Treatment ProgramsSex Addiction Outpatient Treatment Program
Sex Addiction Outpatient Treatment Program
The New Leaf Center has been treating sex addiction since 1990. Most members of our therapy staff are Certified Sex Addiction Therapists with years of experience working with the sex addict and his or her spouse/partner. We provide extensive resources for referrals when inpatient, psychological testing, or psychiatric interventions are indicated.
Individuals and couples in need of our specialized care are often referred to The New Leaf Center by the faith-based community, medical doctors, psychiatrists, and attorneys, as well as by current and past clients. The New Leaf Center has worked closely with the Central Florida professional community since our inception in 1990, including providing educational training and programs.
What is Sex Addiction?
Sex addiction is defined as any sexually related, compulsive behavior that interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and/or one’s work environment. Sex addiction has been called sexual dependency and sexual compulsivity. By any name, it is a compulsive behavior that dominates the addict’s life. Sex addicts make sex or acting out sexually a priority more important than family, friends, and work.
In Out of the Shadows, Patrick J. Carnes, Ph.D., states:
Like an alcoholic unable to stop drinking, sexual addicts are unable to stop their self-destructive sexual behavior. Family breakups, financial disaster, loss of jobs, and risk to life are the painful themes of their stories.
Sex addicts come from all walks of life — they may be ministers, physicians, homemakers, factory workers, salespersons, secretaries, clerks, accountants, therapists, dentists, politicians, or executives, to name just a few examples. Most were abused as children – sexually, physically, and/or emotionally. The majority grew up in families in which addiction already flourished, including alcoholism, compulsive eating, and compulsive gambling. Most grapple with other addictions as well, but they find sex addiction the most difficult to stop.
Much hope nevertheless exists for these addicts and their families. Sex addicts have shown an ability to transform a life of self-destruction into a life of self-care, a life in chaos and despair into one of confidence and peace.
Dr. Carnes estimates three to six percent of the population are facing sex addiction. Research by Dr. Carnes shows that approximately 20-25% of all patients who seek help for sexual dependency are women. (This same male-female ratio is found among those recovering from alcohol addiction, drug addiction, and pathological gambling.)
What Defines a Sex Addict?
No single behavior pattern defines sex addiction. Some behaviors that can take control of an addict’s life and lead to unmanageability include compulsive masturbation; compulsive heterosexual and homosexual affairs and/or relationships; pornography; prostitution; exhibitionism; voyeurism; indecent phone calls; patronizing massage parlors, topless bars or sex clubs. Even the healthiest forms of human sexual expression can turn into self-defeating behaviors. While an actual diagnosis for sex addiction should be determined by a mental health professional certified to treat sex addiction, the following behavior patterns can indicate the presence of sex addiction or compulsivity. Individuals who see any of these patterns in their own life, or in the life of someone they care about, should seek professional help:
- Acting out or repeating a pattern of out-of-control sexual behavior, including breaking promises to self or others to stop the behaviors.
- Experiencing severe consequences due to sexual behavior and an inability to stop despite these adverse consequences.
- Ongoing desire or effort to limit sexual behavior or unexplained loss of sexual interest often due to recent sexual acting-out or fear of having an STD.
- Sexual obsession and fantasy as a primary coping strategy.
- Regularly increasing the amount of sexual experience because the current level of activity is no longer sufficiently satisfying.
- Severe mood changes or unpredictability (e.g., anxiety, depression, anger, suicidal thoughts) related to sexual activity.
- Inordinate amounts of time spent obtaining sex, being sexual, and recovering from sexual experiences.
- Neglect of important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of sexual behavior.
- Out of control spending or debt due to sexually acting out.
- Secret online or smartphone behaviors (sexting, phone sex, etc.) at home or workplace.
- Multiple affairs or one-night sexual encounters.
Sex Addiction Versus Other Addictions
Sex addiction can be understood by comparing it to other types of addictions. Individuals addicted to alcohol or other drugs, for example, develop a relationship with their “chemical(s) of choice” — a relationship that takes precedence over any and all other aspects of their lives. Addicts find they need chemicals merely to feel normal.
In sex addiction, a parallel situation exists. Sex — like food or drugs in other addictions — provides the “high,” and addicts become dependent on this sexual high to feel normal. They substitute unhealthy relationships for healthy ones. They opt for temporary pleasure (instant gratification) rather than the deeper qualities of “normal” intimate relationships.
Sex addiction follows the same progressive nature of other addictions. Sex addicts struggle to control their behaviors and experience despair over their constant failure to do so. Their loss of self-esteem grows, fueling the need to escape even further into their addictive behaviors.
What is a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist?
Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) is a designation given to Licensed Therapists who have completed the intense certification training program offered through the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).
IITAP’s mission is “to provide cutting-edge training and promote the highest level of professional standards among practitioners worldwide that treat those individuals with sex addiction and associated disorders.”
“The CSAT program is fast-becoming the industry’s standard certification for all therapists working with individuals who suffer from addictive and compulsive sexual behaviors. It is designed to provide formal knowledge and training in the task-centered approach to the treatment of sex addiction and sexual compulsivity. The CSAT designation provides a professional with the recognition as an expert in the field of sex addiction treatment and participation in an international referral network. It is IITAP’s role to facilitate the CSAT Certification Process, as well as other educational programs.”
Source — International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP)
Most of the New Leaf Center Therapists are trained and certified in treating sex addiction by the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) and are members of the Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH).
For more information regarding qualified professionals in the field of sex addiction, visit www.iitap.com.
Sex Addiction Treatment
The Certified Sex Addiction Therapists at The New Leaf Center provide outpatient therapy for the addict and their significant others. Individual, group, and couples sessions address the issues and behaviors that cause personal, relational, financial, and spiritual pain and chaos, and help clients work toward hope and recovery. Individualized treatment plans, therapeutic and educational assignments, and formulation of support systems are all part of the Sex Addiction Treatment Program at The New Leaf Center. Call 407-644-8588 to schedule an appointment with one of our highly trained and skilled CSAT professionals.
Sex Addiction Self-Tests
Sex Addiction Self-Tests are designed to help determine if sexually compulsive behavior may indicate the presence of a sex addiction or to identify and analyze the impact sex addiction has on the partners of addicts.
Self-tests are intended to be informative and insightful and are only an aid in identifying how sex addiction is impacting your life. An evaluation done by a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) is the best way to identify sex addiction. Once an evaluation is done, a treatment plan can be developed to address your specific therapeutic needs.
Sex Addiction Self-Tests include:
Sex Addiction Screening Test (SAST)
This test is designed to assist in the assessment of sexually compulsive behavior that may indicate the presence of sex addiction. Dr. Patrick Carnes is one of the first professionals to work with sex addicts, and he designed the Sex Addiction Screening Test (SAST) to help determine who has sex addiction problems and who doesn’t. The SAST will help you understand sex addiction and determine if the problem may exist in your life or the life of a loved one. While the score on the test is an indication about sex addiction, it is not conclusive proof that you do or do not have a problem.
Click here for Sex Addiction Screening Test (SAST). This link takes you to the recoveryzone.com website.
Sex Addiction Risk Assessment (SARA)
The SARA was developed to help you find your way to a better life through recovery, to help recovering people better understand their own addictions, and to get the best help possible.
Click here for Sex Addiction Risk Assessment Test (SARA). This link takes you to the recoveryzone.com website. There is a fee to take this test.
Partner Sexuality Survey (PSS)
This survey is part of research being conducted by Dr. Stephanie Carnes to learn about how sex addiction impacts the sexuality of the partner of the sex addict. The long-term goal is to help partners and couples recover.
Click here for Partner Sexuality Survey (PSS). This link takes you to the recoveryzone.com website. There is a fee to take this test.
You may take these self-tests for your own insight, or your therapist may suggest that you take one or more to aid in your treatment.
There is a fee for the Sexual Dependency Inventory (SDI), Post Traumatic Stress Index (PTSI), and Money and Work Adaptive Styles Index (MAWASI) assessments, all of which require therapist interpretation and treatment recommendations. When a New Leaf Center therapist recommends any of these tests for clients, they will discuss fees and provide access codes for taking the assessments on line.
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New Leaf Center
1850 Lee Road, Suite 116
Winter Park, Florida 32789
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