Christian Sex Addiction Therapy – Denver / Littleton, Colorado
Coming here today, either you or your spouse or partner is likely struggling with sex addiction. Please know there is help for you here and hope to bring healing and restoration with psychotherapy for you and your spouse. My sexual addiction training came from Pia Melody of The Meadows in Arizona over 25 years ago. I have extensive training in specific methods for successfully treating unhealthy sexual behaviors and their effects on your life and relationships. You may believe that you or your spouse or partner can never be freed from the firm grasp of habitual sexual sin. I believe in the redemptive promise of Christ Jesus, and I am here to support you until you see that promise revealed in your life through your healing and recovery! With His help, I’ve worked with several hundred couples just like you to restore the love, trust, respect and hope that seemed completely lost! My office is located in downtown Littleton, Colorado near Denver, Colorado. I offer a complimentary 15 minute consultation to discuss your needs and how I can help you and your spouse or partner begin the journey of healing, recovery and restoration. It is possible when both of you are willing to do the work it takes to make it happen. I’m here to help you every step of the way!
Call me now for your Free 15 Minute Consultation! 970-422-6102
As with other addictions, sexual addiction is a condition that involves the sufferer becoming excessively preoccupied with thoughts or behaviors that give the desired effect through dysfunctional behavior. It means spending an exorbitant amount of time thinking about and engaging in sexually addictive behaviors. Examples of sexual addictions may include readily available or less accessible (paraphilic) behaviors. An instance of more easily accessible addictive acts may include having one-night stands or multiple affairs, contacts with prostitutes, viewing pornographic pictures or videos, or excessive masturbation. The sufferer may engage in behaviors like visiting chat rooms, engaging in personal ads, or making awkward phone conversations.
Statistics show that a small percentage of college-aged individuals suffer from a sex obsession at any one time. In the general adult population, about 12 million people are thought to have a sex obsession.
Paraphilias are conditions that involve the victim becoming sexually aroused by objects or actions that are considered less conventional or less readily available to the addict. Cases of paraphilias include fetishism (arousal by objects or specific body parts), voyeurism (arousal by watching sexual behaviors), exhibitionism (arousal by having others view his or her sexual behaviors) and pedophilia (arousal by sexual contact with children). When paraphilias include the victim having addictions about the object of their desire, they may be considered sexually addicted. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders only refers to nonparaphilic sexual addictions in the category of sexual disorder, not otherwise specified.
What are causes and risk factors for sexual addiction?
No one element can present for diagnosing sexual obsession, but it’s believed to be natural, psychological, and social factors that add to the advancement of these disorders. For instance, the intoxication associated with sexual addiction is considered to be the result of changes in certain areas and chemicals in the brain that are elicited by the compulsion. Research differs somewhat regarding gender-based patterns of sexual disorder. For instance, some studies portray men who are introverted and highly educated as more inclined to develop an Internet obsession, including sexual Internet addiction. Different studies indicate that middle-aged men using home computers were more at risk for Internet sexual addiction.
Mental risk factors for sexual obsession are thought to incorporate depression, uneasiness, and obsessive-compulsive tendencies. The presence of a learning disability builds the risk of developing a sex addiction as well. As an individual with a history of suffering from any obsession are in danger of developing another addiction, being subject to other addictions makes it more probable for sexual obsession to develop.
Victims of these disorders tend to be socially isolated and have personality traits like insecurity, lack of impulse control, compulsive behaviors, trouble with relationship security and intimacy, little ability to endure frustration, and a tendency to experience difficulty coping with feelings. Individuals who are sexually abused are at somewhat higher risk of developing a sexual addiction.
Spouses and partners of those sexually addicted suffer greatly from loss of self-esteem and self-worth, betrayal, anger and shame. The sex addict feels caught in an endless cycle of pain, shame and guilt feeling hopeless to break out of it. The partner or spouse is often confused about whether to stay or leave as the addiction severely damages or destroys love, trust, respect and hope.
Symptoms of Sex Addiction
The core symptoms of sex addiction are the same regardless of gender, life history or psychology. Behaviors can escalate over time into higher levels of acting out and those typically exhibited by sex addicts includes some of the following:
Compulsive masturbation with or without pornography (including online porn and traditional forms of porn)
Consistently visiting strip clubs, adult bookstores and other sex-focused environments such as “swinging” clubs.
Engaging in multiple affairs and brief “serial” relationships
Participating in prostitution (hiring or providing), including “sensual massage.”
Seeking and engaging in sexual activity without thinking about the potential consequences to self or others
Repeatedly engaging in anonymous and casual sex with people met online or in-person
Frequently engaging in unprotected sex and putting the self and / or others at risk
Incest, molestation, pedophilia & rape
It’s worth mentioning that male and female sex addicts often behave and talk about their behavior quite differently. Male sex addicts tend to objectify their partners and are much more likely than women to engage in sexual conduct that involves little or no emotional attachment. As such, men’s sexual acting out typically takes easily recognizable, purely sexual forms. Conversely, female sex addicts tend to view and talk about their compulsive sexual behavior regarding romance and relationships – even when their activities are every bit as sexual and lacking in intimacy as the behaviors of male sex addicts.
How to detect sexual addiction
As is true with nearly any mental-health diagnosis, there is no one test that definitively indicates that someone has a sexual addiction. Therefore, health-care practitioners diagnose these disorders by gathering comprehensive medical, family, and mental-health information. The psychotherapist, psychiatrist, psychologist, social worker or psychiatric nurse may request that the person’s primary-care physician conducts a physical exam. The medical examination will usually cover lab tests to evaluate the individual’s general health and to explore whether or not the individual has a medical condition that might have psychological-health symptoms.
By asking questions about mental-health symptoms, mental-health professionals are often exploring if the person suffers not only from sexual obsession or compulsions, but also depression or manic symptoms, anxiety, substance abuse, hallucinations or delusions, as well as some personality and behavioral disorders that may have excessive sexual behavior as part of the associated symptoms.
Specialists in the treatment of sex addiction may give the people they evaluate a quiz or self-test as a screening tool for assisting in the assessment of sexual obsession. Since some of the symptoms of sexual obsession can also occur in other mental illnesses. The psychological-health screening is to determine if the person suffers from an anxiety disorder like panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or the cyclical mood swings of bipolar disorder. The mental health practitioner also assesses whether the individual with a sex obsession suffers from other mental illnesses like schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, and other psychotic disorders or a substance abuse, personality, or behavior disorder like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Any mental illness that is associated with hyper-sexual behaviors, like some developmental disorders, borderline personality disorder, dependent personality disorder, antisocial personality disorder, or multiple personality disorder (MPD), may be particularly challenging to distinguish from a sex addiction. To assess the individual’s current emotional state, health-care experts may perform a mental-status assessment as well.
To accurately establish a sexual addiction, health-care professionals work to distinguish sexual habits from medical conditions that may include hyper-sexual symptoms. Examples of such conditions include seizures, tumors, dementia, and Huntington’s disease, which may involve injuries to certain areas of the brain like the frontal or temporal lobes and therefore affect behavior.
Prognosis of sexual obsession?
Studies demonstrate that the prognosis of sexual addictions depends on some factors, including the type of addiction, whether or not it involves paraphilic behaviors or, sexually violent behaviors, or if the person with the sex addiction who engages in sexually violent actions suffers from another mental-health diagnosis. For sexual perpetrators, factors that show a poor treatment prognosis include a higher number and more than one kind of sex crimes, having a past criminal history, offending against young persons outside their own family, low empathy for their victim, increased rage at the time of the offense, violent sexual dreams, and the belief their victim enjoys it. Choosing an occupation that puts the offender in proximity to potential victims and the use of sadomasochistic or pedophilic pornography is also demonstrated.
How can sexual obsession be avoided?
As the driving forces for sexual addiction seem to be more poor self-esteem as opposed to excessive thrill seeking, interventions that improve confidence and mental self-esteem appear to be crucial in preventing these disorders. Recommendations for preventing online addiction may be valuable in the prevention of sexual Internet addiction and include parents or guardians teaching their kids about the perils of such practices, checking and restricting computer use, screening out pornographic Internet websites, offering different activities that do not involve computer use, and addressing emotional issues like depression and anxiety, which are risk factors for developing a sexual addiction.
What are complications of sexual addiction?
There are some potentially devastating complications of sexual addiction. Possible medical complications include contracting sexually transmitted diseases and spreading them to victims, including the potentially fatal human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or hepatitis B or C. Examples of functional consequences, include decreased work performance or attendance due to the preoccupation with the addiction. If the behaviors result in unwanted sexual advances on others, legal problems like sexual harassment or rape perpetration may result. Individuals whose sexual addiction involves attraction to minors might engage in child molestation.
Depending on the financial demands of the addiction, the sufferer of a sexual addiction may incur a significant amount of debt or engage in illegal or otherwise unsafe activity associated with the behavior. Emotionally, people with a sexual addiction are at risk for terrible guilt and shame for their actions and the secrecy involved. They are also more likely to experience broken relationships, separation, divorce, and the many challenges involved.
Because sexually compulsive behavior is a multifaceted issue, treatment must also be multi-faceted. Individual counseling, group therapy and support groups when combined provide the best hope of recovery. Treatment must address all five areas of functioning (physical, relational, cognitive, spiritual and emotional). Only stopping the acting out behavior is not treating the problem. Treating only one area of functioning is also not thoroughly addressing the issue. Sexual obsession will not go away by itself.
If you or a loved one struggle with unwanted sexual thoughts or behaviors, then I have some solutions for you. I also work with your spouse or partner to heal the betrayal trauma she or he suffers, which often becomes PTSD or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Call me NOW for your Free 15 Minute Phone Consultation to find out how I can help you and your spouse or relationship partner. 970-422-6102.