Which 12-step group for your client with sex addiction?

Joe Kort, PhD, sexologist and founder of the Center for Relationship and Sexual Health has an useful article up at the Huffington Post on sex addiction treatment. Among other things, he categorizes the different 12-step groups available. Per Dr. Kort:

Various 12-step groups’ meetings are open to sexual addicts, but it’s vital to recognize the fundamental differences between them. Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) is most liberal, welcoming everybody — men, women, gay, straight, bisexual, and others — and lets you define your own sexual boundaries. Meetings tend to focus on paraphilias, in which arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about, and engaging in, atypical and extreme sexual behavior.

Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) focuses on love addicts. People “in love with love” seek, and later crave, that lightning-bolt, blown-away kick of “love at first sight.” Again, everybody is welcome. This program helps those who tend to move on as soon as troubles arise, hoping a new relationship can supply what the last one failed to deliver.

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) takes the rigid, orthodox approach that no sexual relations should occur outside marriage. They tell participants that “any form of sex with one’s self or with partners other than the spouse is progressively addictive and destructive.” Many gay clients tell me they feel excluded for this reason.

Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA) was born after some gay men felt uncomfortable with SA’s fundamentalist, heterosexist overtones. Members have designed their own recovery program, where gay men can discuss their special needs and talk openly and honestly.

People who’ve never hear of this problem can scoff, “Sex addict? Who isn’t?” The answer is, “Thousands of people. Folks whose sex life causes buckets of shame, a thimbleful of pleasure, and still can’t make themselves stop.”  With the guilt and embarassment that comes with sex addiction, it matters we refer clients to a 12-step group where they will feel they fit in.  More articles like this, please.

1 Comment

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One response to “Which 12-step group for your client with sex addiction?

  1. Wow I had no idea there were so many sex groups to join, as defined here. Boy do I feel ignorant of this subject. And just today I was looking for referrals to sex therapists just in case I needed them for clients. Serendipity.

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