What Does a Sex Addiction Therapist Do?

A sex addiction therapist is a licensed mental health professional who helps people overcome sexual compulsions. These compulsions can be related to trauma, anxiety, mood disorders or other psychological issues. Many sex addiction treatment programs offer individual and group therapy sessions. The therapy can be done in person or through online counseling sessions.

Often the sex addiction therapist will use cognitive behavioral therapy, which focuses on changing negative thought patterns. It also addresses the underlying reasons for the sex addiction. This can include exploring trauma, learning healthy coping strategies and identifying any co-occurring conditions. Depending on the cause, treatment may also include 12 step recovery groups.

The sex addiction therapist should make sure that their clients understand that sex and masturbation are not necessarily linked to intimacy or love. Sexual addiction usually stems from a desire to avoid emotional distress or soothe a painful past, rather than a drive for intimate connection.

If the sex addiction therapist has little or no experience with this type of client, they should make that clear from the start. They should offer to refer the couple to another therapist who has extensive experience with sex addiction and its symptoms.

The sex addiction therapist should also be careful about sharing their own personal experiences with sex acting out. Unless there is a good reason to do so, such disclosure can harm the couple. In the worst case, it can lead to a revenge attack from a spouse who feels betrayed by the therapist.

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