How is the psychological treatment of sex addiction?

All the actions that we perform throughout our lives, from the most important to the most mundane and everyday, exist because we humans are emotional beings.

Emotions are what cause us to move to achieve certain long or short term goals, either to improve our current situation or to avoid material or psychological damage and loss. In other words, beyond our ability to think rationally, it is the sources of motivation that set us in motion.

However, these motivations are not always beneficial to us. Sometimes they become uncontrollable impulses which are part of a bad psychological disorder that needs to be treated with psychotherapy. here we will talk about the treatment of one of these disorders related to addiction, sex addiction.

    What do we mean by sex addiction?

    As the name suggests, sex addiction is a psychological disorder in which a person becomes addicted to sexual behavior, to the point that their quality of life is impaired. This feeling of need associated with sex greatly limits the autonomy of the victim., Get ahead of other priorities, even in situations where it is detrimental to respond to these impulses.

    Thus, it can be understood as an extreme version of hypersexuality, and it occurs without other related causes such as medical and psychiatric disorders. For example, it cannot be said that the increased libido that some people experience while under the influence of drugs or those who are in the manic phase of bipolar disorder are sexually addictive, because in these cases these symptoms are already explained. by the disease diagnosed. .

    It is important to note that sex addiction is not a psychological disorder that seems to be referred to as such in diagnostic manuals used in clinical psychology and psychiatry. This is a concept used in clinical practice because it is useful in describing what happens to certain patientsSince it is very similar to what happens in those who develop drug-related disorders. This implies, for example, that this type of problem can be considered as the expression of different disorders. For example, excessive sex drive, excessive masturbation, or compulsive sexual behavior.

    How is sex addiction treated?

    Psychological treatment for sex addiction it can take many forms depending on how it is expressed in each person, Since it is always a personalized procedure in which the characteristics of the individual and the context in which he lives are taken into account. However, in summary, it can be said that the psychotherapy applied to this disorder has the following characteristics.

    1. Look for compulsive elements

    Sometimes sex addiction is actually a compulsive type psychopathology; that is, sexual behavior is an urgent way to relieve a discomfort that overwhelms the person. In these cases, you are working on the root of the problem, which is that anxiety and feeling of discomfort within yourself, getting the person used to dealing with it without having to resort to sex.

    2. Responsibility management training

    Help the person to “connect” with their daily tasks facilitates that the need to sexually satisfy is extinguished. In other words, being able to keep your mind focused on short-term goals helps you see beyond sexual routines, as the two sources of motivation are in competition.

    To make this possible, it is necessary to create a training program to perform tasks in chains of actions that can motivate. That is why techniques and strategies such as self-instructions and action triggers can be used.

    3. Anxiety and stress management training

    Many impulse management issues are linked to a lack of the ability to identify emotions. In this way, the need to stop feeling stressed about the need to have sex can be confused. To remedy this, various procedures are used such as the use of emotion journals.

    4. Cognitive restructuring

    Cognitive restructuring is a process by which the therapist helps the person to get rid of harmful beliefs that are preventing the psychological problem to be treated from functioning (or contributing to its existence). For example, beliefs that erode self-esteem, or hostility to the world we live in, etc.

      5. Exposure techniques

      This set of procedures aims to expose the person to situations that arouse the desire to engage in sexual behavior, while at the same time you are given the tools to resist the momentum until you let it go.

      6. Couple therapy

      Many times it is also necessary to perform couple sessions to address the effects of sex addiction on this love affair.

      Do you want to benefit from professional psychological support in therapy?

      Psychological disorders related to sexuality can become a source of intense discomfort and degradation of the quality of life, which is why faced with this kind of problem, seek psychotherapeutic help as soon as possible.

      If you notice that you may be affected by excessive sex addiction or any similar disorder, please contact us; a Cepsim Psychological Center We will be able to assist you in one of our consultations spread throughout Madrid, as well as through the modality of online therapy.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Català, Jose; Singh, Ashok (1995). Hypersexuality reviewed. The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 6 (2): pages 255 to 258.
      • Coleman, E. (2003). Compulsive sexual behavior: what to call it, how to treat it ?. SIECUS report. The Debate: Sexual Addiction and Coercion, 31 (5): pages 12-16.
      • Fong, TW (2006). Understand and manage compulsive sexual behavior. Psychiatry (Edgmont), 3 (11): pages 51-58.
      • Kafka, parliamentarian (2010). Hypersexual disorder: a proposed diagnosis for DSM-V. Archives of Sexual Behaviors, 39: pages 377-400.
      • Karila, L., Wéry, A .; Weinstein, A .; Cottencin, O .; Petit, A .: Reynaud, M .; Billieux, J. (2014). Sex addiction or hypersexual disorder: different terms for the same problem? A review of the literature. Current Pharmaceutical Design, 20 (25): pp. 4012 – 4020.
      • Krueger, RB and Kaplan, MS (2001). Paraphilic and hypersexual disorders. Journal of Psychiatric Practice, 7: pages 391-403.

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