If your sexual appetite or activities are causing harm to your personal or professional life, it may be time to seek help. Fortunately, many treatment options are available. The first step is to find a behavioral health professional who will listen to your concerns without judgment. They can also assess your needs and determine if you need to start a formal treatment program.
Formal programs that focus on sex addiction are rare, but you can search for programs that treat compulsive behaviors in general. These programs may be inpatient, where you live at the facility for a set amount of time, or outpatient, where you attend therapy sessions several times a week. Typically, the principles that apply to other behavior-focused treatments will also work for sex addiction.
Psychotherapy is one of the most effective ways to address sex addiction, but it requires you to be honest about your thoughts and feelings with your therapist. You might undergo cognitive behavioral therapy, which teaches you to identify and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Or you might go through an approach called acceptance and commitment therapy, which uses mindfulness strategies to help you learn to accept your distress and change the way you relate to it.
In addition to individual therapy, sex addiction treatment often involves group support or self-help programs. A common example is Sex Addicts Anonymous, which follows the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and helps people admit they have a problem with their sexual impulses and attitudes. Other groups focus on couples’ counseling, helping the partners improve communication and trust.