the patient leads a balanced life, both physically and emotionally.

How long does it take to recover?

Complete recovery from sex addiction does take quite a long time. Patience with the addict is of utmost importance. Full recovery takes about 3-5 years.

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What is the price ofsex addiction counseling in India?

The price depends on the kind of treatment one opts for. Generally, the cost of residential rehabilitation is more as compared to single sessions which range from Rs 1000 to Rs 2500.

How to treat sex addiction at home?

First of all, it is necessary to shift your focus from the dependency on something productive that may serve a purpose in life. A person should spend more time with family and friends to get rid of this addiction. All those who suffer from sex addiction should indulge themselves in social things. They can also distract themselves from sexual thoughts by playing sports or going to the gym.

Basically, one can set any hobby as per their interest such as reading books, volunteering for a political cause, listening to music or any other healthy recreation for feeling refreshed. Visiting temple or church, going to bed early at night, meditation & exercise also helps to treat sex addiction at home.

Sex addiction rehabilitation programs:

There are many rehabilitation centers that offer programs for treating sex addiction. Most of the time, 12-step programs such as Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) is being followed in which the patients are motivated to abstain themselves from compulsive behavior and destructive sexual acts. Inpatient treatment programs are run which involves detaching the sex addict from their normal routine for a minimum 30 days. Group therapy sessions are also provided to allow for faster recovery and healing.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is another program to help anyone facing this disorder by teaching them how to change their behavior and thought process. Usually, one-on-one sessions are given to an individual by a therapist who expertise in mental health. Lastly, some antidepressant medications can also help to reduce sexual urges under the course of drug therapy.

Is Sex addiction curable?

Individuals who suffer from sex addiction generally make a conscious attempt at behavior control but usually fail. They go out of their way to obtain sex and this behavior generally comes in the way of their normal life, affecting their work as well as social activities. They can suffer from sudden rate and also tend to be violent by nature.

There is no specific cure available for sex addiction, but treatment is possible and one can manage this problem effectively with proper guidance. Sex therapy and counseling are the best options one can opt for to manage sex addiction. Therapy generally aims to train the individual to control his compulsions so that it does not interfere with his/her normal life.

Sex addiction counseling can be in the form of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), medication as well as effective education. Patients can either opt for a residential rehabilitation program, go for regular counseling sessions at a clinic or to a private counselor.

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Written ByMs. Taral Parekh Post Graduate Diploma In Counselling Psychology,Masters of Counselling Psychology,CE in Cognitive Behavior TherapyPsychology
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Reviewed ByMS Anjali KanojiaMA Applied PsychologyPsychology
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