The information for this weblog came from an article called This is What It Is Like to Lose Everything to Sex Addiction, written by Brian Whitney, Substance.com, Oct 22, 2014. I share this information with you to give you, the reader a better understanding of what is done in various sex addiction rehab programs and the meager results that come from going through them. First, lets be clear that sexual addiction isn’t about sex. For the author of this article it was about the control and power that came with the ability to have multiple sex partners while lying to each of them. After losing everything including, his marriages, homes and jobs, not once, but twice because he couldn’t stop the behavior, he went to two different rehab programs in 2007. This is what he relates were his experiences in each of them.
The first rehab program was an outpatient that lasted two weeks. The focus was on “sobriety” which meant no acting out in a sexual fashion as well as staying away from drinking and no smoking of pot. This was the opposite end of the spectrum from the acting out that was being done on a daily basis by the men in the program.
He was one of four men who did group sessions all day. They then had individual therapy, went out to dinner with his group and then went to a Sex Addicts Anonymous meeting in the evening. Though he found the therapist helpful calling him on his “shit” never allowing him to blame others for his behavior, he found the group meetings to be a place where they talked things out while secretly thinking about how screwed up everyone else was. At the end of the two weeks the families and girlfriends flew out to see the progress that was made. The author stated that his answer was ‘not much.”
He next went to a one month inpatient program with fifteen guys in the program. During the two months he was there, he only had two individual sessions. Mainly it was about being “beaten down” for the terrible behavior demonstrated and then addressing what a terrible person you were to the group. It was a group of men who were dealing with much more serious sex addiction problems then those in the outpatient program. They had to make a “victim list” of all the people that they ever hurt and read it in front of the group. They had to write letters to their partners telling them everything that they had ever done. They went to sex addicts meetings here to, but in the poorer section of the city finding themselves with people who were “sad and hollow.” Talking about sex all day he found to be “numbing.”
After what came to six weeks of treatment the fantasies and impulses remained the same. The only difference was that after acting out, he would feel like “shit.” He lost everything again a couple of years later lying and manipulating the same people and they were not so forgiving that time.
More recently he has been able to see some change in himself, not hating himself so much, working to be honest about about who he is to the people in his life as much as he can. His belief is that he is able to be a bit better these days never wanting to repeat the experience he had at the inpatient program fining it a horrible experience.
The points that this writer makes about his treatment are important. I have never heard of someone healing as a result of beating themselves up, or having others beat them up. It is also a rather pointless act to tell people that they have to stop doing what is a normal human behavior. What needs to be dealt with is why it is that the person is doing that behavior. Because, no matter the addiction that a person is dealing with, there is always an underlying cause.
I know from the research I did for the book I wrote called Do I Have A Sex Addiction? Now What? the reason that sex addicts have their sex addiction is because they never developed what is known as a “normal attachment” with their primary care taker. We are speaking about something that is to occur when a child is an infant. So, one needn’t be blamed for this problem. One needs to understand why they are the way they are and help them to learn how to have “normal attachments” so they can feel the sort of emotional connection that is necessary for them to feel loved and cared for in their primary relationships. Yes, the addiction does need to be addressed, however, that is only a part of the work that needs to be done. As a hypnotist I don’t believe in the brainwashing of addicts telling them that this is all they will ever be, because my clients an other hypnotists clients have demonstrated that this is untrue. I know that the more you tell yourself something or allow others to call you something, that your unconscious mind will play that out. There are much better hypnotic techniques to use to let go of the addiction aspect of the problem.
Compassion and teaching are what is needed here, not shaming and deprivation. Sex to these guys is just that, sex. It has no meaning to it and that is why they have a terrible time staying with one relationship. They don’t know that the lack of ability to form normal attachments is the real reason for their problem and the majority of programs for them don’t teach them this rather important aspect of the genesis of their problem.
After working with sex addicts for over a decade, I can honestly say that they are among my favorite groups to work with for a few reasons. First, by the time they make the decision to drop a few grand for the treatment, they are ready to be done with the shame and double lives they live. Second, they are intelligent and kind people who are confounded by their behavior. They don’t understand it and once given the facts and the tools to do so, in a matter of 4 to 6 weeks they turn it around. This is only true of those who are ready to be done with the sex addiction. Those who are ready to learn how to be honest first with themselves and then with those in their life. Many of my sex addict clients are executives or self-employed. These are men and women that you would never know had this problem by looking at them.
I tell my clients that if they want to get well, then they need to leave the judgments of themselves and those they interact with aside and start dealing with compassion and love for themselves and others. No one chooses to have these problems and for that reason alone our society needs to wake up and deal with the root causes so we can get these individuals back into their relationships in a healthy way for all concerned. In this way we can have normal families living normal lives. That is what the goal needs to be as many of these men have families of their own.
Do I have a Sex Addiction? Now What?
Do you suspect that either you or a loved one might have a Sex or Porn Addiction? Find out for sure as well as the best ways to treat Sex and Porn Addiction in "Do I have a Sex Addiction? Now What?", currently available from the Dawning Visions Hypnosis StoreDo I have a Sex Addiction? Now What?
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