How EMDR Therapy Can Help Sex Addicts And Their Partners
Sex addiction riddles a relationship with secrecy, shame and resentment. It is essential to not only understand if you or your loved one is suffering from a sex addiction but also what steps to take next.
How would you know if you or a loved one is a sex addict?
Some indicators may include:
- Compulsive masturbation
- Participation in multiple affairs
- Compulsive use of pornography
- Engagement in risky or unsafe sex
What steps can you take to get help?
Usually, therapy is the first step towards recovery from any addiction. Therapy is not only for the sex addict! If you are a partner of a sex addict, it is important to seek therapy and support for yourself during the process of recovery
EMDR Therapy for Sex Addiction
A frequent misconception is that sex addiction is a choice or driven by a lack of satisfaction with a partner. However, researchers consider sex addiction to be a result of trauma.
There are several different approaches that therapists may use to help patients suffering from sex addiction. One of the most effective treatments is EDMR or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing.
EDMR helps process and heal traumas that are repressed or deeply ingrained in the psyche.
There are 8 phases of EDMR treatment:
- History and Treatment Planning
- Body Scan
These phases will occur over several sessions. Depending on the length and severity of trauma, treatment can take months to over a year to complete.
Why Choose EDMR?
For the Addict:
- EDMR leads to understanding how trauma links to addiction.We may feel frustrated and defeated by our addictions, especially if we don’t know how the habit began and what continues to feed it. By retracing the problem to a traumatic event and negative self-beliefs, we gain a better understanding of our addiction and can differentiate ourselves from the urges and behaviors.
- It helps to create healthier attachments.One of the essential concerns of EDMR is to reconfigure the negative associations we have with specific events and ourselves. We will often find that during treatment, we are not only resolving the trauma, but also becoming equipped with tools to overcome the behaviors associated with that trauma.
- It will establish core beliefs.Without a set of firm, core beliefs, we are prone to falling back into old behaviors after leaving treatment. To prevent relapse and feel as though we have something that inspires and moves us forward, therapists in EDMR sessions will encourage patients to develop a set of beliefs that promote positive associations.
EDMR is also beneficial for the partner of someone suffering from a sex addiction.
For The Partner:
- EDMR gives them the courage and support to face betrayal.Partners of sex addicts feel betrayed by their partners, Dealing with this betrayal can be scary and overwhelming, Partners might feel the need to repress their pain. EDMR provides a safe space to face the problem and tools to deal with the feelings and negative self-beliefs that follow discovery.
- It helps establish boundaries in the relationship.During recovery, both partners need respect, patience, and space to recover. EDMR will help identify triggers and assist in establishing the boundaries that are required to ensure safety for both partners
- It can work to re-establish trust.After treatment ends, it may be difficult to regain trust in our significant other. EDMR can help mend distrust by resolving the negative self-beliefs and traumatic events.
Sex addiction is difficult for both the addict and partner. Accompanied by shame and suspicion, it is vital to seek proper therapy to begin the process of healing
EDMR is a treatment plan trusted by many therapists that can help not only the addict but also the addict’s partner. Together, with patience and kindness towards one another, EDMR can help restore a relationship’s love and trust.