Sex and Internet Pornography Addiction

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Define Sex Addiction …

Define Sex Addiction
Discuss Similarities and Differences Between Drug Addiction and Sex Addiction
Explore Interventions for Sex Addiction

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  • 1. Sex Addiction Treatment: An Introduction Instructor: Dr. Dawn-Elise Snipes PhD, LPC-MHSP, NCC Executive Director, AllCEUs
  • 2.  Define Sex Addiction  Discuss Similarities and Differences Between Drug Addiction and Sex Addiction  Explore Interventions for Sex Addiction
  • 3.  A person, activity or substance used to escape from negative feelings (physical or emotional) despite experiencing negative consequences
  • 4.  Similar to Other Addictions ◦ Dopamine surge/High ◦ Cravings ◦ Triggers/Conditioned Stimuli ◦ Brain changes (Worse with younger age) ◦ May start as recreational ◦ Relationship, Financial, Emotional Problems
  • 5.  Differs from other addictions ◦ Biologically driven urge  Eat, Sleep, Procreate  Survive  Coolidge Effect ◦ Cannot abstain forever ◦ “Socially sanctioned”
  • 6.  Needing more of the same substance to get the same high ◦ Tolerance  Dopamine system self-regulating  Coolidge Effect ◦ In response to worsening problems
  • 7.  Using more or for longer than intended ◦ Online porn sites, dating apps  Novelty  Unsuccessful efforts to cut down ◦ Biologically driven urge for stimulation as well as procreation
  • 8.  Spending significant time and/or resources (i.e. money) thinking about, preparing for, acquiring, using and/or recovering from use
  • 9.  Continued use despite negative consequences in one or more areas of life due to the addiction ◦ Relationship ◦ Financial ◦ Work ◦ Emotional (Anxiety, Motivation, Depression)
  • 10.  Driven by survival mechanisms ◦ Reduce pain (emotional, physical) ◦ Safety (Eliminate threats) ◦ Food/water  Maintained by positive and negative reinforcement
  • 11. ◦ Give your brain a rest from the rush ◦ Take care of yourself to allow your brain to recover  Sleep  Nutrition  Exercise ◦ Consider pharmacological interventions ◦ Identify other things that make you (or used to make you) happy ◦ Find activities to occupy your time
  • 12.  Identify and eliminate or recondition things that trigger your cravings ◦ People, places, things (including TV shows), emotions, times of day ◦ Engage in competing behaviors  Identify the function of your behavior and develop alternatives.
  • 13.  Only allow yourself to experience sexual pleasure with a single other person in a monogamous relationship.  Understand that during the rewire, there may be a period when you cannot get aroused.  Procreation is genetically programmed, once your brain recovers, arousal will be possible again.
  • 14.  Address loss of motivation through ◦ Goal setting ◦ Decisional balance exercises ◦ Rewards Remember that as the dopamine system recovers motivation will return
  • 15.  Live in the present instead of the past /future  Observing/Awareness ◦ External and Internal ◦ Vulnerabilities and Assets  Describing  Accept without judgment  Act with Awareness / Purposeful Action
  • 16.  Cope with crisis situations/urges in healthier, less self-destructive ways  Examples: ◦ Urge Surfing ◦ Alternate activities  Less problematic (ice)  Active Distraction (Do 15)
  • 17.  Manage and tolerate your emotions  Accept that sometimes your can't change them or reduce their intensity  Learn what makes your negative emotions worse  Get support  See the silver lining
  • 18.  Maintain healthy relationships  Act assertively  Take good care of yourself  Don’t forget about karma
  • 19.  Sex addiction has similarities and differences with drug addictions  The younger the brain changes occur, the greater the possibility for damage  Antidepressants can be helpful in the short-term  DBT interventions can also be extremely helpful;  As with any addiction, the reason someone started and continues needs to be addressed.
  • 20.  Unlike other addictions, permanent abstinence from sex is not recommended, so a strong relapse prevention plan is needed.  Common triggers to many addictions including sex addiction include anxiety, boredom, depression, guilt, habit, relationship problems, shame, stress, television/media, and low self- esteem.