Understanding “Sex Addiction”

Our society has created so much confusion about the concept of sex addiction that it has become difficult for the consumer of counseling services to know which way to turn.  The following is an excerpt from a good article that helps to clarify the situation.

Myth 1: Sex addiction is about sex and only sex…

Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation’s LGBTQ-Integrative Program Director Buster Ross teaches a course on sex addiction at the organization’s graduate school and took a similar stance as Skurtu.

Buster Ross

“Sex addiction, also referred to as hypersexuality, was considered for the most recent revision of the diagnostic manual clinicians use when making diagnoses, the DSM 5,” he said. “After extensive review, it was not adopted as a diagnostic condition because there was insufficient evidence to support such a diagnosis as a primary condition.”

“It’s not that the struggles aren’t real,” he continued. “It’s just that professionals are not convinced that ‘sex addiction’ is its own condition, perhaps best understood as symptomatic of other underlying mental health disorders (ADHD, impulse disorders, trauma-related disorders, bipolar disorder, stimulant-use disorders).”

Ross, an AASECT certified sexuality counselor, added the most effective treatment will come from therapists who understand eroticism from a sex-positive orientation and choose to focus on treating the underlying disorders instead of using labels like sex addiction that contribute to shame and the sexual disempowerment of clients.

“Sexuality professionals within AASECT are certified to treat sexual problems from a diverse range of approaches, offering alternatives to an addiction model, something necessary for issues as complex as modern sexuality and relationships,” he said.

To see the entire article you can go to:


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