The term sexual addiction may be confusing. It isn’t the best term, yet it’s commonly used to describe out of control sexual behavior. Sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder. It’s about the ability to connect in a meaningful way in relationships. When unhealthy sexual behavior becomes unmanageable, it devastates the individual and family. Disruption in the family, work, and other areas of life is common. Sexual addiction is a multi-dimensional problem. Treatment involves addressing behaviors, emotions, physical changes in the brain and body, spirituality, and relationships. For complete recovery to take place, all five of these dimensions must be addressed. For the behavioral dimension, the addict must get sober, but also must learn healthy behaviors to replace the unhealthy ones. The emotional dimension involves healing for past emotional wounds and learning skills for improving ongoing emotional self-care. The physical dimension includes addressing the impact of sexual addiction and trauma on the brain and body. A critical focus at Capstone Sexual Recovery & Transformation is to help the addict learn what he/she is medicating with the sexual behavior and find legitimate solutions to these needs. Pornography and sexual acting out present an illusion or false solutions. Spirituality and faith in God is a part of the healing process that the addict also needs to examine.
Sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder that affects the addict’s spouse and family and presents one of the biggest challenges for the couple in recovery. New relationships skills must be learned and applied during the stages of recovery. Intimacy disorders don’t heal in isolation. This is why group participation is a critical part of the recovery process. It is common to feel frightened about coming to a group. Fears quickly subside as you realize that you aren’t alone. Many have started group believing they would be shamed or rejected; yet find the opposite to be true. Therapy groups are a place of acceptance and healing. When you come to a group for sexual integrity issues you will find a place of support, guidance and hope.
Failure to address all of these dimensions effectively results in partial or temporary recovery. When all dimensions are addressed, the process of recovery and transformation is powerful. At Capstone Sexual Recovery & Transformation, we are concerned about getting to the root issues of the out of control sexual behavior.
Sexual addiction is a core process addiction. It is different from drug and alcohol addiction. Process addictions involve behaviors and desires that are essential and normal (food, work, etc…) Addiction to food, work, sex, and other process addictions involve changing your relationship with the addictive behavior whereas drug addiction would involve giving up a behavior completely. Food addicts must continue to eat, and workaholics must continue to work. Developing healthy sexuality is an important part of Capstone Sexual Recovery & Transformation.
Sexual Addiction, Sexual Integrity…what if I’m not an addict? How can I tell if I’m an addict?
Groups at Capstone Sexual Recovery & Transformation strive to build sexual integrity in individuals and families. You may be struggling with the question “am I an addict?” If you have tried to stop behaviors, and can’t stay stopped, then it is getting unmanageable and may require professional treatment. Don’t let a label stop you from getting help. Sexual integrity issues exist at different levels. The program at Capstone Sexual Recovery & Transformation has been proven successful with a wide variety of sexual integrity issues. Don’t let a label stop you from getting the help you need. If the problem is unmanageable and affecting your life, then Capstone Sexual Recovery & Transformation will have resources that can help.
Dimensions of Sexual Addiction
Sexual Addiction is a multi-dimensional problem. It involves addressing, behavior, spirituality, relationships, emotional wounds (including neglect and abandonment), and the physical impact on the body and brain. For complete recovery to take place, all five of these dimensions must be addressed. Sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder. Intimacy disorders don’t heal in isolation. That’s why groups are a critical part of the recovery process. It’s common to feel frightened about coming to a group. Fears quickly subside as you realize that you aren’t alone. Many have started group believing they would be shamed or rejected, yet find the opposite to be true. These therapy groups are a place of acceptance and healing. When you come to a group for sexual integrity issues you will find a place of support, guidance, and hope.
Sexual addiction has a behavioral dimension. The addict must get sober in order to get well. There is a spiritual dimension. Spirituality and faith in God is a part of the healing process. The relational dimension presents one of the biggest challenges for the couple in recovery. The impact on the spouse and children is serious. Relational skills are taught and applied to the stages of recovery. The emotional dimension involves healing the wounds of sexual addiction and the impact on the family. A critical focus at Capstone Intimacy & Healthy Sexuality is to learn what you are medicating with the behavior and to find legitimate solutions to these needs. Pornography and sexual acting out present an illusion, or false solutions. The physical dimension and the impact of sexual addiction and trauma on the brain and body are a part of the program. Failure to address all of these dimensions effectively results in partial or temporary recovery. When all dimension are addressed, the process of recovery and transformation is powerful. Capstone Intimacy & Healthy Sexuality addresses each dimension of sexual addiction through a variety of methods.
Some of the options available are listed below. All are available for both addicts and spouses/partners.
- Group Therapy
- Individual Therapy
- Marital Therapy
- Family Therapy
- Pastoral Counseling
- Recovery Coaching
- Trauma Treatment
- Intensive Retreats for Couples
- Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Trauma Treatment
- Groups and Seminars on Issues such as Sexual Abuse, Boundaries, etc…
- And many, many, more…
Spouses/Partners of Sex Addicts
What if the addict in my life refuses to get help? The good news for the spouse/partner is that your wounds can heal, regardless of what the addict in your life chooses. Treatment for the spouse/partner is not about the addict. It’s creating a safe place for your wounds to heal. It’s too create a safe place for you to process and share your struggles and pain.
What WON’T happen when you come to Capstone Sexual Recovery & Transformation
You will not be blamed for the addict’s choices. You will not be asked or expected to fix the addict in your life. You will not be labeled a co-addict. You will not be labeled as a codependent. These are stereotypes that don’t help you heal, and they may not even apply. If there are codependent traits or behaviors, they can be addressed, but you will not be given an identity label of “codependent.”
You WILL be treated as an individual who has been traumatized by the experience of betrayal. According to the best available research, 70% of spouses/partners develop all but one of the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) upon discovery of sexual addiction in their relationship. There is a grieving process that begins the journey. Grief and trauma must be dealt with and processed for healing to take place. You will be given tools to help you discover what you can do for a brighter future for yourself regardless of what the addict chooses. The spouses/partners group is about you and for you, and we structure it to meet your needs. Ideally, we hope the addict in your life chooses to get well. Many couples choose to take this journey together.
Since 2002, we have had over 600 people come through the Capstone Intimacy & Healthy Sexuality program (and many more through the intensive workshops offered around the U.S.) When people choose to do the courageous work of recovery, they typically succeed. There is hope, and many have gone before you in developing successful recovery as individuals, couples, and families.
The Recovery and Healing Process
There are different ways people begin the journey at Capstone Intimacy & Healthy Sexuality. Some begin with individual and/or couples counseling while others begin in the therapy groups. There is no “silver bullet” to fire at this problem that will make it go away. It is a multi-dimensional problem that will require multi-dimensional solutions. A variety of treatment methods will be used during your journey. Individual, marital, and family therapy are provided at our locations in Dunwoody, Norcross, Cumming, Marietta, and Woodstock. Pastoral counseling, recovery coaching, intensives, EMDR, and other forms of trauma treatment are provided our of our Tucker/Decatur locations. Intensive workshops and retreats are provided through Capstone Sexual Recovery & Transformation. Groups for spouses and addicts are held at our Dunwoody location.