Sexual Compulsivity and What Makes Sense to You

Sexual Compulsivity and What Makes Sense to You

In this video, Michael Salas talks about personal considerations that you need to make regarding sexual compulsivity. Because opinions can differ greatly within the therapy community, it can be confusing to figure out what path you should go on. Here are considerations for you while you’re on this journey.
Michael Salas from Vantage Point Counseling. I’ve talked about this a little bit on my blog, but I thought I would also do a video on it, because I think it’s an important thing to discuss. As you know, or maybe don’t know, if you look at our our blog or our other videos [you’ll see] I’m a sex therapist and a sex addiction therapist. And there’s been a little bit of conflict between the two. This has created a lot of important discussion about when there is problematic sexual behavior or compulsive sexual behavior, [and] does that constitute as an addiction.
There are differing opinions on that and I talked about that a little bit in another video that you can watch on our
youtube channel about whether or not sex addiction is real.  However, in this particular video I wanted to take a little bit to address your importance as a client and how important it is for you to make decisions for yourself, when you’re thinking about how you want to deal with a problem that has to do with any type of sexual compulsivity.
Some people come into therapy because they’re identifying that there’s a problem that they have with their relationships, work, and [problems] in their own self-esteem as it relates to themselves sexually. And they feel like things have gotten out of control, so they seek out therapy to kind of help them better understand and better manage the behaviors that they’re struggling with.
Others will come into therapy because they have a family member (typically a partner) who’s really struggling with connecting, reconnecting, or trying to build or foster a committed relationship with their partner, [despite] sexual behavior. Regardless of the motivating factor, one of the things that is really important to look at is what you’re looking to get out of the therapeutic process. And [then] finding an approach that really works well with you.
This also means that you might need to find a therapist is going to be flexible with that too, because there’s no one particular model or way of dealing with any problem, really. You need to find someone that kind of lands and make sense to you. And starts to resonate with you and your movement through the process of trying to figure out what you want out of your life.
In some of these debates about sex addiction, there is is a little bit of a concern that I have that we could get too focused on the therapeutic opinions about how the problem should actually be labeled, rather than focusing on allowing clients to uncover and unpack and identify this for themselves, what they want to look like as a healthy sexual relationship with their partner, with themselves, and the boundaries that they identify.
So as you’re walking through this journey, recognize that there is there is no one expert, or group, or organization who has all of the answers. We’re [the therapist community] uncovering and learning about all the mental health issues together. It’s a process and journey for us as well. So if you find someone who seems rigidly [to be] holding their feet deep in concrete surrounding one particular therapeutic modality, or ideology, keep in mind that there are a lot of therapists who are also very open-minded about it, and understand that it’s a process. And [understand that this is] part of the process of you unpacking what can help you work through it. For some people the label of sexual addiction does help them to identify a community base and a place where they can get support in a particular way. For others that particular label doesn’t help them, and they actually stay away from it. But they can still make some improvements and work through it in a way that makes the most sense to them.
What I’m ultimately saying with that is “that it’s really important to figure out who you are in this process.” The therapist’s role is to reflect that back to you in a way that you can identify it in your own story. And how you would identify with this issue that you’re facing. And also what do you want to resolve? So without getting into all of the dynamics of the actual debate around sexual addiction, and because it can be kind of confusing while you’re sifting through all of the different materials and different opinions, these are the key pieces that you need to keep in mind.
Thank you for listening
Share
1 Comment
  1. Good insights, Michael. I particularly like the emphasis on not needing to label or adhere to an inflexible model.

Leave a Reply