The Hidden Lives of Sex Addicts
A Struggle with Shame
You say you’ll stop, and you don’t. You say this is the last time, but it’s not. Sex addiction robs you of joy, relationships, and life’s best moments. It follows you to places you don’t want it to go. The shame keeps you from reaching out, being known. And then the shame fuels the behavior once more, and the cycle starts over again. If you could turn it off—just flip it like a light switch—you would. But it’s not that simple. We at Daring Ventures know this struggle, and we are here to give you hope and help you find healing and freedom.
It’s Not Really About Sex
Despite what most people think, sex addiction really isn’t about sex at all. Sex addiction—like most all addiction—is about finding something on the outside to change the way we feel on the inside. Sex addicts turn to these compulsive behaviors not because they find them so pleasurable and fulfilling, but because they provide a momentary relief from the pain, depression, or anxiety that constantly plagues their inner lives. In fact, most sex addicts report intense shame and despair after acting out sexually.
"Am I a Sex Addict?"
If you are unsure whether or not you may be a sex addict, you can take a free, anonymous assessment online. The Sexual Addiction Screening Test, Revised (SAST–R) is a simple way to get a better idea of whether or not you may benefit from further assessment for sexual addiction. You can take the SAST–R by clicking on the button below.
Not Alone. Not Forgotten.
Where does sex addiction come from?
Though every journey and every person is unique, many individuals who struggles with compulsive sex behaviors can find elements of their own histories in the stories of others. (Based on the research of Patrick Carnes, PhD, 2004)
Family of Origin
Disengaged Family System
Rigid Family System
Rigid & Disengaged Family System
Addicts in the Family
Early Trauma & Abuse
Emotional Abuse & Neglect
Sexual Addiction Symptoms
Loss of Control
Efforts to Stop
Loss of Time
Inability to Fulfill Obligations
Continuation Despite Consequences
Social, Occupational, Recreational Losses
Our Philosophy for Treatment
No two people are exactly alike. So why should all treatment be exactly the same?
While it is important to consider evidence-based treatment methods in order to know what works and what doesn’t work in the treatment of addiction issues, we also believe that since no two people are the same, no two treatments should be the same either.
Our clinicians and coaches are committed to co-create with our clients a plan for change, a plan that meets the client where they are and consider the client’s own goals. Together, staff and clients can forge treatments that apply the best practices in addiction recovery to an individual’s strengths, personality, and needs.
We are committed to continuing education, understanding the latest findings on the development, process, and treatment of addictions. Though we do see clients with chemical addiction issues, our primary focus is on process addictions: sex addiction, love or relationship addiction, food addiction, and problematic issues about money or work. Our treatment approach draws from attachment theory, interpersonal neurobiology, and other recent findings in the addictions field.
Many of our clients require treatment for relational or developmental trauma. One of the more recent discoveries about the origins of addiction is the understanding of addiction as an attachment disorder. We learn to regulate our emotions through healthy attachments. When unhealthy attachments are experienced, individuals may not develop the necessary skills to regulate their emotions. Addiction is about using something on the outside to change the way we feel on the inside. This pattern is prevalent among those who have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect, or other unhealthy attachments in their development.
Understanding the Individual
No two people are alike. For this reason, we believe there is no such thing as “one right way” to recovery from addiction. At Daring Ventures, we treat each person as an individual, developing a treatment plan specific to his or her needs. This is accomplished through a thorough assessment process, which can take several sessions in some cases. We also utilize a number of instruments in the assessment process. The Sexual Dependency Inventory (SDI) 4.0 is a thorough assessment of an individual’s compulsive sexual behavior, history of trauma, diagnostic criteria, and attachment style. The Post-Traumatic Stress Index, Revised (PTSI-R) assesses for traumatic reactions. The Money and Work Adaptive Styles Index (MAWASI) examines problems around money and work. Other assessment instruments are utilized as required.
Below is a general outline of the phases for treatment with sex & porn addicts at Daring Ventures.
Every treatment plan begins with thorough assessment. No two people are the same, therefore no two treatments will be exactly the same. We believe each person deserves the care they need.
In the first phase of treatment, clients learn tools and strategies to establish initial sobriety and build a healthy support network. Here a foundation for lasting recovery is laid.
Once clients have gained initial sobriety, they can begin to cultivate deeper awareness of their individual addiction cycles and implement strategies to create meaningful, lasting life change.
Addiction is often fueled by deeper, often hidden relational traumas from earlier in life. We journey with clients to explore these underlying issues and how they affect their lives.
In the final phase of treatment, we work with clients to revision their lives, both individually and relationally. Drawing on their own core values, they chart a course for a new life.