Do you have problems controlling your sexual behavior? Do you look at porn for hours and hours and despite your best intentions wind up falling right back into the same trap over and over again. Or do you swear to your spouse you’ll never go back to strip clubs only to wind up doing it despite your best intentions? If this sounds like you, then keep reading.
The Problem is Not You
Millions and millions of people struggle with sexual compulsion. This is so much the case that the World Health Organization (WHO) recently designated it for official classification as a psychological disorder recently. It can also be linked to substance use disorders, and one can worsen the other. It is the cause of tremendous amounts of guilt, shame, blame, divorces, and suicide in some cases. As long as people have had sex drives (forever!), there have been problems with sexual compulsion.
Feeling States are the Real Problem
People who have compulsions of every kind have something going on in them called feeling states. These are a combination of a memory of an event, a feeling, and thoughts or beliefs. For example, if someone goes gambling and wins a large sum playing poker, they can wind up having a feeling of winning. They may try to keep repeating this behavior to feel like a winner despite losing huge sums of money after their early success. This typically covers up some earlier experience that was disappointing, traumatic, or neglectful in childhood. As long as the person is chasing that experience of winning, they don’t have to deal with this earlier disappointment (although this would be healthier). It can be this way with sexual compulsion as well, although the feeling state is usually different.
How Image Transformation Therapy Can Help
Someone who struggles with compulsive sexual behavior has feeling states of different varieties, but they tend to center around a limited amount of particular behaviors. For example, one person may gravitate to porn, another may get into serial affairs, another may hire prostitutes or go to bookstores. Each person has developed a feeling state around the compulsive behavior, but Image Transformation Therapy can dissolve the feeling states by a simple breathing and visualization protocol that targets it. After that, whatever disturbing event drives the feeling state can be processed in terms of the disturbing feeling and image that is related to it. This is what the lion’s share of my work with clients involves, but there are other things to work on, such as how to get one’s needs met in healthier ways. For example, actually getting out to meet real potential partners can be important for someone who compulsively looks at porn instead of dating can be important. The most important thing to be aware of it that all compulsions can be eliminated.
What I Can Do to Help
I have been using Image Transformation Therapy for over 5 years now and can attest to the positive changes it has created in many of my clients’ lives. It need not take years and years of therapy to break a compulsion, but many people do choose to attend recovery groups or group therapy to get the mutual support they need to grow out of these behaviors. Getting help with building the skills that are necessary for living a fulfilling life apart from sexual compulsion can also be the focus of ongoing individual and/or group therapy. I offer free 45-minute face to face consultations to help you decide whether I am a fit for helping you overcome your own compulsive sexual behavior. Feel free to call me at 512-374-0100, email me at email@example.com, or fill out the form below. Whatever your particular situation is, be assured there is hope for being free of what ails you.
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults and adolescents 14 and up in private practice. His new e-book is entitled Life’s Lessons from the Young and the Old and is available for purchase on Amazon.
Click here to learn more about how Scott can help you with compulsive or addictive sexual behavior.