A STRENGTH BASED APPROACH FOR
TREATING OUT OF CONTROL SEXUAL BEHAVIOR (OCSB)
If you or a loved one is struggling with compulsive or problematic sexual behavior of any type, you have taken an important first step toward change and healing. Few things hurt as much as feeling betrayed by the ones we love.
I have worked with countless men and women to help them eliminate problematic sexual behaviors of all types and replace them with healthy sexuality. My approach is something I have developed as an alternative to 12-Step programs and is based on sound methods of psychotherapy. I have taught this approach to countless clinicians throughout the United States and abroad. Although I don’t lead with 12-Steps in terms of treatment protocols, I do support many clients who have been in 12-Step recovery programs and come to me following in-patient treatment.
The concept of “sex addiction” is highly controversial and it is more than just a label. It over-simplifies a very complex problem. The “sex addiction” model is a disease model like alcoholism. Sobriety is the goal, and it is treated with 12-Step programs. In some “sex addiction” programs sobriety is defined in a way where there is no acceptance for masturbation for the rest of your life and fetishes are considered to be “part of your addiction” as is many other things like BDSM, or same sex relationships.
ASSESSING YOUR SITUATION
A critical part of my treatment model is to do a proper assessment. On the surface, it generally looks like sex is the problem and sometimes that is true. The truth is however that the problematic sexual behaviors are often a symptom of some other underlying issues such as PTSD, mental health issues, or untreated trauma and abuse. In order for change to be sustainable, we need to understand the whole person.
The majority of my OCSB clients seek treatment because one of the partners got caught acting in a way that was outside their relationship agreement. Secrets can destroy relationships and sexual secrets in particular can feel excruciatingly painful. The injured partner often feels betrayed beyond any words I can express here. For some couples, trust becomes non-existent and the entire relationship is at risk. Couples counseling and individual counseling are often desired and once I have met with you I can help you decide on the appropriate level of care and provide referrals if necessary.
MORE ABOUT “SEX ADDICTION”
When it comes to the concept of “sex addiction” here is an important piece of information as you decide which treatment model you want to pursue.
Since 1952, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has published a reference book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). The DSM 5 is the current edition and nearly 900 pages. The DSM provides common language and standard criteria to classify mental disorders for the psychiatric community, insurance companies and the courts. The DSM 5 includes multiple addictions, including alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and eating disorders. Sex addiction is not included in the DSM 5 and never has been included in any previous version.