When you seek out professional treatment for sex addiction near Los Angeles, CA, you may be wondering how your addiction will be diagnosed. What differentiates ordinary sexual behavior from sex addiction? Many people might assume that you can determine the presence of an addiction from how many sexual encounters an individual has sought out, but this is not the case. Rather than being based on behavior, sex addiction is characterized by a pattern of obsessive mental preoccupation with the subject of sex. In this video, Dr. Patrick Carnes explains how addiction changes the way your brain functions, and how your day-to-day behavior can inadvertently reveal the nature of your addiction.
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?
After having worked so hard to overcome an addiction, it can be very discouraging to suffer a relapse. When you work with an outpatient sex addiction therapist at a sex addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, CA, you’ll learn the tools you need to reduce the possibility of a relapse. One effective relapse prevention method is to develop strong coping skills for stress. Talk to your outpatient sex therapist about your stressors and your typical responses to stress. He or she can help you develop healthy strategies of managing your stress without relapsing.
Your outpatient sex addiction therapist can also guide you in developing new lifestyle habits. This is because environmental cues can often trigger a relapse. It will be necessary for you to eliminate temptation by refraining from patronizing nightclubs, bars, and certain websites. Instead, fill your time with healthy activities that are fulfilling for you, such as volunteer work, new hobbies, exercise, meditaiton or furthering your education. Remember that if you do find yourself slipping into your old habits again, you can always call the sex addiction treatment center for help getting back on track.
The entire team at Sano Center for Recovery is dedicated to helping individuals and couples overcome problems through personalized sex addiction therapy. At our sex addiction treatment center in Los Angeles, CA, one of the people you may encounter is our Executive Director Darrin Ford, M.A., LMFT, CSAT. When you watch this video, you’ll meet Darrin and get to know his motivation for becoming a sex addiction therapist.
Darrin explains that he has been personally affected by addiction. This gives him a unique understanding of the complex issues that affect people who are going through sex addiction rehab. Darrin also explains what sets Sano Center for Recovery apart from other outpatient rehabs. The personalized treatment recommendations and the outpatient model of care help individuals learn to live life well, free of destructive tendencies.
Sano Center for Recovery is a sex rehab serving the Los Angeles area. Our addiction counseling team recognizes the critical need for individualized recovery plans for our patients, which is why we offer Recovery Coaching. The Recovery Coaches at our rehab centers are not “sponsors,” nor are they therapists. Rather, they are your partners in recovery. Your Recovery Coach is a highly trained individual who will work closely with you to identify obstacles, develop strategies for success, and solve problems along the way.
The therapists at our rehab centers emphasize close examination of your past to help you make sense of the present. In contrast, your Recovery Coach emphasizes the structure and quality of your life right now. He or she will help you consider your current goals for your health, relationships and other issues important to your recovery. Your Recovery Coach will help you acknowledge your strengths, identify opportunity areas and assist you in your journey towards a life worth living.
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.
At Sano Center for Recovery , we have helped countless individuals and couples repair relationships that were damaged by sex addiction. At our center, you’ll receive a personalized treatment plan with all the support services your family needs. We invite you to meet our founder and clinical director, Christy Cosper, by watching this video. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, Ms. Cosper is dedicated to helping her patients move past sex addiction near Long Beach.
As you’ll hear in this video, Ms. Cosper encourages the spouses and partners of individuals with sex addiction to give the relationship a fighting chance by trying marriage therapy. Therapy for addictions such as sex addiction can help couples repair the pain of betrayal, and work toward rebuilding trust and communication in the relationship.
When a relationship appears doomed, it’s not uncommon for one or both of the partners to be tempted to simply walk away from it and try to move on. This is particularly true if sex addiction or drug use played a role in the breakdown of the relationship. Yet, broken relationships can be repaired more often than you might think, so long as both partners are willing to try. Even if you’re dubious about the potential for success, it’s well worth your time to try marriage therapy near Long Beach; it just might save your relationship.
You’ve Discovered Your Partner Has a Sex Addiction
Many couples turn to marriage therapy after it’s revealed that one of them has been struggling with a sex addiction. This can make one of the partners feel deeply betrayed. Both partners may feel that there is no longer any trust between them. However, it may be possible to heal the breach of trust and the pain of betrayal. It will require patience on the part of both individuals, along with an abiding commitment to the therapy process. In addition to marriage therapy, an individual with a sex addiction can benefit from working through an intensive outpatient sex addiction recovery program.
You and Your Partner Constantly Argue
Another reason to seek couples counseling is to find a solution to frequent arguments. A healthy relationship needs positive communication to survive. Without it, couples may feel as though they’re simply occupying the same space or as if they’re merely roommates, rather than partners. Couples therapy can help individuals learn how to amicably resolve conflicts in part by helping each partner identify the underlying cause of the negative communication.
You or Your Partner Is Contemplating Having an Affair
Having a sex addiction does not automatically mean that one has already had an affair. However, it’s certainly a contributing factor. Even if the partner with the sex addiction has not had an affair, the other partner may be unable to completely believe that this is the truth. As a result, the partner who feels betrayed may begin behaving negatively out of spite, which further compromises the relationship. If one or both partners are indeed considering having an affair, the best time to seek couples therapy is before this occurs, rather than after.