The best treatment for sexual addiction

Sex addiction expert Kenneth M. Adams, PhD explains the basic tenets of sex addiction treatment
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The best treatment for sexual addiction

So the good news, there is successful treatment for sexual addiction. Like other sexual disorders, we have solid recovery and treatment models in which we can help people to arrest their behavior and live within a set of boundaries just like you would with an eating disorder, right? People with eating problems, eating addictions learn to live within limits. I can't really eat that, you can, but I can't. The same is true with a sex addict. I can't go to the R rated movie. You know, I know it doesn't make sense to you, but if I go then I start thinking about my affair partner. If I start thinking about my affair partner, I start wanting to masterbate, or I start wanting to call her up, so I have to learn to live within limits. So addiction recovery is about teaching people to live within limits and then resolving the underlying issues like childhood dysfunction, abuse issues, and then learning to be intimate and connected, and to value loving somebody and attaching to somebody over finding my high. So that has to be a shift. When we see addicts who make that shift, they're willing to give up the search for the high for the opportunity to have love, now we have a recovering person, and that's a person that you can trust. And we see that all the time, and that's about a three to five year process. So we have, we don't have alot of treatment outcome research, we have some, but in the first couple years people are usually dealing with the management of the consequences of the problem. They're looking at establishing what we refer to as the sobriety plan, living within sexual boundaries. They're starting to make new decisions. They're ending the relationships that don't work. They stop hanging out with friends they shouldn't hang out with, they build new friends. So the first couple years is management and then after a couple years, we begin to see a shift in the value system, and those people, the ones that we're seeing, stay in recovery. And in many ways, they are more trustworthy than some folks who might not be in a recovery program. They're more attentive to their stress levels. They're more attentive to when they're disconnected from thier partners. They know if they stay disconnected for long periods of time, they're at risk to seek acting in their sexual addiction.

Sex addiction expert Kenneth M. Adams, PhD explains the basic tenets of sex addiction treatment


Expert Bio

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Kenneth M. Adams, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Kenneth M. Adams, Ph.D., CSAT, is a Licensed Psychologist, the Clinical Director and Founder of Kenneth M. Adams and Associates in suburban Detroit, Michigan, as well as a faculty member at the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals. As previous Clinical Director for the Life Healing Center in Sante Fe, New Mexico, a residential treatment center for trauma and addiction, Dr Adams created the first inpatient program exclusively for partners of sex addicts. In addition to maintaining an active clinical practice, Dr. Adams is a national lecturer, workshop leader, and consultant in the areas of child abuse, dysfunctional family systems, and sex addiction. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed publications, the books Silently Seduced and When He’s Married to Mom, as well as co-editor of Clinical Management of Sex Addiction. In 2011, Dr Adams received the “Carnes Award” for “outstanding work in the field of sexual addiction and compulsivity”. He is a certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), a CSAT supervisor, and CSAT training facilitator as well as an Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) practitioner. Dr. Adams is a member of the American Psychological Association, Michigan Psychological Association, Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH), and International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) as well as an advisory board member to SASH and IITAP, and an editorial board member of Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment and Prevention. For more on Dr Adams visit


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