Sexual addiction therapy helps individuals address underlying mental health problems that contribute to their compulsive behaviors. These include attachment-related traumas like physical, emotional or psychological abuse, poor self-image, and unhealthy family dynamics including parental enmeshment and neglect. Individual therapy for sex addiction is usually coupled with coping skills and mindfulness practices to address the root of the problem.
People with sex addiction often engage in sexually risky behavior that can cause severe consequences for their physical, emotional and career lives. For example, promiscuous sex can lead to the transmission of HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Many people with sex addiction struggle to maintain their relationships, even with spouses and significant others. They may also spend a lot of their time looking for or engaging in unprotected sex, which can strain these relationships and increase the stress on other areas of their lives such as work or school.
Sex addiction behavior can also have serious legal and professional consequences. For example, using their employer’s computer to search for pornography or having unprotected sex can put someone at risk of being fired. Additionally, many people with sex addiction are addicted to drugs or alcohol and use these substances to escape painful emotions and to stimulate pleasure.
Depending on their circumstances, individuals with sex addiction may benefit from individual therapy, sex addiction support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or other psychosocial treatments for sex addiction. Many people with sex addiction experience underlying trauma in childhood, and this can contribute to their addiction behaviors. Trauma-focused treatment approaches such as EMDR, Somatic experiencing and post induction therapy can be effective in helping sex addicts heal their past traumas and improve their relationship with themselves and their partners. sex addiction therapy