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Compulsive sexual behaviours:
Sexual desires and urges are a normal and healthy part of life. For most people, these behaviours don't cause any serious problems. But some people are unable to control these urges and actions, despite the difficulties they may cause in their relationships, finances and professional lives. In the case of sex addiction, these urges become overwhelming and the resultant decisions and actions can be extremely destructive. Some people may also use sex and sexual activity to numb any negative emotions and difficult experiences. This can have a negative effect on the person's quality of life and on those around them.
As a part of a team at The Hudson Centre, I provide a program for Sexual and Trauma Recovery; this is a structured integrated treatment for individuals suffering from sexual addiction/compulsivity, which tackles the behaviour and explores the underlying trauma.
Unconscious trauma often underlies compulsive behaviour. Trauma is a response to severely distressing event/s, resulting in an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one's ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with that experience. In addiction terms trauma often relates to relational damage and emergent core beliefs grounded in childhood, which impact behaviour and life choices.
Many partners of sex addicts experience relational trauma, describing feelings of shock, confusion, humiliation and anger that accompany the realisation that their significant other betrayed them on an intimate level. Working with partners I seek to validate the trauma, to support you in processing the traumatic emotional states and to help you understand and reframe the addiction.
PORNOGRAPHY & CYBERSEX
Compulsive behaviours, including watching porn to excess and cybersex, are increasingly common. Excessive porn use or cruising cybersex sites can negatively impact relationships and limit personal functioning. In 2014, a Cambridge University study found that pornography triggers brain activity in sex addicts similarly to how drugs effect drug addicts. The technology provides opportunity and is designed to continuously stimulate a state of arousal and this, rather than trauma can be at the root of the addiction. At the Hudson Centre, I provide therapy and a task program to address compulsive pornography use.
The symptoms of love addiction are largely focused around unhealthy dependency within relationships. These include self-neglect, and distorted thoughts, feelings and behaviour around love and fantasies and relationships. Most love addicts fall in love very quickly but find it difficult coping with a long-term relationship, experiencing a crashing painful disappointment when relationships end. In therapy we work together to unpick relationships, fantasy and co-dependency.
Enmeshment is a description of a relationship between two or more people in which personal boundaries are permeable and unclear. This can also be described as covert incest, or in terms of co-dependency. In an enmeshed family, individual members may struggle for autonomy or personal boundaries. In therapy we explore relationships, boundaries and work toward defining a sense of self and other.
Call the Hudson Centre today to make an appointment