12 Step Programs are a God send. There’s a 12 Step Program for many ailments and illnesses, and I fully support them.
When it comes to out-of-control sexual behavior, however, the 12 Step Program for sex addiction is not the only option and, perhaps, not even the best option.
Let’s think this through together a little bit here …
Many people have compulsive behaviors. Some people enjoy working out at the gym every day. Some enjoy reading every day. Or gardening. Or running. Spending hours each day on their personal compulsion.
Should they check into a 12 Step Program because they have a compulsive behavior? Of course not.
When should they? When is intervention appropriate? When does someone need help?
If you ask me, generally speaking, they should seek help when their behavior is hurting others or hurting themselves. Hurting themselves would include preventing themselves from being happy, from feeling fulfilled, from achieving their true goals, and from being able to provide for themselves. This is certainly not an exhaustive list.
When it comes to sex, things tend to get a bit more complicated. Sex often implies relationships and the promises and expectations that come along with relationships. Hurting others takes on a whole new dimension. Complicated, indeed.
But if your behavior isn’t hurting others nor hurting yourself, you may not have a mental illness appropriate for programs designed to treat such illnesses.
There are alternatives. One such alternative is Out of Control Sexual Behavior Therapy.
“The what? That sounds like sexual addiction to me!” Only … it’s not the same.
Out of Control Sexual Behavior Therapy rests on the premise that your best path forward is based upon your unique circumstances and beliefs. And, yes, while exploring your circumstances and beliefs some other matters may be uncovered … abuse, possible mental health issues, relationship issues, self-esteem issues, among others. And it’s going to be important to look at these.
Your behavior, however, isn’t necessarily an enemy here. It may need a good talking to, but it’s not the enemy. And most likely nothing to feel ashamed of.
In fact, that’s what I base my practice on. You will find no shaming here, whatsoever.
You see, I believe that sex is pleasurable. Sexual thoughts are natural. Acting on our sexual thoughts is not immoral. We’re taught to be embarrassed by it, but that’s not correct and it’s certainly not helpful.
The thing that matters most, however, is that your habits align with you goals and your beliefs. Your habits also must adhere to principles of consent, non-exploitation, protection from disease, unwanted pregnancy, and should be based upon honesty and mutual pleasure between any participants.
And I do believe strongly that these habits need to serve you … and not your demons fueled by the challenges of your current life and your past.
If you’re looking to speak with someone that will see you for who you are and help you identify the level of sexuality that best fits the person you want to become, then I invite you to reach out to me.