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What are the Different Types of Sex Addiction Treatments?

Laura M. Sands
Updated May 17, 2024
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Some of the most common sex addiction treatments include psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and peer support groups. Individuals grappling with an addiction will sometimes try several different types in order to regain control of their lives. Sex addiction treatments can take place in an inpatient setting or patients can be treated on an outpatient basis.

It is not unusual for sex addiction symptoms to go unnoticed until they begin to interfere with one’s personal relationships, work and life, in general. Most sex addiction treatments begin, however, when a person admits that she or he is unable to control sexual compulsions. Such compulsions may include sexual acts, viewing pornography and an unusual attachment to other sexual stimulants. After identifying that an addiction is uncontrollable, those who seek treatment will often first undergo an intense evaluation by a trained counselor or therapist before being recommended for treatment in a personal or a group setting.

In psychotherapy, a trained therapist will try to help a person understand and cope with an addiction by exploring possible causes, discussing how it has affected the person and trying to understand triggers that initiate a sexual reaction. Also known as talk therapy, psychotherapy attempts to help a person gain a deeper understanding into her or his motivations while correcting poor behaviors. This type of therapy can be administered in a personal or a group setting.

Hypnotherapy is sometimes combined with psychotherapy or may be used alone in sex addiction therapy. By retraining the mind to immediately recognize addiction triggers, a person can often gain control over responses. During hypnotherapy, helpful suggestions are also given for avoiding negative responses to triggers when they arise.

Self-help groups, also known as peer support groups, are also considered to be effective sex addiction treatments. Regular meetings that encourage individuals to share experiences with others intent on overcoming similar addictions is regarded as a powerful treatment strategy. Often used in other addiction treatments, such as alcoholism and drug abuse, this type of therapy typically pairs new group members with other members, known as sponsors, who have grown to manage an addiction and can provide support to others.

The primary goal of most sex addiction treatments is to not only stop harmful sexual behaviors, but to also identify ways in which a person can identify triggers that prompt such behaviors. In doing so, a therapist or a trained addiction counselor will explore a person’s childhood and past sexual history in an attempt to determine when and how the addiction originated. During most sex addiction treatments, counselors will also attempt to help patients overcome feelings of guilt and shame, and build strong coping mechanisms, instead.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Laura M. Sands
By Laura M. Sands , Former Writer
Laura Sands, the founder of a publishing company, brings her passion for writing and her expertise in digital publishing to her work. With a background in social sciences and extensive online work experience, she crafts compelling copy and content across various platforms. Her ability to understand and connect with target audiences makes her a skilled contributor to any content creation team.

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Laura M. Sands

Laura M. Sands

Former Writer

Laura Sands, the founder of a publishing company, brings her passion for writing and her expertise in digital publishing...
Learn more
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