Sex, porn, escorts, dating app obsession, sex apps, chat rooms…
All the wasted time and money that can’t be accounted for…
The breaches of your personal privacy and the fear of exposure…
The shame and embarrassment of falling for the intrigue, tease, and taboo of the online world…
The erosion of trust that loved ones are experiencing because they’ve discovered your “secret world”…
The suspicions that come from knowing that something is not quite right because of your lies, reactivity, and attempts to diminish, defend, dismiss, or deny their concerns…
All this… and, all the while, you know that things are spiralling out of control.
Not sure that there really is a problem?
Worried about the consequences?
Afraid of the possibility of losing your family? Your job? Your self-respect and pride?
Dreading the possible consequences to your physical and emotional health?
Recognizing that your obsessions are taking you away from being productive in your job?
Falling away from hobbies and friends because your behaviours are sucking your time and energy dry?
Are you ashamed?
Shame is such a powerful negative state that our egoic mind will come up with many strategies to avoid experiencing what seems like an unsurvivable reality.
Do you blame others for your behaviour?
“If only they would meet my needs…”
Do you tell yourself it’s not a big deal?
“Hey, everybody has their thing…”
Do you bargain with yourself?
“Ok, just one more time…
“I’ll cut back by half…”
“I’ll only do it at night when everyone is asleep…”
“I won’t spend more than I would on a night out anyway…”
And on and on it goes… the myriad of attempts to deny the daily cost we are paying for something that has control of us despite all our attempts to tell ourselves and others differently!
Think this is “just a phase”?
You may be experiencing a progression of behaviours with potentially increasing negative consequences and a diminishment of satisfaction and pleasure in the rest of your life.
This is not a phase… it’s a problem.
And it’s not going to go away on its own… nor in the crucible of isolation that is the “home of secrets and shame.”
Are you leading a double life?
Let’s keep it simple. If you are keeping behaviours secret from those closest to you who are impacted overtly or covertly by your behaviours, then you are leading a double life.
There may be a part of you that mounts a defense against this by telling you that it’s private – that it’s no one’s business! This is a trickster voice that confuses privacy with secrecy to defend against destructive behaviour and not feel the shame that they evoke!
Don’t listen to that voice… it got you in this mess in the first place!
Whatever you’re dealing with, ask yourself these three questions:
Do you have a preoccupation with substance or behaviour?
Do you lose control as evidenced by failed attempts to quit or cut back?
Are you unable to stop despite directly related negative consequences?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, there is a problem.
Sexual ADDICTION isn’t about the behaviour itself.
It is about the extent to which sex is used or misused, like when:
Sex is used to either numb or distract from feelings of anger, pain, or sadness,
Sex is used to feel something because you feel little otherwise,
You engage in sex when your consent is compromised,
You’re sexual online or with others but not with your partner,
You don’t have sex when you want to but rather because you feel like you must,
You’re trading sex to gain power, get your way, or avoid a fight or consequence,
… or when sex is limited only to a discussion on pleasure.
Wondering if there’s a way out of this downward spiral?
Yes, there is… and you’ve come to the right place to find it!
Using the best available assessments, we will help you determine where you are on the spectrum from problematic sexual behaviour, to compulsive sexual behaviour, to sex addiction.
It’s important to remember that not everyone with problematic or compulsive sexual behaviour is a sex addict. You deserve the proper assessment to determine where you are so that an effective treatment plan can be implemented.
Maybe you’ve wanted help for a long time, yet the shame and stigma of a label like “sex addict” has kept you stuck in a cycle of shame and addiction.
I am not ashamed of you or your behaviours. I will listen deeply for the unresolved pain that is driving your behaviours, and together we will build your tolerance for that pain so that you are no longer trapped in a cycle of destruction!
Trauma-informed sex addiction understands that this is not who you are; it is how you have learned to survive what has been intolerable pain. And on some level, it worked… until now. The cost is too great, and there is a better way for you.
In therapy, we will provide a safe space for you to face with curiosity and to understand the wounds of your past that have led you to your current behaviour. We will uncover not the intent of your historical relationships and experiences, but the harmful IMPACT that they have had on your emotional development and capacity for intimate relationships.
We will not stay mired in an endless retelling of your history but will allow for you to experience in the “now” what it is like to be you, without judgment and shame.
We will understand together the neurobiology of addiction and how to intervene effectively at the earliest moment to take care of yourself. We won’t wait until you’re crossing the threshold of the motel room or the next escort site, chat room, or bar.
Together, we will build the conscious plan for what you want to say “no” to and, more importantly, what you want to say “yes” to – what you want that will connect you to yourself, others, and the world!
Enough! It’s time to lift that heavy cloak of shame!
Assessing where you are on the spectrum of destructive sexual behaviour is an important first step, so consider taking the Sexual Addiction Screening Test (SAST) here.
From this assessment, we can begin to plan treatment customized to you and lift the heavy cloak of shame that is burying your life now.
After you take the test, I will reach out to you within 24 hours (Monday to Friday) to provide you with a free 15-minute consultation from which you can book your first appointment: (705) 795-0240.