Women, START HERE
Women: Getting started in porn recovery? Looking at love addiction/sex addiction concepts for the first time? This page is for you!
HELLO BRAVE ONE!
You can do this! But if you are really addicted, you are going to need help to heal.
IF YOU ARE STRUGGLING…
You might need a therapist...or a therapist with more training. If so, you will need to be careful who you see. Some therapists are great, some are so-so, and some may hurt you. It’s sad, but true. So you need to think of first contact with a prospective therapist like a job interview, and you are their employer. Should you hire them or say, “No thank you, I will pass, it’s not a fit.” Be empowered! It is one of the more important decisions you will make, and it deserves your full time and attention. Don't be afraid to tell a therapist – or anyone – no.
My colleague Dr. Ken Adams created this list of questions to help decide if a therapist can help you with a possible porn/love/sex addiction, because, sadly, some therapists deny it’s even a thing. I’ve modified it to address relationship/love addiction, which is more inclusive.
How Do I Choose the Right Therapist?
Therapists who deny the presence of sex, relationship (“love”) and porn addiction often hide their denial behind statements to clients such as, “I think that label is overused,” “I work from a problematic sexual behavior therapy model,” or “Maybe if your spouse (partner) joins you in your sexual practice, there won’t be a problem.”
So, how do you choose the best therapist given these controversies about sex/love and porn addiction?
We recommend that you ask your therapist some or all of the following questions to determine the best fit for you:
1. What is your belief about relationship, sex and porn addiction problems?
2. How will your position determine the way in which you would diagnosis and treat my problem?
3. What are the criteria you would use to determine if I am a love, sex or porn addict?
4. What is your specific training to treat sex, relationship, and porn addiction?
5. If you don’t feel I have a sex, relationship, or porn addiction, or don’t believe in that diagnosis, will you refer me to someone who is trained in sex/relationship/porn addiction therapy if your approach fails to help me?
6. If you are trained to treat sex, relationship, and porn addiction, how can I be certain that you won’t label and treat me as an addict if I am not one?
7. What is your approach to treating the couple when one partner is in distress over the other’s compulsive sexual or relationship behavior?
8. What is your treatment approach to handling sexual secrets that violate the implicit or explicit understanding regarding trust within a relationship?
9. What results can I expect by participating with your approach to treatment?
10. What is a reasonable time frame that I should expect to see change?
TO FIND A THERAPIST NEAR YOU TRAINED in treating porn problems/addiction, sex/love addiction, start here: https://iitap.com/search/custom.asp?id=4662 or here: https://www.sash.net/find-therapist-organization-sash-member/#!directory/map
BUT, you still need to discern. Just because a therapist gets training doesn’t mean they are the right fit for YOU!
IF YOU WANT TO TRY AN ONLINE GROUP - ESPECIALLY FOR WOMEN JUST GETTING STARTED IN RECOVERY…
Consider this class, taught by me: Intimacy Skills Bootcamp! :)
You might need 12-Step support. Here is a list of resources for women that includes 12-Step programs and therapy programs, both inpatient and outpatient intensive specialists for porn/love/sex addiction:
I wrote this article about safety for women in 12-Step sexual recovery meetings based on my experience – it may be helpful: https://www.rtribe.org/are-women-safe-in-12-step-sexual-recovery-meetings/
And, if you are confused as to which 12-Step programs are which, check out this description by my colleague Bill Herring, LCSW, CSAT: https://billherring.com/comparing-different-12-step-meetings-for-sex-addiction
If you want to read books related to love/porn/sex addiction and recovery, here is a lengthy list, including other resources: http://www.stacisprout.com/best-resources-for-women-in-relationship-and-sexual-recovery
What about porn? I’ve written a few pages on porn problems, with lists of resources for help and articles, so check out these pages:
Porn-Induced Impotence for Women: http://www.stacisprout.com/what-is-piiw (article plus video)
Am I addicted to porn? A 20 Question Quiz for Women: http://www.stacisprout.com/am-i-addicted-to-porn-a-20-question-selfhelp-test-for-women
Amazing podcasts on the theme of recovery: http://www.stacisprout.com/new-blog/2017/7/28/recovering-minds-want-to-know-best-podcasts-and-more-for-sex-addiction-recovery
Bon courage on your journey to yourself, your heart, your vision path…I promise you, if you stick with it, the best is yet to come!!!
Fellow Navigator in Porn/Love/Sex/etc. Recovery!