If you’re looking at this it might be because you have concerns about your own behaviour or that of someone close to you. Below is some information to help you think about this issue and whether talking to us might be helpful.
So, what is sexual addiction? Well, this is a term given to any one of a variety of sexual behaviours, including use of the internet and which have become compulsive and may now be adversely affecting your life.
At Relate we understand that having a sexual addiction can feel and be devastating for those involved or connected. But how can you tell if some behaviours amount to an addiction?
Below are some questions designed to help you think about whether this maybe an issue for you or someone close.
If you have a look through and want to know more, we’ll tell you about our service for helping people begin their recovery from sexually addictive behaviours. We know that saying ‘yes’ to any of the questions can feel difficult but this can often be the first step to getting help and making changes.
- Do you find yourself very preoccupied with the activity and find it increasingly difficult to manage?
- Have you experienced harmful consequences? Things like risking your health, damage to relationships with loved ones or maybe you or your partner have lost a job due to the activity? Perhaps things that used to be important are getting neglected, like family, friends and personal goals.
- Have you or has someone close to you tried to stop what they’re doing but find it difficult to stay stopped, especially when things feel stressful or anxious?
- Do lies play a part in your life? Do you keep things from your partner or does your partner seem secretive about their behaviour?
- Do you see online ‘affairs’ or ‘friendships’ as not damaging to your main relationship even if your partner is hurt by them?
- Do you or your partner get angry or irritable when asked to give up online involvement?
- Are you or your partner committed to the intensive collection of internet pornography?
- Do you find yourself blaming your partner for your activity or does your partner tell you it’s your fault they act as they do?
Basically, if it’s a ‘yes’ to any of these, you may find it helpful to come and talk to us. Our expertise in relationships means we completely understand the damage that any of these behaviours can do to you, to family, to friends.
And, you’re not alone. Sexual addiction is an increasingly common problem. Many people find an outlet for feelings of stress, shame, low self esteem and anxiety through a variety of behaviours which eventually feel out of control and difficult to stop.
At Relate Medway & North Kent we’ve introduced two new services to help people begin the long journey towards healthy sexual choices.
Our group for people either actively engaged in addictive sexual behaviours or those who want additional help to stay stopped is a sixteen week, twenty four session series of weekly meetings which includes a non residential week end. During that time we help each member:
- Learn more about their own specific cycle of addiction and why they may have developed this way of coping with difficult feelings.
- Increase emotional awareness
- Understand about harmful consequences of the behaviour
- Explore healthy sexuality and relationships
- Develop an individually tailored relapse prevention plan
We understand that people can feel very worried about bringing problems like this to a group but we also know that the support of the group and therapists can be a key ingredient to recovery and maintenance of change.
If you get in touch, we’ll ask you to come to an initial consultation with one of our specially trained team. Together, you can decide if joining the group might be helpful and explore other resources that could help too.
Our group for partners meets for twelve weeks. It is designed to offer a supportive environment where each individual can
- Learn about sexually compulsive behaviour
- Understand about co-dependency in relationships
- Learn to recognize healthy boundaries and responsibilities
- Understand healthy sexuality and relationship choices
- Think about healthy choices for themselves and their relationship
Again, if you come and visit us in Gillingham, we can decide together if this could be a helpful way of getting the support you need whilst you explore some of the ideas above.
A bit about us...
This service is provided by experienced psycho-sexual and relationship therapists all of whom have undertaken further training in the treatment of and recovery from sexual addiction and abide by the British Association of Sexual and Relationship Therapy code of ethics.
We understand that getting help can feel like a very big step, especially if you’ve never told anyone else, but if you want to talk about it now, please get in touch. Contact us on 01634 380038 and he will answer any preliminary questions, including our charges, before you decide whether to make an appointment to see one of our therapists.
It’s a big first step. If you want, we’re here to help you take it.