I have been a psychotherapist in private practice for over 40 years with a specialty in trauma. Learning from clients led me to recognize that addiction is so often a by-product of trauma and that sex addiction, in particular, can be a deeply held and insidious secret that often emerges from trauma with a devastating impact on life.
It is important to differentiate addiction from compulsivity and compulsivity from life style. There are many people who have very active sex lives with multiple partners. What makes this a life style and not compulsivity or addiction is the lack of shame and negative impact on life. Shame is an Important point here in that therapy for sex addiction must include a focus on shame reduction. That shame is often compounded by previous trauma where clients so often blame themselves for deeply painful experiences in their lives. Thus, shame reduction is multi-faceted.
Therapy for sex addiction is often positively complimented by client attendance at 12 step meetings. It’s not surprising, however, that 12 step meetings don’t speak to everyone. Group therapy can sometimes be a replacement for 12 step meetings but certainly also helpful in any case.
Recovery is possible from substance addiction, process addiction, including sex addiction, gambling, eating disorder. Hard work, willingness diligence are going to be keys in recovery…and an independent life.