What is Sexual Addiction?

We are sexual beings. Sex is not inherently problematic. It is part of who we are. Dr. Patrick Carnes, a pioneer in the field, has defined sex addiction as “a pathological relationship with a mood-altering experience.” This means that sex is not the enemy, but the relationship we have with sex that can become a problem.

Sex is a natural drive. It brings pleasure and meaning to our lives. Yet out-of-control sexual behavior can impact our health and can be damaging to relationships. When the reward pathways in our brain become hijacked, sex gets associated with a survival need, and we will do just about anything to obtain it, even if it means hurting ourselves or the ones we love. This is when sex can become addictive.

How do I know if I have a problem?

Identifying sex addiction is complicated. It is not about how often you have sex, who you have sex with or even the kind of sex you like. It is about how problematic your sexual behavior has become. This is only made more complicated by the numerous messages we have received about sexual behavior from our society or religion. It can be very confusing to know if what you are dealing with is healthy sexual expression or an addiction that needs treatment. This is why you may need help from a trained professional who is able to have an objective, clinically valid way of assessing for sexual addiction.

How do I get help?

The first step in getting help is identifying the problem. The proper assessment of sex addiction is key. As a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), we specialize in the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of sexual addiction. If you and/or your partner are confused about whether this is a problem, we would be happy to work with you and help you find answers. We offer individual assessments, couples assessments, and can treat both addicts and partners. Group therapy is also an effective means of treatment for this addiction.

If you or someone you know is struggling with problematic sexual behaviors and would benefit from any of my services, feel free to contact me. You can give us a call at (602) 824-8312