The destructive nature of all types of addictions affects many other people in addition to the addict. This is certainly true of sex addiction, in which the partner of the sex addict is likely to feel betrayed. Some partners might even wonder if they somehow could have prevented the infidelity. At a sex addiction rehab center in Los Angeles, CA, couples can seek help from a relationship therapist. During sessions with the relationship therapist, the partner or spouse of the addict may find some comfort in learning about the nature of addiction and discovering that the addict’s behaviors are not the fault of the partner or spouse.
It can feel empowering for both partners to be involved with the sex addiction program. Couple’s counseling is an opportunity to explore the path toward healing and take a renewed look at the relationship to evaluate whether it might be repaired. During couple’s counseling, both partners can discuss problems and conflicts in a constructive, compassionate way.
When an addict first enters into treatment, he or she does so with the understanding that the initial withdrawal process will be followed by a lengthy period of individual and group therapy. It’s commonly known that drug and alcohol addiction involves a period of withdrawal, but love addiction can also involve withdrawal. At a sex addiction rehab center in Los Angeles, CA, a certified sex addiction therapist can help patients and their loved ones get through the initial withdrawal process and the recovery process thereafter.
Physical Indicators of Withdrawal
It’s important for individuals to communicate clearly with their certified sex therapists about what they’re going through. This may include a discussion of the physical side effects they’ve experienced when they first begin to address the problem of love addiction. Every individual will have a unique experience, but it’s not uncommon to experience sleep disturbances such as insomnia, changes in eating patterns, fatigue, and nonspecific aches and pains or illnesses. Some people may suffer from flu-like symptoms, which can include nausea and vomiting. These physical side effects occur because the mind and body are intricately linked. As the individual continues to work through the sex addiction program, he or she will gradually begin to feel better and empowered to change.
Mental and Emotional Issues of Withdrawal
Overcoming any sort of addiction is never easy. The withdrawal process can involve very challenging mental and emotional problems . It’s normal to feel a sense of grief when someone is completely transitioning from destructive, old behaviors into a new, healthier lifestyle. Some individuals may feel an irresistible urge to act out intentionally. Others may suffer from obsessive thought patterns, irrational fear and self-doubt, and the desire to isolate oneself from family members and friends. Irritability, anger, and rage are not uncommon. Some people develop preoccupations with fantasizing; others may entertain suicidal thoughts. The process of withdrawing from love addiction can readily lead to depressive symptoms, including severe sadness, despair, and hopelessness. It may even cause cognitive impairment; some individuals may suffer from problems with concentration and they may display confusion. By working closely with a certified sex addiction therapist, individuals can work through these challenges and gain control over their lives and their health.
Am I the only person who made collages of things I loved as a child? Surely some of you readers can relate to cutting pictures out of magazines of your dream boyfriends, careers and phrases like “Just do it” and “Maybe she’s born with it.” Those glue-stick assembled creations of our youth are worth taking a second look at now as adults. I am referring to creating what is called a “Vision Board.” It may sound cheesy but bear with me. This tool can change your life from chaotic and messy to clear and hopeful. How? By actually putting down on paper what you are choosing your life to be about. Many things are out of our control, but much of what we do and how we choose to live is intentional. Life is a collection of many, many choices. Identify the choices you need to make and you can make your dreams come true.
A Vision Board is a map of what you’d like to be doing in 5 years, coupled with the steps you need to take to get there. It is created by drawing a circle on a piece of paper and filling the background with all of your wishes, hopes and dreams for where you would like to be in 2021 (if you did one today, in 2016). Inside the circle, list at least 5 things you can do today or this week or month, to get you one step closer to those long-term goals. Seem easy? Here are a few examples with larger and smaller first steps to get your started:
1. Goal: Have a baby- Track your ovulation monthly and read as much as you can on a fertility diet and lifestyle (Seem overwhelming? Instead start with a trip to the doctor to get checked out this month and start taking prenatal vitamins.)
2. Goal: Be a successful writer- Work on your craft 1 hour a day and read 1 book a week on how to start a writing career. (Too overwhelming? Try blogging one a week and see if you even still enjoy writing before you devote too much time to it.)
3. Goal: Buy a house- Save 20% of every paycheck towards a down payment. (Too much? Try not buying coffee daily and put that money in a “house jar.” Even small steps count towards your goal.)
I learned this tool from a recent IITAP conference I attended in Arizona and used it to create a vision of what I’d like my life to look like in 5 years. It was amazing to see a visual representation of what I want my life to be about someday. It really pointed out what’s currently missing in my life now. Yet what I realized is that I want to do a vision board with my partner as well. After all, those in long-term serious relationships don’t live in isolation. They are part of a team, a unit. Nearly all their decisions are made with someone (or more than one) person in mind. Creating a list of your dreams together using pictures (not words) on the outside of the circle with easy baby steps in the inside is empowering and can help you both to feel more connected. You’re working together towards a common goal, not simply living parallel lives. I even had a coworker who put sticky notes in the inside of his vision board (inside the circle) so that after he accomplished those tasks, he could create new ones. Genius! Your Vision Board can be an ever-evolving thing. Perhaps you could even hang it on your wall for daily inspiration.
So next date night or lazy Sunday afternoon, instead of ordering Thai and watching yet another Redbox on the couch, create a vision board separately and maybe also together. It may not instantly grant you the life of your dreams, but it does put out into the universe the things you want to accomplish with your life. What are your priorities? What do you want to spend more time on? What things are you putting off for later?
It’s one thing to dream, it’s quite another to consciously make steps toward your goals. Be a little bit creative and whip out the scissors, old magazines and Crayola. Ask yourself, what is my vision for my (and our) life? And what can I do today to make that future a reality?
Love addiction and sex addiction are often confused, when in fact, there are a number of important differences between the two problems. A person might receive sex addiction counseling in Los Angeles because he or she is compulsively unfaithful and completely preoccupied with sex and self-gratification. By contrast, a person might go to rehab for love addiction treatment if he or she cannot sustain healthy relationships with other people. These are some of the most common characteristics of love addiction:
Being Addicted to Euphoria
When two people who are attracted to each other first meet, they experience a surge of neurochemicals that raise excitement and enhance mood. Love addicts may become hooked on this feeling of euphoria, and they may seek to replicate it over and over again. This means that they may repeatedly seek out new romances and become incapable of pursuing more lasting relationships with other people.
Having Poor Self-Esteem
People who have love addiction often have an extremely low opinion of themselves. This lack of self-worth may manifest itself in a number of ways. Love addicts may feel empty and unfulfilled when they are not in a relationship, which may lead them to stay in unhealthy relationships or to become excessively emotionally dependent on their partners. They may also feel completely despondent when their relationships end, and may even consider suicide.
Becoming Obsessed with a Relationship
A person who is addicted to love may find it difficult to control their emotions toward another person, particularly if they are in a relationship with that person. They may act in a way that others perceive as overly needy or smothering, or they may feel jealous whenever their partner interacts with anyone else.
Indulging in Compulsive Sexual Behavior
Like sex addicts, love addicts may have difficulty controlling their sexual behavior, and may not be able to maintain appropriate boundaries. They may confuse sexual attraction to another person for genuine love, or they may have trouble maintaining platonic friendships with other people. They may also pursue sex as a means of feeling better about themselves.
A sex addiction can be harmful, not only to the individual struggling with this addiction, but to their loved ones as well. Sex addiction often leads to infidelity and adultery, even when your partner feels strongly about your relationship and is genuinely regretful of his negative behaviors and actions. If you believe your partner is suffering from sex addiction, seeking addiction treatment services in Los Angeles is only a single step on the road to recovery for your partner and your relationship. As an important part of your loved one’s life, you may also feel emotions such as anger, helplessness, depression, and frustration; sex addiction rehab facilities and staff understand how you are feeling, and can help you to recover mentally and emotionally as well with options such as sexual addiction education, partner support groups, and couples’ therapy as part of your loved one’s outpatient sex addiction therapy program. Working together with your partner and his rehabilitation center during addiction treatment can help you both develop a closer, healthier relationship that allows you the opportunity to heal from the unhealthy feelings and consequences associated with your partner’s sex addiction.
At Sano Center for Recovery, the Mandala Sex Addiction Program plays a critical role for patients seeking sexual addiction counseling near Los Angeles . The Mandala program utilizes the Recovery Start Kit which was created by Dr. Patrick Carnes, who is regarded as a leader in sexual addiction treatment and research. It takes place in three phases, which are designed to fit into your daily life to ensure a more complete and effective recovery.
The program teaches practical coping strategies and healing techniques, including long-term goal setting to ensure that you remain on the path to recovery for years to come. Initially, your focus in treatment will be on the triggers and underlying causes of your addiction. Once you understand these factors, you will gain more control over your behaviors and learn relationship building strategies to restore healthy intimate relationships in your life. Since each individual may need different levels of treatment, your therapist will work with you through the phases, chart your progress and adjust frequency of treatment as needed in order to sustain recovery.
Are you struggling with overcoming addiction , yet not sure that a residential program is right for you? Consider enrolling in an outpatient rehab in Long Beach. Outpatient therapy is particularly well-suited to individuals who are struggling to overcome sex addiction. Outpatient sex addiction therapy allows you to work through your problems while meeting your daily obligations.
Outpatient Therapy is Convenient
Outpatient therapy programs are designed specifically to meet the needs of individuals who must continue to work or go to school and fulfill other commitments while receiving treatment. Typically, an outpatient rehab program will offer flexible scheduling options, such as weekend and evening appointments. There is no need to put your life on hold while you’re working to get it back on track. Since this type of addiction counseling does not require temporary residency, it is also typically more cost-effective than inpatient addiction treatment services.
Outpatient Therapy Allows Ongoing Access to Support Systems
Although outpatient rehab is more convenient than residential programs, it can be just as effective, if not more so, in helping individuals overcome their addictions . Outpatient rehab facilities tend to offer a customizable blend of group workshops and therapy sessions, individual therapy, and couples therapy, all of which are delivered by highly qualified and certified sex addiction therapists (CSAT). As an outpatient participant, you will have access to the comprehensive support services any time you need them. And because you’ll return home each day, you’ll also have ongoing access to your own support network, such as your partner, family members, friends, and spiritual or religious fellowships.
Outpatient Therapy Supports Real-World Practice
One of the limitations of inpatient therapy is that it does not offer patients the opportunity to practice what they have learned in the real world. The sudden transition of being discharged to return home can be overwhelming for many patients. They may find it difficult to adapt, and they may return to negative behaviors. With outpatient therapy, you can immediately begin to use the tools and techniques you have learned in your sessions. These can include healthy coping strategies, learning to spot the signs of relapse and relationship-rebuilding guidance.
There are some couples who spend every night together. They eat dinner together, sleep together, talk or text throughout the day, and generally are in touch 24/7. That’s all well and good, but sometimes there’s such a thing as too much together time. When we first start dating someone, it’s like magic. Uncovering someone else’s secrets is intoxicating. What do they smell like? What kind of underwear do they wear? What’s their favorite food and cocktail? What makes them tick? You see each other a few times a week and get giddy at the sight of a text with their name as the receiver. Flash forward 3 years and you get used to that new car smell. Relationships become so familiar that you don’t see all the little things that make your partner special. That’s why I am such a big believer in alone time; and friend time- apart from each other. Go to the movies alone, get drinks with your friends, take a trip somewhere…without your partner. It reinvigorates the relationship to not be attached at the hip. It gets you excited to see your love if you haven’t already heard about their day in 15 texts. In case you haven’t guessed I’m a car freak. So, here’s another car metaphor to describe a long-term relationship. If you have a gorgeous Porshe sitting in your garage and you drive it everyday, after awhile it won’t make your heart race anymore. But if you take it out for a long drive once a week, it’s more of an experience you look forward to. Everything gets old if you do it all the time (including sex). So if things are getting kind of old between you and your mate, try missing each other. It makes the time you do spend together that much more special.
Molly Papp, MPH, M.S., LMFT
Ph: (562) 356-8686 Ext. 705; Email: email@example.com
Darrin Ford is the Director of sex addiction treatment at Sano Center for Recovery. Mr. Ford exemplifies the holistic integration of Eastern and Western medicine . He licensed with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. Mr. Ford has studied meditation extensively at the Shambhala Center in Los Angeles and he’s put what he’s learned to good use helping the patients at Sano Center for Recovery. Throughout his 10-plus years providing addiction help in Long Beach, Mr. Ford has demonstrated remarkable dedication to helping his patients heal.
As a specialist in sex addiction and drug misuse, Mr. Ford has personally designed many intensive outpatient programs. He focuses on improving the overall quality of life for his clients by guiding them in meditation and mindfulness practices. Clients of Mr. Ford’s will note that he demonstrates a keen understanding of the nature of addictions, including their underlying causes, and how individuals can overcome these challenges.
Couples therapy is an effective way of helping couples sort through their challenges, express their emotions in a neutral setting, and learn to rebuild trust in each other. When a partner has admitted to struggling with sex addiction near Long Beach, the non-addicted partner may experience a significant decline in trust and closeness with the other partner. Any addiction, such as drug addiction, can tear apart relationships. Yet, sex addiction is particularly infamous for causing the breakdown of relationships given that it is so often linked to infidelity. Just as the partner with sex addiction must work through a recovery program, so too should the couple explore counseling together to save the relationship.
One of the basic principles of relationship therapy is the necessity of increasing self-awareness and awareness of the partner. Strong emotions can easily cloud even the most rational of minds. A neutral third party can help partners clear the air by helping them evaluate the situation in an objective manner. To accomplish this, the therapist observes the partners’ interactions with each other to analyze how each partner perceives the relationship.
A relationship compromised by addictions can lead to suppressed emotions on behalf of both partners. The addicted partner may hesitate to discuss the addiction because he or she fears judgment or reprisal, for example. Unfortunately, suppression of emotions only fuels the problem. When partners feel as though they must be emotionally distant, the relationship suffers. Part of relationship therapy involves convincing the partners to express their emotions and grow closer together as a result.
An underlying principle of therapy is the modification of dysfunctional behavior patterns. Ideally, the partner who is struggling with sex addiction will seek the help of an experienced recovery coach and work toward overcoming the addiction. However, it is possible that the other partner could also benefit from behavior modification. Because of feelings of betrayal, some partners of sex addicts may fall into vengeful or spiteful behavioral patterns. These issues need to be addressed for the relationship to move forward.