Category Archives: Symptoms, problems, causes

Five reasons a therapist is recommended when disclosing your sexual betrayal

Sex addiction can kill your relationship. It is a serious mental health issue, a dysfunction that affects many areas of your life. Your risky sexual behavior hurts you and others around you. It is unlikely – just about impossible – that you can handle sex addiction on your own. Probably you do your best to fight off your addiction, however, you cannot. You fail over and over again. You hate yourself for your weakness. You do not want to betray a loved partner. You have to live with guilt. You take risks that you do not want to take. You might need help from a sex addiction therapist.

A therapist does more than listen to you. You can share your burden with someone, it is helpful in itself, but a trained sex addiction counselor can do more: she or he can provide advice and professional guidance. Their assistance might very well save your relationship.

1. A Professional Can Deal with your Shocked Partner

If you want your relationship to survive, you will need a disclosure to your partner. A disclosure means that you are honest with your partner and you take all the responsibility for everything you have done. You cannot recover from your earlier behavior without this step. You will have to tell your partner about your sexual acting out. It will be a rough situation. Do not face it on your own. If you – or your shocked, infuriated partner – give in to impulses of rage, disappointment and sorrow, or if you start a blame game, your relationship might turn for the worst.

You and your partner would be served best attending professional sex addiction therapy. When the counselor feels the time is right disclosure will occur. This date may vary, it always depends on your specific circumstances.

A therapist should be present when you tell your partner that you are a sex addict and you were unfaithful (probably on many occasions). Chances are that your partner will be shocked and angry. A therapist can tell you how to do the necessary preparations. He or she will give a structure to this hard conversation, letting you know how you should tell everything, step by step. A therapist will help you express your guilt. With his or her help, you can let your partner know that you regretted your mistakes, you are accountable and you are willing to change and what that change looks like moving forward.

2. A Trained Sex Addiction Counselor Knows How to Tell It

A sex addiction therapist will help deal with your partner’s reaction. A therapist will know what has to be shared and what would cause more harm than good. Your therapist will sometimes make you write a letter, this will provide a structure for the forthcoming situation. Once you know what you want to talk about, you can avoid of getting distracted by angry outbursts, blame, defensive behavior and other harmful reactions.

3. A Therapist Will Find the Roots of your Problem

A therapist will help you find the reason behind your addiction. Sex addiction is a behavior that seemingly helps you deal with stress and negative feelings, many of these feelings are hidden in your subconscious mind. Sex addiction often comes from childhood traumas. Such issues are hard to face. It will stir up emotions that you probably cannot handle. Dealing with these traumas also requires help from a mental health professional. Your addiction is a obsessive-compulsive behavior. It is a mental disorder; you cannot get rid of it on your own.

4. Guidance through Hardships

Your way to mental health and recovery will not be easy. Your partner will have a rough ride, too. He or she might feel furious and disappointed. He or she does not trust for a long time and may blame you.

Your partner can have his or her own issues: codependency or anger. A counselor can address the partner’s issues, too. Your partner might have sensed that something was not right all along, however, you dismissed his or her worries. Sex addicts often lie, and – when they want to get off the hook – they are verbally abusive. Both you and your partner should change your approach.

A therapist can help you and your partner avoid pitfalls while healing your broken relationship. Your aim is to take full responsibility for your sexual behavior and not to cheat on your partner anymore.

5. A Therapist Can Help Avoid Staggered Disclosure

There exists a behavior that experts call staggered disclosure. It means that you do not tell everything to your partner, you hide some of your sex adventures from him or her. It is very harmful. Again, you will find yourself in a tangled web of lies. It will undermine your partner’s trust which was already damaged. A trained addiction therapist can recognize such tactics and will help you avoid it.

Those are five reasons a therapist is recommended for disclosure.

Please comment on the ways a professional helped you in this disclosure process. Or any pitfalls you avoided or what you can relate to in the comments below.  

If you’re the partner or the sex addiction check out these posts below for further information:

A Story of “Infidelity Induced Trauma

Help! My partner cheated on me.

What does sex addiction look like?

What’s the difference between health sex and addictive sex?

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Sexual Recovery Just For Today

Door to new wayBelow are some thoughts to help keep you “in the moment” as you journey toward healthy sexuality and physical and emotional fitness. If you find yourself in a difficult situation or frame of mind, choose the thought that addresses your stumbling block. By keeping a “just for today” mindset, you will be better equipped to focus on what is right in front of you rather than dwelling on what happened in the past, even if that was last week. Feel free to add your own “just for today’s” to this list:        

  • I will focus an hour at a time if that’s what it takes to control my compulsions.
  • I will view my new plan for physical and emotional fitness as something that I am doing for myself rather than as something that is being done to me.
  • I will check in with my sponsor and share my feelings about today.
  • I will think about moving my body off the couch and doing something physical. Even if I dislike “exercise,” I can take a walk or work in the garden, play ball with my kids.
  • I will call a friend or find a way to help others instead of feeling sorry for myself.
  • I will count blessings rather than past sins.
  • I will make a list of the things that are right with the world as opposed to the global “reasons” I have to be unhappy or fearful.
  • I will treat my journal as an understanding, compassionate and guiding friend and not a “bartender” who is supposed to absorb my tale of woe.
  • I’ll give myself a break if I “slip” and go right back on my sexual recovery plan. A slip does not have to mean failure. If I give in to the “I slipped so I might as well go back to old habits” mindset, it is a recipe for failure, and I’m stronger than that.
  • I’ll have gratitude for the support of friends and family. They are about my wellbeing, and I’m thankful for that.

Share your Just for Today Moments with us.

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Sexual addiction recovery one day at a time

Sexual Addiction Recovery One Day At a Time

Sexual addiction recovery one day at a timeYou’ve been working hard on your sexual addiction recovery and you’re making real progress. People are starting to notice “the new you,” and comment on the positive changes they see, and congratulate you on your new outlook. This terrifies you. What if all this work is for nothing? What if you go right back to where you were before? What if? What if? What if?

Has this ever happened to you? Dwelling on questions about an uncertain future? Who we are today is the sum total of our past experiences, but that does not mean that we cannot change. So many of us are victims of our own bad habits, but we can become survivors of those habits. We do not have to settle for the person we were. Although we cannot rewrite history, we can move forward and write a new story for our lives.

You may have heard the saying, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift.” Worrying takes a great deal of mental energy and robs us of that gift. If we stop dwelling on the past and the “what ifs” of the future, and channel that energy into who we are today, then life would seem, and be, different. Instead of questioning, we will be doing. And by putting all that energy toward every today we live, we will stop questioning tomorrow because we are succeeding, every day. The past is the past. We can learn from it or we can repeat it. It is what we do with today that counts. Focus on the here and now rather than looking over your shoulder. There’s a reason that the motto of many fellowships is “One day at a time.” Because it works. Live your sexual addiction recovery one day at a time.

 Related posts

> Whats the difference between healthy sex and sexual addiction
> Early Sexual Addiction Recovery, The Wave

Think you may have a problem? Take out online sex addiction test with instant results.

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What does Sexual Addiction Look like?

What Does Sexual Addiction Look Like?

The answer may surprise you. It looks like you, or me, or your neighbor down the street. Sex addicts don’t “stand out” from the crowd. We have families, go to work or school, might be community leaders or even spiritual leaders. We’re college presidents and college students. CEOs and mail clerks. Beauticians and physicians. We are regular people, just like the person in the mirror.

What does Sexual Addiction Look like?
There is no “face of sexual addiction.”

You won’t identify an addict the way you might a meth addict, who wears his addiction on his face, or an alcoholic, who manages to get drunk at every opportunity, or the food addict, who can’t seem to stop eating. People addicted to sex are normal people who have an abnormal need to act out. We Addicts use sexual activity to seek pleasure, avoid unpleasant feelings or respond to outside stressors, such as work difficulties or interpersonal problems. This is not unlike how an alcoholic uses alcohol. In both instances, any reward gained from the experience soon gives way to guilt, remorse and promises to change. need to satisfy a craving deep within that often has very little to do with sexual satisfaction.

A sex addict might use his addiction for power, or to relieve stress, or to avoid problems in his daily life. It’s an escape mechanism, much the way alcohol is for an alcoholic. There are dozens of theories about how sex addiction has to do with biochemical changes in the brain, but I don’t want to dwell on the brain right now; this book isn’t about “how did this happen?” but more about “what do I do now?” It’s about recognizing the face of sex addiction and figuring out how to help yourself to escape the trap in which you find yourself.

Consider the case of Sam G:

How did he get to be a sex addict?

Sam was your average 35-year old with an MBA and a great job that had the makings of a brilliant career. He had a wife, 2.5 kids, and a pretty house with two cars in the garage. The future looked bright for Sam and his family. But with that great job came a lot of stress, and he started to use the Internet on his lunch hour to wind down and relax.

Sam’s “extracurricular activity” had started innocently enough. He’d been trolling websites on the Internet one day, when he happened upon a racy looking site with scantily-clad girls in provocative poses. The girls were gorgeous, and what healthy man, married or not, didn’t like to look? With a lot of quiet time at work, there was just so much opportunity to view more and more of the sites. Sam noticed that the girls seemed to be getting younger and sexier looking but he shoved any misgivings to the back of his mind – he was enjoying himself too much.

Until the day he was called into the boss’s office. They knew what he was looking at in all those hours he was supposed to be working. They would not press charges, to report him to the police, but he was fired and told to leave immediately.

Now he had no job, but that wasn’t the worst part of this mess. How in the world was he going to tell his wife what happened?

Does sexual addiction sound familiar? Does this ring a bell about someone you know or someone you heard about, or even someone in your family? What started out as a seemingly innocent pastime turned into a criminal act capable of ruining a lot of lives.

 Related posts

Whats the difference between healthy sex and sexual addiction
>
 More descriptions of sex addiction problems

Think you may have a problem? Take out online sex addiction test with instant results.

If you know you need help and are ready to get started go to or contact page and reach out for more information.

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Porn Addiction and Sex Addiction – What’s the Difference?

Jeff Schultz has authored a guest post for Rob Weiss on Psych Central called ” “Porn Addiction and Sex Addiction – What’s the Difference?”

A little more about the article below….

Few people really understand how the Internet has supercharged the power of
pornography and made it a far more potent and addictive behavior than ever before.
Pornography use can quickly become pornography addiction.

In my article “Porn Addiction and Sex Addiction – What’s the Difference?” I take a
close look at the power of Internet pornography and how we minimize its effects at
our own risk.

Click the link below to read entire article.

Also, please share with your social networks and comment at the bottom of article to help pass it
on.

http://blogs.psychcentral.com/sex/2013/04/porn-addiction-and-sex-addiction-whats-the-difference/

Jeff can also be found on 

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Why did you Become a Sex Addict?

How did this happen? You’ve made good decisions in so many areas of your life, but with sex.

What went wrong?

Why you?
You want to understand. You need to understand.

Needing to know “why” is a flailing grasp for control.

Needing to know “why” is not surrender. Wanting to know “why” makes sense.

The Lead Engineer on the Titanic “needed” to know why too.

After all, the Titanic was the “biggest and safest” ship ever built when it first set sail …

… but by the fourth day of it’s maiden voyage,

… the Titanic was sinking.

It wasn’t supposed to be sinking, but it was.

It was time to get off the ship and many did.

Our Lead Engineer, however, felt it his duty to know why the ship was sinking. He neededto know.

He went down into the sinking ship, down long passages, through many ship hatches, until he discovered …

Yes! It was an iceberg that had ripped open a hole in the ship.. and that’s why it was sinking.

Now he knew why.

The Engineer rushed back through the hatches, up the long passageways, and finally reached the tilted rail.

Looking out over the ocean, braced against the rail, he raised both hands above his head and shouted out to the life boats,

“I KNOW WHY!!, I KNOW WHY!!”

At that moment, the Titanic raised up, snapped completely in half, and took our engineer to his watery grave.

Moral of the story?

Knowing why won’t save you when your ship is sinking.

Get in the lifeboat!

Jeff Schultz, LPC, CSAT, is the owner and founder of the Sono­ran Heal­ing Cen­ter in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Early Sex addiction Recovery Wave

Early Sex Addiction Recovery: The Wave

Discovery is a little like being crushed by a huge ocean wave. Early Sex addiction recovery is like a that wave pummels you for what seems like forever.

Instinct takes over and you fight to catch a breath. It’s a fight you can’t win, so you surrender yourself to the fate of the angry sea.

And the wave carries you slowly to shore.

Early sex addiction recovery can be like a wave of pain, shame, and fear that carries you through the first weeks. Driven forward in a desperate attempt to keep from drowning, you listen and you follow directions. In time, recovery gets easier until one day you’re resting on the beach.

The beach seems safe.

Vaguely aware that dangers lie ahead, you rest.

Sure enough, you rest too long and an even larger wave grabs you and pulls you back into the surf. This time you know what to do and so you ‘re able to keep yourself out of the worst surf as you ride a smaller wave back to shore.

Will you rest again on the beach?

Will you risk it all for more excitement in the surf?

Or, will you step off the beach and take your first steps on this new land?

It’s up to you…

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Sex Addiction: Is My Partner Addicted to Sex?

Are you right? Is there really something wrong?

Has it seemed like the emotional disconnect between you just gets bigger and bigger?

You bring it up and say you feel like he or she is always somewhere else. It’s like he’s never really there. Always in his head.

He tells you  he’s “…been under a lot of stress” or he’s “…been working a lot” or maybe he just says that

“Nothing is wrong at all, …why do you ask?”

But your intuition knows that something is wrong. It’s like you don’t even know him or her anymore.

Maybe the sex you used to share and enjoy – the sex that left you both feeling close and connected – is now just about getting him or her to orgasm.

Intensity has become the rule and real intimacy and connection the exception.

 

When you have sex, it may feel love-less or even exploitive. Or maybe you just stopped having sex.

You feel lonely and depressed. You might feel a little crazy since he or she always says you’re wrong, or over reacting, or just a nag. But you can’t shake this gut feeling that he’s no longer in the relationship. Where did he go?

You may know more than you think you know … and you are not crazy.

Your partner may be out of control with sex.

Sexual dependency is different. You won’t recognize it like you would if he or she were an alcoholic or chemically dependent.

He won’t be impaired in those more obvious ways. But if she is a sex addict, then eventually she will get caught.

Every sex addict gets caught. Either the secrets are disclosed or a discovery is made.

The sex addict’s “drug” of dependency is arousal – that wonderful, pleasurable, and for many, addictive storm of “feel good” chemistry that fires off in the reward centers of the brain.

The sex addict carries this drug literally between his or her ears. They can fix with a thought.

Imagine a drug addict who never needed a dealer, but who could “score” with a thought alone.

The result is a man or woman constantly scanning for sexual hits over much of any day. The sex addict may have little awareness of what he or she is doing, barely noticing how much of a dissociated haze has settled in on his mind. For the spouse or partner, it can be like living with the walking dead. He has literally “…left the building.” 

What is it like for the Spouse or Partner?

Discovery of the sex addict’s betrayal can feel like your whole world no longer makes sense.

What you thought was real was not.

Who is this person you’ve shared a month, a year, or most of a lifetime with?

For someone who says she loves you do such a thing is truly traumatizing. Make no doubt.

Sex Addiction often results in a traumatic injury in the Partner’s sense of self and world view, both before and after discovering the addict’s acting out.” Silvia Jason, LMFT, CSAT

The obsessive thoughts then are a kind of trauma reaction.

“Who was it? What did you do? How often? Where? Are you lying now?

How can I ever trust you again?”

The questions turn inward too. What does it mean about me if this is what he really wants? You’ve told yourself that if “…anyone ever did that to me, I would be gone” and yet it’s not so easy.

Maybe if you know enough now, you won’t be “fooled” again.

Who can you tell? Who can you lean on with this? Once you’ve told someone, you can’t “un-tell” him or her later.  You’re left with the raw pain, the terrible fear, the shame, and especially the anger.

What can you do?

You can ask for help. Find someone who understands and acknowledges just how traumatic discovery or disclosure of sexual betrayal really is. Get the help you need for you.

You can set limits.

You can learn healthy boundaries.

You can come to your own aid.

Trust your intuition and ask for the help you need.

Confront what you see and speak your truth. Watch for actions. When words can’t be trusted, only actions have value. Take the time you need.Listen to your instincts and be safe. The shame the sex addict carries can lead to anger and sometimes rage.

What next?

The sex addict must be willing to do all it takes to recover. Whatever it takes. This is his work and he can and should be accountable, however, but you can’t do his work for him.

Your work is to take care of you and there are people who can and will support you. Whether family, friends, communities, or counselors, you do have people you can trust and who you can talk to now.

Countless others have been where you are now and by doing certain things they healed old wounds and often healed their relationships.

With help, there is every reason to be hopeful.

People can and do recover from the wreckage of sexual addiction and you can place trust in a process of recovery when you can’t trust the words.

Give yourself the gift of caring for you. You are precious and valuable and nothing you have done or not done can ever change this essential truth. Honor the little girl or little boy inside who hurts so badly with nurturing and love. The kind that only you can give him or her.

Best wishes as you trudge the rocky road of recovery…

 

Jeff Schultz, LPC, CSAT, is the owner and founder of the Sono­ran Heal­ing Cen­ter in Phoenix, Arizona.

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What Every Sex Addict Needs to Know About the 12-Steps

Work the Steps!

You’ve made a decision to do whatever it takes to get and stay sexually sober. You have a therapist who understands sex addiction. You’re accountable for your behavior and you take responsibility for your fantasy. Your computers and phones have filtering software and you’ve removed any and all of the pornography from your home and office. You participate in a sex addiction therapy group and you go to regular “S” Anonymous meetings (SAA, SA, SLAA). You even have a sponsor.

So why haven’t you worked all the 12-Steps?

Failing to make the steps a priority leaves out the “cornerstone” of your sexual addiction recovery. Here are a few things you need to know about the 12-Steps.

  • You need to know that “working the 12-Steps” is among the top five things that sex addicts in long term recovery report are “most important” to their sexual sobriety.
  • You need to know that the number one “most important” item on that same list is a relationship with a “Higher Power.” That means God. Sex can’t be your higher power – it doesn’t work anymore. By the way, no one will preach to you.
  • You need to know that “surrender” is not “submission.” Surrender is not weakness. Surrender is strength and takes courage. You don’t submit or grovel to anyone. Take the third step and make a decision to surrender. Find out the difference.
  • You need to know that the 12-Steps shouldn’t take months or even weeks to work through. Spend an afternoon with your sponsor and complete the first three steps. Work the fourth and fifth steps the next day and steps six through eight that evening. Make your amends (step nine) and move into the steps of daily living (10, 11, and 12) in the following days.
  • You need to know that being “…fearless and thorough” doesn’t mean perfect. You get to do this work again and again and you get to live life according to these principles with intimacy and integrity.
  • You need to know that your experience will help others only when you have an experience. Do this work for yourself and your recovery and then carry the message in your group. Your group needs your recovery.

These are just a few of the things that you need to know about the 12-Steps in sex addiction recovery.

Have a great meeting!

 

Jeff Schultz, LPC, CSAT, is the owner and founder of the Sonoran Healing Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

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