What is treatment for sex/porn addiction and for co-occurring substance use and sexual behavior?
In a general way, treatment for these issues utilizes the same basic strategies and techniques that work with alcoholism, drug addiction, other behavioral addictions, and eating disorders. Early treatment efforts focus on containing the problematic behavior. Safety is our primary concern. After that, we focus on breaking through your denial, managing the crisis or crises that pushed you into recovery, and preventing relapse. Nearly all sex/porn addicts are trauma-based in their behavior, but dedicated trauma therapy is typically set aside in the early stages of treatment, embarked upon only after you’ve established a modicum of sexual sobriety, ego strength, and social support.
Treatment includes both individual and group therapy—most often a directive, behavior-focused modality like cognitive behavioral therapy—paired with social learning, psycho-education, 12-step or other addiction-focused social support, and alternative methodologies like psychodrama, art and movement therapies, exercise, meditation, animal therapies, adventure therapies, and the like. Some clients might also begin a trial-run of an antianxiety or antidepressant medication, as these can reduce not only anxiety and depression but cravings to act out sexually.
What is sexual sobriety?
Fortunately, unlike sobriety for alcoholism and drug addiction, sexual sobriety is not defined by long-term abstinence. Celibacy is not a long-term solution to sex/porn addiction. Recognizing this, we define sexual sobriety as we define sobriety with eating disorders—another area in which long-term abstinence is simply not feasible. Rather than permanently abstaining from all sexual activity, recovering sex/porn addicts think about sobriety as learning to be sexual in non-compulsive, non-problematic, life-affirming ways.
What is the daily regimen of treatment?
- Full Psychiatric and Psychosexual Evaluation
- Completion of the Sexual Dependency Inventory (Done Online)
- Behaviorally Focused Individual and Group Therapy
- Sexual (and Chemical) Sobriety Education
- Social Learning and Accountability
- Alternative Therapeutic Modalities (Art Therapy, Psychodrama, Adventure Therapy, etc.)
- 12-Step Sexual Recovery Focus and Participation
- Digital Era (Online) Recovery and Participation
- Prodependent Partner/Family Involvement
- Shame Resilience Work
- Somatic Experiencing (Trauma Work)
- Self-Care (Exercise, Meditation, Yoga, Massage, Acupuncture, etc.)
- Aftercare (Relapse Prevention) Planning and Implementation
- Continued Treatment-Group Interaction (Weekly Online Meetings)