What Does Sex Addiction Help Look Like?
If your idea of sex addiction help looks like something out of an episode of Dr. Oz, you might need to adjust your way of thinking. The hugely popular television program is known for its dramatic and e segments focusing on people addicted to substances or destructive behavior.
In these episodes, the addicts in question are confronted with their actions and their associated consequences, supposedly with the goal of helping them overcome their sexual addiction.
The Problem with The Dr. Oz Show
All this makes for compelling TV, to be sure. But as gripping and engaging as these segments are, they aren’t entirely accurate. Worse still, they aim to tackle complex and multifaceted issues and present extremely simple solutions to address them.
The main problem with this approach is that it often ignores the complex, interrelated factors that often lie at the heart of the problem or at least contribute to it. In addition, established research and medical practices show that sex addiction help is a long game, consisting of a series of steps that address the problem’s myriad issues.
As is often depicted in popular culture, Dr. Oz’s program tends to gloss over the deep-seated reasons for addiction in preference for the “quick fix.” Unfortunately, the show is by no means the only one guilty of this cavalier approach. In fact, it is the standard course of action in many of these “feel good” “self-help” programs.
Based on these observations, it might seem that these shows do more harm than good. They also highlight one of the biggest obstacles to implementing an effective and lasting solution to addiction, which is how such problems are largely underreported and even ignored.
It is alarming to note that as many as 87% of sexual addicts are addicted to other destructive behaviors as well. Therefore, the simplistic approach employed by Dr. Oz and other daytime TV “therapists” often fails to address the entirety of the problems that sex addicts struggle with.
What Actual Sex Addiction Help Looks Like
So far, we’ve detailed an approach that we feel doesn’t adequately address the problem of sex addiction. But what does work? What does effective sex addiction help actually look like?
For starters, it would help to ask questions such as “how significant is sexuality to the addiction?” Even this simple query could reveal more valuable information than any episode of Dr. Oz.
Follow up questions could help reveal why patients relapse or remain unable to resist their compulsive behaviors. Compulsion is an especially crucial area of analysis, as it plays a significant role in why some patients manage to overcome their sexual addiction while others remain on an endless cycle of recovery and relapse. If the issues driving the compulsion remain unaddressed, there is little chance that the sex addict will get better.
Competency-based therapy has proven to be one of the most effective courses of action for sex addicts. When this approach is combined with specific tasks, it can be remarkably helpful for those that are willing to work towards recovery.
This particular form of sex addiction help often involves in-depth assessment and therapy as well as the use of relevant resources and workbooks. With this approach, therapy usually consists of individual and group sessions.
Focus On The Individual
One of the key characteristics of effective sex addiction help is that it considers the individual’s choices and preferences. This is especially important when it comes to sharing information, as not everyone is comfortable divulging every aspect of their personal lives. With the most effective treatments, protecting the patient’s privacy is integral to the healing and recovery process.
Every effort should also be made to minimize the suffering that patients go through. For example, when dealing with sex addiction, there is always a great deal of emphasis placed on the damage that sex addicts cause and how much they hurt the people who care for them, and rightly so.
However, we mustn’t forget the pain and suffering that sex addicts experience either. Doing so reduces the chances of recovery and makes them more likely to revert to destructive patterns of behavior.
By acknowledging the struggles they are going through and helping assuage their pain, sex addiction help gives addicts hope and makes it possible for them to envision a life free from their demons.
The Way Forward
Of course, sex addiction help comes in many forms. Just as addicts fall into the lifestyle via many paths, there are many ways by which they could work their way out of it. Even so, we are confident that recovery will more likely result from a carefully considered and therapeutically- and medically-sound approach rather than the “quick-fix” “solutions” offered by the Dr. Oz show and others of its kind.