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Sexual Compulsivity and Sex Addiction

“Facing and Overcoming Sex Addiction”

Is Sex Addiction real?

This is often one of the first questions we are asked. The short answer is a definitive Yes.
The long answer is that there are many forms and levels of compulsive sexual behavior, and not all of them qualify as a sex addiction. Hypersexuality Disorder was proposed for addition to the DSM5, but not yet accepted. Martin P. Kafka has written an excellent article on the proposal.

Even if a partner has had an affair outside of the relationship or is viewing internet pornography on a frequent basis, this does not always indicate that an addiction is present. A true diagnosis requires testing and evaluation by a skilled therapist with specialized training in sexual addiction.

Q: Can any therapist treat sex addiction?
A: While traditional addiction or marriage and family therapists may be able to provide some insight, and provide conjunct support in therapy, both the client and the partner will generally get more benefit from the additional specialized training and more proven methods that target this area specifically.

Q: What is required for treatment of sexual addiction?
A: Like other disorders, treatment varies widely and could include anything from weekly outpatient or group meetings to intensive 1 or 2 week daily outpatient, all the way to 30-60 day inpatient facilities.  Your therapist will be able to assist in determining a recommended treatment plan based on your individual circumstances.

Q: Partner treatment.
A: When sex addiction is discovered or diagnosed, it is often traumatizing to the partner. At Parker Counseling and Education Services, we consider partner and additional couples therapy to be an essential part of the recovery process.

Q: How could I not have known this was happening?
A: In many cases, due to an over-reactive shame and guilt response over their sexuality, a sex addict has become an expert in deceit and lies. It is very common for the partner to not have been aware, sometimes for years. Many times the addicts have been in denial of their actions even to themselves, caught up in a spiral of depression and guilt.

Q: Will my insurance pay for sex addiction treatment?
A: Sex Addiction is not currently defined in the official Diagnostic and Statistical Manual version 5 (DSM 5). As a result, we are not able to bill some insurance companies directly for this treatment. All clients are able to receive treatment by self-pay and many have had success submitting receipts to their insurance companies for full or partial reimbursement, or contributing to their FSA plans. Your therapist can assist you in developing the most cost effective treatment plan.

Many individuals with sexual compulsivity, sexual addiction, or sexual anorexia disorders have a history of significant trauma (sex related or not) in their lives, either childhood or adult. At Parker Counseling and Education Services, our staff is also experienced in providing outstanding trauma care and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) that may sometimes be needed in addition to traditional counseling.

Co-existing or co-morbid disorders:

Compulsive sexual behaviors may have developed as an inappropriate coping mechanism to escape the unprocessed feelings and emotions. This can be similar to, or sometimes in conjunction with alcohol and drug abuse or other addictions. At Parker Counseling and Education Services, we believe in a holistic approach to helping both the individual and partnership become healthier and happier.

Leading Methods and Training
Our primary therapists Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) and Associate Sex Addiction Therapist (ASAT) training at the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) has included instruction given directly by Dr. Patrick Carnes, widely considered to be the most expert person alive on the subject of sex addiction, and the author of numerous well respected books on the subject in addition to other nationally recognized training.

Individual and Group therapy available:
We provide individual, partner, couples, and group therapy sessions, and often a combination of the above. Please arrange a consultation with a therapist to determine the appropriate type and level of therapy for your situation.
Our individual, partner and couples therapy sessions are developed uniquely for your situation.

Our individual and group sessions are modeled after the industry leading methods developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes.

Some offerings include:
“Facing and Overcoming Sex Addiction” - A workbook, experiential exercises, and group therapy designed specifically for sexual addiction. Based on "Facing the Shadow" by Dr. Patrick Carnes
“Facing Addictions” – A workbook, experiential exercises, and group therapy designed for multiple addiction types but focused mainly on chemical type addictions such as drug and alcohol abuse.
“Breaking Free from Love Addictions” – Recovery from unhealthy "loving" of another is possible.

Do your relationships cause you to feel any of the following emotions or bring about any of these pattern behaviors?

Fear or hopelessness when  not actively involved in a relationship 
A lack of trust in your partner's ability to meet your needs 
Extreme  changes  in your sexual patterns 
Increased use of alcohol or other  addictive drugs 
Excessive anxiety  when  pursuing your own ambitions 
Constantly seeking a newer, better or more exciting relationship 
Isolation  from friends and interests in order  to pursue a relationship

Please see our “Events” Calendar for scheduling information of group classes – Initial consultation and Pre-registration required prior to attending. Individual Counseling also available.

How do I know if my partner and I need help?

Several basic self-assessments are available to help determine if you should seek professional advice. We participate with IITAP at, one of the leading national training and assessment organizations.
Download our free sex addiction informational flyer:
“Facing and Overcoming Sex Addiction”

Free Assessments:

SAST: The SAST is an initial assessment test for people with potentially addictive behaviors. It provides a profile of responses that help distinguish between addictive and non-addictive behaviors. It was developed in cooperation with hospitals, treatment programs, private therapists and community groups.

PSS: Partner Sexuality Survey. Is my partner a sex addict? This is an often asked question. There are resources which can help you and your spouse/partner make a determination if he/she is struggling with sexual addiction.

Betrayl Bond Index: The series of statements below describe traumatic bonding, wherein a person bonds on the basis of betrayal. The result is what we call a "betrayal bond”. Take this test if you think you may be involved in a relationship that involves betrayal bonding.

ISST: The Internet Sex Screening Test (ISST). This inventory asks questions about online and offline sexual behavior. We are currently collecting data on this screening test and therefore do not have cut-off scores to indicate whether or not you have a problem with Internet sex.

Paid Assessments:

Sexual Dependency Inventory - Revised (SDI-R)
For more complete diagnoses, there is a much more detailed testing and evaluation. The Sexual Dependency Inventory (SDI-R) is very comprehensive standardized test developed as a comparative measure against other individuals at varied levels of sexual compulsivity, sexual addiction, or sexual anorexia. There is a small fee associated with this level of testing. Contact us to setup an appointment to discuss this level of testing and professional evaluation or call for more information.