Compulsive Sexual Behavior/Sex Addiction Counseling – Does Your Sexual Behavior Feel Out of Control to You?

Do you consistently find yourself engaging in sexual activities that feel out of control? Do your sexual choices often have consequences that extend beyond just sex, such as spending too much money on prostitutes, keeping secrets, or carrying a lot of shame? Perhaps you identify as a heterosexual male but routinely have sex with other males outside your relationship. Are you a female going from partner to partner, using sex as an emotional drug? Or, has pornography become a daily ritual that interferes with work and other responsibilities? Have you tried to refrain from unwanted sexual behavior, but cannot go too long without returning to the old, comfortable, and often intoxicating pattern? Do you wish you could stop engaging in risky, degrading, and compulsive behavior, and develop a healthier, more fulfilling relationship to sex?

Engaging in compulsive sexual behavior can be a shameful, isolating, and deeply confusing experience. You may be consumed with incessant sexual thoughts most of the day and constantly cruise pornography or hook-up websites, looking for your next sexual partner or release. The anticipation or thrill of the event may be exhilarating, but once it is over, you may be consumed with guilt and fearful that you will be found out. Or, maybe you have been caught, and you are now terrified that you will lose your partner, family, or job. While you may have tried to control unwanted sexual behavior, the excitement, anticipation, or taboo nature of the sex act may continually pull you back into a cycle that you feel powerless to free yourself of.

Your Experience of Compulsive Sexual Behavior is Shared by Others

If you are struggling to control unwanted sexual behavior, you are not alone. The Internet has increasingly made every fetish, hook-up, variety of pornography, and prostitutes readily available. Studies suggest that nearly 12 million Americans suffer from some kind of sexual compulsivity, and that these compulsive behaviors are much more complex than having too much sex. For example, those struggling with compulsive sexual behavior often have a history of sexual abuse, trauma, or insecure attachment.

The good news is that you can be heard, understood, and get the help and support you need. If your sexual impulses are controlling your behavior and impacting your life, a skilled, compassionate, and non-judgmental therapist can help you find relief, learn what healthy sex is, and begin making shifts in your thinking, decisions, and behavior.

Find Relief Through Compulsive Sexual Behavior/Sex Addiction Counseling and Control Unwanted Sexual Behavior

Many mental health professionals view and treat sexual behavior that feels out of control as an "addiction," with sexual behavior being the primary problem. The sex addiction model is typically based on 12-step programs that focus on refraining from sexual behavior judged inappropriate by the program, rather than cultivating sexual behaviors that support a healthy and unique expression of your sexuality. As an alternative or adjunct to this approach, I work with sexual behavior that feels out of control as a potential symptom of some greater underlying cause that, when addressed, can lead to greater pleasure, fulfillment, and alignment in your sexual and intimate relationships.

There can be so much relief finding the space, time, and safety you need to release long-held secrets and share your experiences with another. I offer those I work with a non-judgmental and compassionate space to explore any and all issues, no matter how embarrassing they may seem to you. I welcome diversity in my practice, and I firmly believe that we are all inherently healthy and healing is always possible.

In confidential sessions, we can explore the underlying issues that are contributing to your compulsive sexual behavior. Rather than shame or judge your behaviors, I will work to help you better learn about and engage those underlying issues. I can help you understand that compulsive sexual behavior is rarely about sex, and you, like many others, may have turned to sex as a way to avoid and cope with unresolved pain. Often, identifying the origin of compulsive sexual behavior makes it easier to let go of guilt, shame, and blame and begin making healthier decisions.

As we work together, I will not ask you to refrain from all sexual activity. Rather, we will explore what drives your sexual compulsive behavior, discuss what healthy sexuality looks like to you, and identify what it is you want through sex and in relationships. If trauma or abuse is part of your past, I can help you process difficult experiences through effective trauma therapies, such as Somatic Experiencing (SE) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). We can also discuss healthy ways to increase your capacity to manage triggers, stress, and pain while you are going through the healing process.

I firmly believe that, regardless of personal history, almost anyone can practice sex in a healthy way. I have both personal and professional experience with compulsive sexual behavior, and I know first-hand what it is like to disassociate, feel like a victim, and act out sexually. But, I also know that healing is possible and that you can connect with a partner and enjoy sex in meaningful ways. It is possible to have sex without it feeling out of control. Sex can be nourishing, balanced, and empowering. With help and support, you can learn what your triggers are, make thoughtful choices, and begin living a life free of shame and secrets.

Although you may desperately want to break the cycle you are in, you still may have questions or concerns about compulsive sexual behavior Counseling…

I have done some things I am pretty ashamed of, and I am not sure I could talk about them with anyone–even a therapist.

I bring zero judgment to our sessions. In both my personal and professional experience, there is not much I have not seen, heard, or done myself. Sessions are completely compassionate and confidential, and what you choose to share with me is up to you. I will say, however, that so much relief can come with finally telling your story.

Will I have to abstain from sex while in therapy?

I take a sex-positive approach, which means you do not have to live in fear of your sexuality. Our work together is not about abstinence. It is about learning how to stop compulsive sexual behavior and have healthy, pleasurable, and nourishing sex.

I have heard that therapy is expensive and can take a long time.

Everyone comes in with his or her own history and everyone experiences sexual compulsive behavior differently. The length of time spent in therapy varies with each person, but no matter your history or compulsion, you will not be in therapy forever. Therapy is an investment in your well-being, and if you are committed to self-exploration and authenticity, it can be a rich and healing experience. You can let go of secrets, shame, and guilt and break the harmful patterns that are keeping you stuck and living in fear. Through therapy, you can learn to control unwanted sexual behavior by learning what healthy sex means for you and practice it in ways that truly feel good.


From the blog


 
Scott Church–Compulsive Sexual Behavior and Sex Addiction Therapy to Control Unwanted Sexual Behavior in Denver, CO
 

You can enjoy sex that is fulfilling. You do not have to continue to feel controlled by unwanted sexual behavior. I provide compulsive sexual behavior/sex addiction counseling in Denver, Colorado. I invite you to contact me to discuss how we could best work together and answer any questions you have about my counseling services, or log in to schedule an appointment.

-Scott Church, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate (LPCC)