Sex addiction refers to self-control difficulties with sexual acts. This can result in an uncontrollable desire to engage in sexual acts or thoughts. The extreme preoccupation with sex can negatively impact the quality of one’s life. An individual may engage in a wide variety of sexual behaviors, including compulsive masturbation, pornography, or ritualistic sexual acts. One may be overly consumed by thoughts and images related to sex and find difficulty maintaining intimacy with others. Relationships with loved ones often become damaged. Feelings of guilt and shame frequently accompany sex addiction. It is estimated that nearly 12 million people in the United States struggle with sex addiction.
Pornography addiction (porn addiction) often occurs in those who have a sexual compulsion. Individuals may be consumed with viewing sexually erotic images for hours at a time. Frequently, the intensity of these images escalates or internet relationships are established to satisfy the desire. For some men, this may even lead to porn-induced erectile dysfunction.
Sex addiction is a complex disorder involving the mind and body, as well as environmental influences. Genetic makeup may predispose an individual to engage in impulse and reward-seeking behavior, which is common in those with sex addiction. Sex addiction also involves brain physiology, specifically that related to motivation, learning, and behavior. Lastly, childhood experiences and social environment may influence the development of sex addiction. Understanding and identifying the triggers of sex addiction is an important aspect of treatment. Other mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression commonly accompany sex addiction. These issues must be addressed for successful treatment.
Love addiction is associated with sex addiction and often encompasses fear of rejection, a strong desire for love, and difficulty establishing trust with others. Struggling with sex and love addiction can often feel overwhelming and treatment may seem impossible. However, Dr. Mazzei believes that recovery is possible with the appropriate therapy.
Sex Addiction Treatment, Porn Addiction Treatment, and Love Addiction Treatment
Dr. Mazzei’s philosophy is to work collaboratively with you to develop customized and confidential treatment. She aims to create a non-judgmental and supportive space in which to explore your issues and create positive changes. Engaging in psychotherapy with an addiction counselor has been shown to be an effective treatment for sex addiction, love addiction, and porn addiction. The goal of psychotherapy is to help you identify the causes of your struggle, to develop the necessary skills to cope with sexual self-control issues and other mental health concerns, to establish relapse prevention strategies, and to foster positive life changes. Participating in therapy helps facilitate appropriate changes in thinking, emotions, and behavior and can help to treat the devastating effects of sex addiction, love addiction, and pornography addiction. Dr. Mazzei also incorporates lifestyle guidance, so you not only overcome your addiction but can also go on to lead a healthy life.
Treatment components may include:
- Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT is a form of psychotherapy that includes a range of therapy techniques to facilitate positive changes in thinking, feeling, and behaving. Addressing triggers, thinking and behavioral patterns helps you overcome your trouble controlling sexual desires. Relapse prevention is included to recognize the feelings, thoughts, and situations that lead to a relapse.
- Couple’s Counseling/Marital Therapy: Relationship conflict is common when you are struggling with sexual self-control. Resentment, avoidance, jealousy, and betrayal are just some of the problems that couples/partners experience. Couples therapy can help heal relationships by improving understanding and communication.
- Lifestyle Guidance: Eating nutritious foods, getting quality sleep, and exercising are just some of the activities that are important to incorporate into your life as you heal. Participating in adaptive pleasurable activities will help to improve your mood and make any feelings of withdrawal more tolerable.
- Group Counseling or Support Groups: Talking with other individuals who have experienced similar issues with sexual self-control may be helpful in your recovery. Group counseling and support groups provide you a safe space to receive encouragement and advice from people who can relate to your situation.
How do I get started?
The best place to start is by speaking to our staff, who can discuss addiction treatment, answer any questions about the process, and schedule a confidential appointment with Dr. Mazzei. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an initial consultation, please call or contact us today.
Connect with us
Evolutions Behavioral Health Services is conveniently located at 3120 N. Arizona Ave. Suite 103, Chandler, AZ. Additionally, Dr. Mazzei offers teletherapy for online sex and porn addiction treatment. You can reach us at (480) 448-6755.