Hypnotherapy for Sex Addiction
Sex is the reason we exist, the drive behind many of our most basic instinctual impulses and behaviours and a subject that never fails to catch the attention of today’s public. Over the course of history, human sexuality has been explored, revered, repressed and bound within a complicated web of rules, beliefs and speculations.
It is one of the most popular subjects in fiction, critical theory, sociology and psychology among countless other studies. Some of the most famous academics in history, including Charles Darwin and Sigmund Freud, based their entire works upon sex, ideas that have undoubtedly helped shape society’s current understanding of who we are and why we are.
Sex Addiction and Pathology
But what happens when sex begins to dominate a person’s life completely? What happens when they can’t go a day, or even a few hours without finding a way to satisfy their sexual desires? What happens when they spend all of their money in strip clubs and brothels and end up ostracising themselves from their friends, family and partners?
Sex addiction is becoming an increasingly acknowledged behavioural disorder in Western society thanks to an explosion in media coverage in recent years. But how far do we really understand this controversial condition, and what can be done to help the people who suffer from it?
What is Sex Addiction?
The term ‘sex addiction’ was first coined in 1998 by Patrick Carnes in his book: ‘Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addictions’, which explored the similarities between compulsive sexual behaviour and commonly accepted addictions such as drug and alcohol abuse.
Although the term is relatively new, the condition itself has probably existed for as long as humans have. Sex addiction has over the years been known as ‘hypersexuality’.
All of these terms apply to people who exhibit unusually frequent, obsessive and uncontrollable sexual behaviours, often resulting in guilt, remorse and other detrimental side-effects.
Sex addiction may also include the following sub-categories:
- sex addiction
- porn addiction
- love addiction
Is Sex Addiction Actually Real?
There has been much controversy surrounding the subject of sex addiction (and in fact the concept of addiction itself) over the last few years. Countless articles have been published in the press asking ‘is sex addiction real?’, sparking debates all across the globe between people who think sex addiction is a weak justification for sexual deviants, and people who think sex addiction is a pathological disorder that needs specialist treatment.
In the 20th century, the same debates were being held over the nature of alcohol abuse. If alcohol is addictive then why doesn’t everybody who has a drink become an alcoholic?
Signs You May Have Sex Addiction
It is important to understand the difference between an enthusiasm for sexual encounters, and an addiction to them.
The defining characteristics of an addiction is dependency. There is a big difference between enjoying lots of sex, and being dependent on it for happiness.
The following behaviours are thought to be indicative of a more serious problem:
- Seeking frequent casual sex.
- Having multiple affairs even if you are in a relationship – this need to keep seeking new sexual experiences points to dependency.
- Excessive use of pornography- to such an extent that it gets in the way of daily activities such as work and socialising.
- A desire to stop having sex but being unable to – this lack of control goes further than a general enjoyment of sex and can even lead to an active dislike of it.
- Using sex as a distraction or coping mechanism – if you feel like you need to seek sex for emotional reasons or to distract from life’s stresses, your behaviour could be unhealthy.
- Needing to increase frequency of sexual encounters to get same high – one main characteristic of an addiction is becoming increasingly numb to the substance or activity and feeling the need to up your dosage.
- Feeling low and guilty afterwards – being unable to do anything about something you know is harming you can have a detrimental effect on your mental well-being.
- Spending a long time planning sexual encounters – this is indicative of obsessive behaviour and can be dangerous for both you and the people you encounter.
- Missing important events or work to have sex – if you reach this stage, you will feel like your entire life has been taken over by your addiction and this is when things begin to spiral out of control.
Hypnotherapy for Sex Addiction
Hypnotherapy is a popular choice of treatment for many addicts, whether they depend on alcohol, drugs, sex, porn or love for their emotional highs.
Hypnotherapy for sex addiction focuses on both the addiction itself and any possible triggers for the addiction. During a course of hypnotherapy we will normally ask you to think about any particular situations that trigger your sex addiction. For example, you might notice that after a particularly stressful day at work you find yourself heading for the strip-club or calling up a partner. You may be asked to recall certain times you don’t think about or crave sex. What about when you’re engaging in your favourite hobby like squash, or painting?
You will then be taken through a number of deep relaxation techniques. Tension can often be a major trigger for many addictions, including sex addiction. Therefore, being in a state of relaxation could give you greater control over yourself. During this state of deep relaxation it can become far easier to map out and replace negative thought patterns with positive ones. It can be useful to imagine possible situations in which you might be tempted to rely on sex, and to then think of ways you could handle it differently, or distract yourself with a different activity.
Get In Touch
I offer a FREE 15-minute phone consultation for information about hypnosis, fees and insurance, scheduling, and how hypnosis may benefit you or a member of your family.
Just click this button to go to my contact page.
Linda M. Guhe, MSW
225 S. Merame Avenue, Suite 205
St. Louis, MO 63105-3511
All conditions that may be helped using Hypnotic Techniques also require the commitment of the patient or client.
Hypnotherapy is not magic and can only help you to make changes if you have a strong desire to change and are willing to put in a maximum effort.