Sexual addiction therapy is provided for people who are engaging in sexual behaviours that they feel are increasingly out of their control and are having negative consequences upon themselves, those close to them and upon other important areas of their lives.
What is Sexual Addiction?
Sexual addiction or sexual compulsivity are terms used to describe a preoccupation with sexual thought and behaviour that can be all consuming, destructive and very difficult to change particularly on your own. It can often be associated with secrecy and feelings of shame, isolation and hopelessness which makes it difficult to face up to the reality of the problem and seek help.
Like alcohol, drug use and gambling sexual thoughts and behaviours can be used as a means of coping with difficult life situations or feelings. This becomes problematic when a dependency develops upon these sexual thoughts and behaviours to provide comfort, escapism, excitement or relief. Increasing amounts of time are spent thinking about sex and engaging in sexual activity. More and more of the sexual activity is needed in order to feel the same level of emotional high. Furthermore many can feel very low in their mood afterwards with an increasing sense of detachment and isolation. This will inevitably lead back to the very sexual behaviours that are causing the problem in the first place as there is a need to block out or anaesthatise such negative feelings. What develops is the feeling of being trapped into a cycle that becomes increasingly hard to break.
What is Sexual Addiction Therapy?
Sexual Addiction therapy seeks to support each person to understand, manage and change their problematic sexual behaviours. In general it begins with an initial assessment of the specific problem. It aims to support the person to develop a better understanding of the cycle of sexually compulsive behaviour. It looks at how this cycle first began and how it has developed over time. It seeks to recognise specific situations as well as factors from each person’s background that are contributing to the problem. It aims to explore and identify what psychological and emotional needs are being met through their sexual behaviours. With this knowledge and understanding Sexual Addiction therapy supports each person to identify how these needs may be met in a way that is healthier and more positive for them in their lives. How long it takes will depend on each person’s specific strengths, needs and particular therapeutic goals. It begins with an acknowledgement that there is a problem and taking the courage to seek help.
Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous Ireland provide a Twelve Step Group oriented approach. For more information see