Sexual activity is a normal part of most people’s lives and can provide joy, pleasure, and intimacy. However, it can become problematic when the individual experiences a loss of control over their sexual impulses and behaviors. Sexual addiction therapy can help someone regain control of their thoughts, behavior, and urges. It can also treat any underlying mental health issues that might be contributing to their compulsive sexual behavior.
Those who experience sexual addiction often feel shame over their compulsive sexual behaviors, which is why seeking treatment can be difficult. Some people may even be unaware that they have a problem. Compulsive sexual behavior can have serious consequences for a person’s quality of life and their relationships with others. Some examples of these consequences include a lack of interest in other activities, impulsive sexual behavior, and unprotected sex, which can cause infection with diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.
Some individuals who are addicted to sex and pornography may also be at risk of being exposed to illegal substances and materials. They can also face legal ramifications, such as fines or jail time, for engaging in certain types of illicit sexual activity.
A common approach to treating sex addiction is psychotherapy, or talk therapy. Individual and group sex addiction therapy can be helpful in identifying underlying problems, as well as teaching patients new coping skills to overcome their urges. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) can identify negative or distorted beliefs and replace them with more healthy ones, while acceptance and commitment therapy teaches patients to accept their feelings and urges while committing to behaviors that align with their values.