If your compulsive sexual behaviour is causing problems in your day to day life, you may benefit from attending sex addiction counselling in Luton and Dunstable. The term “sex addiction” is often misapplied in common parlance, though, being used incorrectly to describe anybody who has a high sex drive irrespective of whether or not it’s a genuine addiction. Finding out more about sex addiction enables you to determine whether you have a problem, and helps you see how sex addiction counselling can be beneficial.
Understanding Sex Addiction
The main thing to understand about sex addiction is that it’s like most addictions: a compulsive pattern of behaviour that continues despite mounting negative consequences. Simply put, it’s not just having a lot of sex; it’s feeling incapable of controlling your sexual impulses, even when you know they’re negatively affecting you. Sexual activity often occupies the mind of those suffering from sex addiction, who spend long periods of time planning, engaging in and recovering from it, and it’s commonly used as a means of coping with psychological pain. Like a drug addict or a compulsive gambler, a sex addict will be pre-occupied with their chosen activity and use it to help them “forget their problems” even when it becomes obvious it’s doing more harm than good. He or she might try to stop engaging in the behaviour, but finds him or herself unable to do so.
Sex addiction is a fairly vague term because it covers many types of sexual behaviour. These include compulsive masturbation, pornography viewing, regular and ongoing affairs, voyeurism, use of prostitutes, chat room or online sex, anonymous sex, dangerous sexual practices, exhibitionism and more. Ultimately, these behaviours release brain chemicals also implicated in drug addiction – such as dopamine – and can lead to financial problems, neglected work responsibilities and problems in relationships much like drug addictions do. It’s estimated that around 6 percent of people in the UK suffer from sex addiction, and it’s more common in men than women.
How Sex Addiction Counselling Helps
If you’re struggling with the issue, sex addiction counselling is the main treatment available. Although many different approaches can be used, cognitive behavioural therapy is among the most common. This focuses on the interaction between your thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and helps people understand the cycle of sex addiction and how their own personal triggers (internal or external cues) drive them to engage in sexual behaviour.
By understanding the problem itself and the cycle of pre-occupation with sexual activity, ritualisation (as the individual prepares for the next activity) engaging in the activity and then despair (shame, guilt, self-loathing and feelings of powerlessness), sex addiction counselling helps people recognise what’s happening and use healthier coping mechanisms to regain control of their behaviour. It doesn’t involve total abstinence from sex (as may be recommended for drugs), it just means learning to overcome the intrusive compulsions to engage in sexual behaviour even when it’s dangerous or harmful.
Finding Sex Addiction Counselling
Attending sex addiction counselling in Luton and Dunstable is the first step to regaining control over your behaviour. If you’re having problems in your day to day life because of sex addiction, remember that your issue is nothing to be ashamed of, and help is available. Get in touch with us today to find out more about sex addiction and how we can help.
For more information about our costs for sex addiction counselling services please see the about us page.