Working Sexual Addiction Recovery Isn’t Easy
Like all dedicated commitments to self-improvement, working sexual addiction recovery is a difficult and often scary road to trudge. He or she cannot be motivated to change primarily by social or religious guilt. Rather, the man or woman must find strength from a strong desire from within rather from without.
Whatever It Takes To Recover
Success in both counseling and a sex addiction recovery program can only work when the man or woman has reached a point of despair and will do whatever it takes to change. This is distinct from an extrinsic motivation, such as being pressured by an outside influence such as “My wife wants me to come into counseling,” “My church said I needed to recover,” or “My parents said I should get help.”
Sexual Addiction Promises What It Can’t Deliver
He or she must begin their journey with the admission that they are powerless over compulsive sexual behaviors and that they cannot stop on their own power. The life of the sex addict can be called, “a bait-and-switch game,” in which the addiction promises something it cannot deliver. The addiction may promise feeling affirmed, loved, wanted, whole, or finally finding the ultimate sexual high. But in the end, the sexual acts always feel empty and leave a man or women in despair.
Disclosing The Truth About Your Addiction
The most difficult aspect of sexual addiction counseling and recovery is disclosing to another human being the exact nature of the addiction. The primary work of therapy is to help the sex addict to share from a place of authenticity, openness and honesty. Finally, he or she is able to tell another human being the struggles, the shame, and the trauma in their lives.
As a therapist, my goal is to not focus so much on the behaviors but rather on the whole person that has been hiding behind the behaviors. Together, we work on issues like capacity for intimacy, problems with self-esteem, internalized shame, childhood trauma, and the search for life’s purpose.
Being Accepted & Loved
A valuable therapist always communicates his or her complete acceptance of the person and that the person has deep value. People do not recover from sexual addiction only through the working of a program but they change through relationships with caring people who are also working the same program. No matter what she or he has done in the past, they are loved and provided a place to forgive themselves.