Frequently Asked Questions about Sexual Addiction
Q: "What is sexual addiction?"
A: Sexual addiction contains at least three main elements, although there are others.
1/ A compulsion to continue unwanted sexual behavior despite adverse consequences.
2/ Increasing tolerance to the behaviour (stronger stimulus is required to get the same effect)
3/ Withdrawal if behaviour is stopped (physical and/or emotional).
***See additional signs in the "SELF-TEST" under What We Offer***
Q: "What causes sexual addiction?"
A: There are several factors that can contribute to a person developing a sexual addiction, and they vary with each individual. Often there are several issues that are related to each other, and they should each be dealt with. Some common issues that come out are: trauma, neglect or abuse, early exposure to pornography, habitual masturbation, environmental influences as well as biological factors such as mood disorders or genetic prediposition.
Q: "Can a persons' addiction change over time?"
A: Yes. There are different phases of addiction, and different cycles within each phase.
Q: "Are all sexual addictions the same?"
A: No. There are 6 types of sex addicts. The treatments will vary depending on the type of addict a person is. A person may be more than one type. We can assess your type in your first session if you like.
Q: "How long does recovery take?"
A: This depends on how much work and effort a person is willing to put in to their recovery. A person can begin to have immediate progress from the first session, and experience a significant difference within the first 30-60 days. For others it may be longer; most sexual addiction develops and continues over many years, and permanent change does not occur overnight...recovery is a journey, not a destination.
Q: "What will happen if I go for help with my addiction"
A: All sessions are conducted with complete confidentiality. You will be assessed to determine if indeed you have a sex addiction, and what type(s) of addict you are. A treatment plan will be worked out with you to achieve your goals of recovery.
Q: "Is there a "genetic" component to sex addiction?"
A: Yes, for many, if not most sex addicts, there is a strong biological component of sexual addiction that works on the neuropathways of the brain. Research has shown that all forms of sexual stimuli effect certain parts of the brain and over time the brain can actually change and form new neuropathways that make it more difficult to change.
Q: "Does sexual addiction affect the partner as well?"
A: Absolutely. Learning of a partners addiction can be a devastating experience and many partners of addicts show signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. We work with partners as well in the recovery process to ensure no one is "left behind".