You’ve been discovered in your acting out behavior
… and now you must make a decision.
Do you make a real effort at recovery or do you make more promises that you hope you can keep?
This time you decide well and choose to do whatever it takes to get and stay Sexually Sober.
This Includes Counseling.
Whether you were discovered, you disclosed, or the shame of acting out has brought you to your bottom, your choice of a sex addiction counselor is among the most important decisions you will make.
Begin your search with the two national organizations that know the problem of sex addiction best, the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) and the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH).
Both of these groups have a therapist list organized by city and zip code.
Build your list of names to call
The length of your list will depend largely on where you live.
There just aren’t many qualified sex addiction treatment specialists around.
Decades ago, the alcoholic had few places to turn other than the state hospitals. Now treatment for alcoholism is much more available. Let’s hope sex addiction treatment takes a similar course.
Ready to make some calls?
Here are some things to ask:
- Do you have experience working with people struggling with out of control sexual behaviors?
Kind of a “duh” question, but you might be surprised to know how often this question isn’t asked.
- Do you have any formal training in the treatment of sex addiction?
Plenty of the wrong kind of experience is not much help. How did this person come to do this work and how did they learn?
- What is your approach to treatment.
You really don’t want your counselor to be “winging it.” Look for someone who is connected to a professional community and who can explain their approach.
- Are you experienced in working with couples in crisis related to sex addiction?
The harm of betrayal in a committed relationship is deep and painful. Has your counselor worked with couples or couples issues in this early stage of recovery?
- Are you experienced with couple’s issues like safety, disclosure, sexual boundaries, and especially trauma?
This is important stuff. Too few counselors understand these things. Find one who does.
This isn’t the time to share your whole story. This is the time to ask questions.
Could you see yourself speaking openly with this person?
Don’t be afraid to “trust your gut.”
Give the counselors a chance to call you back and then make your best decision, but be sure that you make a decision. You may “lose your nerve” in a day or two, so get yourself scheduled as soon as possible and get started on your recovery.
Now is a good time to get started!
Jeff Schultz, LPC, CSAT, is the owner and founder of the Sonoran counseling servicesin Phoenix, Arizona.