Are you engaging in the following behaviors and have noticed an increase over a period of time? Have you suffered financial loss and relationship problems because of this behavior, but you continue to do it? Are you fearful someone will find out, but you have tried to stop and can’t?
Compulsive masturbation (self-stimulation)
Multiple affairs (extra-marital affairs)
Consistent use of pornography — Engaging in unsafe sexual activity
Multiple or anonymous sexual partners and/or one-night stands
Phone or computer sex (cybersex) — Prostitution or Soliciting Prostitution
Exhibitionism — Obsessive dating through personal ads
Voyeurism (watching others) and/or stalking
Sexual harassment — Molestation/rape
If you answered yes to engaging in the behaviors listed above and relate to the definitions given below, you may have a sex addiction. There is help available through counseling – you do not have to continue in this destructive behavior.
Dr. Crystal Hollenbeck has been trained by the International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) in Sex Addiction Therapy, The American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC) in Sex Addiction treatment to address the specific aspects of sex addiction relating to Biblical beliefs about sexual issues that Christians may be facing, and is an APSATS Certified Clinical Partner Specialist. In addition, she is a graduate of the Florida Post Graduate Sex Therapy Institute which has trained her to treat all areas of sexually related issues including dysfunction, disorders, addiction, and sexual identity issues.
The following definitions are listed on www.sexhelp.com. This website was created by IITAP which is led by the leading expert in the field of sexual addiction, Dr. Patrick Carnes.
Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment.
Sexual addiction has been called sexual dependency and sexual compulsivity. By any name, it is a compulsive behavior that completely dominates the addict’s life. Sexual addicts make sex a priority more important than family, friends, and work. Sex becomes the organizing principle of addict’s lives. They are willing to sacrifice what they cherish most in order to preserve and continue their unhealthy behavior.
No single behavior pattern defines sexual addiction. These behaviors, when they have taken control of addicts’ lives and become unmanageable, include: compulsive masturbation, compulsive heterosexual and homosexual relationships, pornography, prostitution, exhibitionism, voyeurism, indecent phone calls, child molesting, incest, rape and violence. Even the healthiest forms of human sexual expression can turn into self-defeating behaviors.
Sexual anorexia is an obsessive state in which the physical, mental, and emotional task of avoiding sex dominates one’s life. Like self-starvation with food or compulsive dieting or hoarding with money, deprivation with sex can make one feel powerful and defended against all hurts.
As with any other altered state of consciousness, such as those brought on by chemical use, compulsive gambling or eating, or any other addiction process, the preoccupation with the avoidance of sex can seem to obliterate one’s life problems. The obsession can then become a way to cope with all stress and all life difficulties. Yet, as with other addictions and compulsions, the costs are great. In this case, sex becomes a furtive enemy to be continually kept at bay, even at the price of annihilating a part of oneself.
Trauma Related Issues
Most people who struggle with sexual addiction have experienced childhood or young adulthood trauma. Dr. Crystal Hollenbeck uses Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) to help you process and heal from trauma while addressing your current sexual behaviors.
There is Hope for Healing that produces Harmony through counseling.