Sex addiction is an illness often overlooked or dismissed due to the stigma of shame associated with this addiction which The Refuge understands when we provide treatment for sex addiction. Sex addiction is a condition characterized by the sufferer becoming increasingly preoccupied with thoughts or behaviors that produce a desired effect. Sex addiction involves spending much time thinking about or engaging in sexually addictive behaviors including:
- A great number of one-night stands
- Multiple affairs
- Contacts with prostitutes
- Excessive pornography use
- Frequenting chat rooms
- Engaging in personal ads
- Making obscene phone calls
Statistics show that at any given time, between 10% and 17% of college-aged people struggle with sex addiction. In the general population, the frequency of sexual addiction may be closer to 3%. Over the past nine years, therapists at The Refuge have noticed a significant correlation between sex addiction and sexual abuse. Many times when sexual abuse occurs at a young age, the child experiences distortions between healthy and non-healthy sexual relationships. The Refuge staffs Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSATs) who are specifically trained to treat and help clients process through these types of situations.
Often when a young man or woman’s childhood lacks a healthy connection with a parent or family member or is sexually abused by a family member, friend or stranger, they develop a misunderstanding of the words “love” and “sex.” These young people may confuse sexual abuse, neglect, or inappropriate affection for love and sex and develop a sex addiction behaviors in relationships later in life. At The Refuge, we provide treatment for these behaviors by introducing clients to the correct meanings of love, sex and intimacy. Individuals that come to The Refuge suffering from trauma/PTSD from earlier experiences; sex addiction can be one of the ways these clients cope with that Trauma/PTSD.
Due to the fragile nature of this addiction and clientele, The Refuge staffs multiple Certified Sex Addiction Therapist. In addition, many of our clinicians have additional training by attending various sex addiction seminars and workshops. This allows The Refuge to correctly treat those suffering from sexual addiction. Throughout the week, The Refuge offers specially-designed groups, activities and assignments that are designed for clients who struggle with sex addiction, which are facilitated by one of our CSATs. They are intense and focused directly on sex addiction and underlying issues.