Treatment for the Addict

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The very nature of addiction creates a “state of denial” by which addicts are able to hide the adverse consequences of their behavior even from themselves, and to minimize its impact on others.  Treatment, therefore, is usually sought not because of any internal distress but because of some external pressure to do so.  That is to say that the addict’s secretive sexual behaviors have either been discovered by someone – usually a spouse, family member or boss, or the addict is suddenly facing a crisis because of his or her actions – a threat of divorce, a potential loss of job, legal or financial problems, a sexually transmitted disease.  And although these consequences may represent the first crack in this well-constructed denial system, the addict is probably not at all ready to embrace the idea that what he or she might be dealing with is an actual addiction.

At the Center for Personal Growth & Creativity, we understand this natural response.  At the very heart of addiction lies an elaborate defensive system that unconsciously compels the addict to use rationalization, minimization and justification to keep the true impact of the addiction from awareness.  Early in our assessment process we gently bring these defenses into question and help addicts to gain clarity about how their compulsive behaviors have affected not only themselves but important people in their lives as well; how any semblance of control of these behaviors has been lost, and how their lives have become unmanageable.

Therefore, our first and most important task is to complete a comprehensive assessment and evaluation, using the most current data-driven diagnostic methods, to determine whether sex addiction is indeed present, and if so, to see exactly how it has affected the addict’s life.  Next we focus on disentangling the addict from the self-destructive obsessive fantasies and compulsive sexual behaviors.  We develop an initial treatment plan that includes essential education aimed at:

  • breaking through denial
  • understanding addiction
  • limiting damage done
  • establishing sexual “sobriety”
  • developing relapse prevention awareness
  • creating an effective support system

Once early sexual sobriety has been established it is important to address the feelings of emptiness, shame, remorse and guilt that often emerge when the addictive behaviors have been discontinued.  We provide a safe and supportive environment to grieve losses and to learn how to manage uncomfortable emotional states such as anger, fear, sadness and loneliness.

As the addict gains emotional stability, treatment will focus on the underlying central issues that may be at the root of his or her addiction.  Unresolved childhood trauma, potential abuse or neglect in the family of origin, hurtful experiences with peers or authority figures are all addressed in the context of their negative impact on emotional development, self-concept, and core beliefs.  Individual and group psychotherapy, art therapy, psychodrama and EMDR will be powerful tools in this healing process.

At the Center for Personal Growth & Creativity sex addicts have the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to recover from their addiction and to gain valuable understanding about how to form healthy relationships that are emotionally and sexually satisfying.  With a solid support system in place, a firm foundation will be established to heal from old wounds, to practice effective coping strategies, and to begin living a life that is gratifying and empowered.

Call for Consultation: 212-868-9761