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Just as drug addicts and alcoholics sometimes require residential addiction treatment, Sexual addicts may also need to get out of the home environment (an environment of temptation) to make a clean break from temptation and compulsive sexual acts.

Sexual addiction can be treated on an outpatient or residential basis. Some people will find that outpatient counseling and participation in sexual support organizations enables the end of compulsive sexual acts/thoughts. Other people may find that staying in an environment of sexual temptation makes initial recovery difficult. There is no right or wrong answer, just a right for you answer.

People who might consider getting residential sexual addiction treatment include sexual addicts who:

  • Cannot control their compulsive sexual behaviors, even for a short time
  • Have a co occurring mental health or substance abuse problem
  • Have tried outpatient counseling and repeatedly relapsed to compulsive sexual activity
  • Lack social support

Residential Sexual Addiction Treatment

Some common program elements offered at residential sexual addiction treatment programs include:

  • Disease education – lectures and classes that teach you why you act as you do
  • Group Counseling – Counselor led group therapy sessions that engage a group of sexual addicts in a communication and problem solving
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – A physiological technique that teaches sex addicts how thoughts induce feelings and actions and that by learning techniques to control harmful thoughts compulsions are reduced. CBT is one of the most effective counseling methods for a wide variety of mental health conditions, and should be an integral part of any sexual addiction recovery program.
  • Individual therapy – Personalized talk therapy can help sexual addicts deal with issues that arise because of (or that may cause) sexual compulsions.
  • Couples therapy – Many sex addicts enter into treatment after harming a loved one (or on an ultimatum from a loved one) couples therapy can be a valuable part of the recovery process, helping both partners learn to enjoy a health sexuality together. In many cases, couples therapy is required to salvage a relationship damaged by the compulsive sexual behaviors of the addict.
  • 12 steps support groups – Sexaholics anonymous is a 12 step support organization that follows as 12 steps based those of Alcoholics Anonymous. Longer term participation in support groups like SA can be helpful in maintaining recovery and so an introduction to the 12 steps during a residential treatment stay paves the groundwork for aftercare in the community.
  • Medication – In some cases, a psychiatrist may prescribe a medication like an SSRI anti depressant to help curb obsessive thoughts and compulsive actions. It can be beneficial to select a sex addiction program that can provide access to a psychiatrist for medication, if necessary.

Entering into a residential facility minimizes temptation and can help a sex addict achieve an initial period of abstinence from compulsive sexual acts.

A quality sex addiction program offers a comprehensive array of sexual addiction specific programming, such as many or most of the program elements listed above; make sure to get help in a program that specializes in the treatment you need.

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Page last updated Aug 05, 2010

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