I believe sex addiction cuts across all races, class, institutions and religions. I support people continuing in their belief systems, but am aware there are many people who do not subscribe or affiliate themselves with any religion. My sessions are from a disease-based model, not a religious-based model. I am aware there is an inordinate amount of shame and guilt around sex addiction and is especially high amongst religious culture. I take a non-judgmental, disease-based approach to all my patients, regardless of their background.
As a certified sex addiction therapist, I help people understand addiction as a disease rather than a moral issue. I help the addict see that they didn’t choose to become an addict, that addiction is like any other disease. I educate about sex addiction and multiple addictions. I treat both the addicted and the spouses, families and friends of the addicted, and treat both from a place of complete empathy, compassion and non-judgement.
I understand addiction on many personal levels and it has affected me and those around me. In studying multiple addictions, I realized almost everybody in our culture struggles with addiction, whether being an addict or having close personal relationships with an addict.
Living with addiction is like walking a tightrope, trying to balance life on restricted terms, always needing to self-medicate – with whatever substance or activity – to feel better. Freeing oneself of addiction is climbing down off the tightrope and being able to plant your feet firmly on solid ground. After planting your feet, my goal is to help you walk with determination, dignity and grace. And, to figure out what your goals are and how to achieve them.
In an initial session with me, the atmosphere is very relaxed, I take a few notes, and I listen. I voice my concerns in a direct, compassionate way, reducing shame associated with coming to see an addiction therapist. In working with sex addicts and their spouses, shame and isolation have become a way of life for fear of feeling rejected, dejected, embarrassed and vulnerable. I encourage clients to be vulnerable and provide them with a safe environment to explore their feelings of anxiety, fear and hopelessness.
I use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), psychodynamic therapy, shame reduction, and mindfulness-based treatment to help each individual in a holistic manner. I provide testing, including sexual dependency inventory – revised (SDI-R), partner sexuality survey (PSS), post-traumatic stress index (PSTD-IR), and Money & Work Adaptive Styles Index (MWASI). I am able to provide these tests through my training at the International Institute For Trauma and Addiction Professionals.