When discussing qualified therapy, many women say,
“I’m not even sure I have an addiction, I don’t think paying for therapy would be helpful for me.”
We hope we can give some clarity here on what therapy is, what therapy is like, when it can be helpful, when it can be harmful, and how to find a qualified therapist. For more information, please browse the resources listed to the right of this article under Related Content.
What is therapy?
Therapy, counseling, or psychotherapy is the process of meeting with a trained professional to work on alleviating or coping with problematic behaviors, beliefs, attitudes, emotions, and previous traumas. There are many forms of therapy: individual, couple, and group. There are also educational programs that do not qualify as therapy, but are helpful.
Although you may be unsure of whether you have an addiction or not, it is important that you set up an assessment with a qualified sexual addiction therapist. In this 50 minute appointment, the clinician will be able to help you decide what type of therapy you will need to supplement the rest of your efforts in recovery.
What is therapy like?
Therapy can often be difficult, as we are asked to talk about difficult things. In therapy we generally sit with a qualified therapist, usually for 50 minutes, but sometimes longer in group settings. We discuss in a structured or unstructured manner the difficulties we are having and are given tools and techniques to help us to deal with our problematic behaviors and attitudes.
Over time, therapy should become easier as you get to know your therapist and build trust with him or her, but it can also become more difficult as you are asked to discuss more and more personal and potentially shaming issues. Many times we avoid therapy because we feel we are “better than that” or “not the type of person that needs therapy,” but we’ve found that being open and honest in a professional setting is an essential part of our healing. If there is any sexual or other kind of abuse in your childhood or past, therapy is even more essential to work through both your childhood trauma and your current addiction.
When can therapy be helpful?
Therapy can only be helpful when we are first seeing a qualified sexual addiction therapist. The professional we choose must understand pornography and sexual addiction and behaviors in a deep and detailed way.
Second, we must be open and honest with our therapist. If we lie or minimize the extent of our struggles they will not be able to help us to the degree of their training.
Finally, we must feel comfortable with our therapist. This may not come at first as we have mentioned, but if we have worked with a clinician for a few months and find that we still don’t feel comfortable around them, it is important that we look for a new therapist.
When can therapy be harmful?
Therapy can only be harmful if the clinician you have chosen is not a specialist in this area. It is not that the therapist will intentionally do damage, but they may treat the marriage or your spouse or some other outside issue if they do not understand the importance of treating the addiction.