The Importance of a Sexual Compulsivity Relapse Prevention Plan

The Importance of a Sexual Compulsivity Relapse Prevention Plan

Stopping a behavior pattern isn’t an easy thing to do. It’s also not enough to just stop the behavior. Stopping the behavior pattern is the first hurdle. However, making an ongoing change is another challenge altogether. This is where many people stumble, only to realize that they are back where they started. It is also where many people just say, “screw it,” and start their old patterns over again.

Relapse prevention planning is important in all addictions. It’s also important when dealing with sexually compulsive behavior. When sexual behavior is out of control, you have to come up with a plan to manage this. Yet, when dealing with a sexual problem such as this, there are things that can make it difficult to create this plan. These barriers can include:

  • A lack of awareness about emotions.
  • High amounts of sexual shame.
  • Impulsivity and disorders that are related to this (ADHD, and Bipolar disorder)
  • Low levels of depression.
  • Issues with stress and anxiety.

In other compulsive behaviors, such as gambling or substance use, you’ll likely just stay away from the behavior altogether. When dealing with out of control sexual behavior, you’re not going to want to cut sexuality out of your life. We need healthy sexuality. This will make planning more difficult, because you’ll have to understand your own definition of healthy sexuality. This vagueness can make planning even more challenging.

Managing sexually out of control behavior means that you have to first identify the lines where it is out of control. What is out of control and what is healthy sexuality for you? Drawing these particular lines is the first step in recognizing where things are manageable, and where things are likely to end up in a compulsive space.

The first thing to do when developing a relapse prevention plan around sexual compulsivity is the most important. You have to identify the lines of where your behavior gets out of control.

Some of these lines will be related to boundaries in your relationship. Your decisions may be related to some of the concerns that your partner has about your sexual relationship. However, you also have to identify and understand healthy sexuality for yourself. This will be important for personal understanding of topics to discuss in your relationship down the road.

You will have to create a long term plan with long term goals, but most importantly you’ll have to create a plan with short term goals as well. These are the day-to-day considerations that will keep you on your plan. Many overlook the importance of these things because they don’t seem big enough, or important enough to consider. Without looking at these smaller things, reaching your long-term goal is less an less likely.

This is where a pen and paper are critical. Many will try to come up with this plan in their heads. However, this also tends to mean that the plan is disorganized. Taking that time to write this down also allows you to edit this in the future.

You also want to get feedback from others. Other people might be able to see things that you can’t see or recognize. For example, you might notice that certain emotional experiences are more likely to get you to place where you might use out of control sexual behavior to manage these feelings. Without feedback, you may not see these things, where others do see them.

If you’re in a situation where your sexual behavior has become out of control, planning is critical. Not planning drastically lowers your chances of making a change. So take steps today to put your plan together.

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