Sex Addiction Therapy Vancouver

Some of the behaviors that people with sex addiction request help for are:

  • compulsive masturbation
  • uncontrolled promiscuity (including one-night stands, use of prostitutes, massage parlors, "cruising", repetitive sex affairs, escort services etc.)
  • dependence on pornography (including internet pornography)
  • telephone sex dependence
  • cybersex (dependence on Internet-related sexually oriented chat-rooms, message boards, etc.)
  • severe sex drive incompatibility (when one partner's excessive sex drive is incompatible with the other partner's normal sex drive)

Approach to Treating Sex Addiction

Addictive sexual behavior involves the dysregulation or disinhibition of sexual arousal and desire. This disregulation is characterized by a lack of control over nonrelational sexual fantasies, urges and activities resulting in adverse personal consequences. Individuals report negative consequences such as failed relationships, financial hardship, reduced productivity, low self-esteem, and sexually transmitted diseases.

I use a depth-cognitive-affective-behavioral approach to treating sexual addiction. In this approach, I view addictive sexual behavior as a defense, a way of avoiding early trauma feelings (fear, shame, and pain) and escaping into the transient pleasure of driven sexual behavior. Avoiding our feelings through addictive sexual behavior leads to negative consequences and increased unhappiness. The goal of treatment is to help people relinquish the addictive sexual behavior by feeling rather than avoiding their feelings and reaching out for real gratification from a close connection with a sexual partner and goal-directed behavior. I illustrate this approach with the clinical case of a married man with a history of addictive sexual behavior in the form of dependency on internet pornography /compulsive masturbation as well as promiscuity.

If you would like more information regarding sex addiction, please feel free to contact me at 604-873-0222 or at info@pauljames.ca.