Help available for those dealing with sexual addiction

Sexual addiction is not something that gets a lot of attention publicly, but there is support locally for those who need it. -
Sexual addiction is not something that gets a lot of attention publicly, but there is support locally for those who need it.
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It’s been about 10 or more years since Cowichan hosted a meeting to help sex and love addicts.

And much has changed since, with modern technology enabling more online opportunities to fuel fixations, explained a new local group’s facilitator, George (who didn’t want his last name printed as to protect the anonymity of the program).

“With the internet, there’s much involvement with pornography, and with things like chat lines, and it’s not necessarily healthy,” George said.

Sexual addiction can loosely be defined as any form of self-destructive sexual behaviour where the person involved feels he or she is out of control.

Internet porn addictions is just one example of many ailments being discussed during the new sessions.

Other issues can range from things like compulsive masturbation to sexual anorexia (loss of appetite for romantic-sexual interaction with their partner). Everyone is different, said George.

“Often newcomers that come are often plagued with a couple of things,” he said. “For newcomers, it’s all ‘My goodness, there’s a lot of stuff and a lot of information (to digest).’”

“But the idea is not to overwhelm and to get people relaxed.”

George recommends folks who might be candidates search out the work of Dr. Patrick Carnes.

From 1996 until 2004, Carnes was the clinical director for Sexual Disorder Services at The Meadows in Wickenburg, Arizona.

During his time there, he developed a therapeutic technology based on his landmark study of the recoveries of 1,000 sex addicts.

This work is summarized in Don’t Call It Love, which has been described by The New Age Journal as “the best book on the market about addiction and its costs and consequences.”

George suggests flipping through either Don’t Call It Love, or another Carnes work titled Out of the Shadows.

“He’s definitely one of the forerunners on the subject,” George said. “If they read (Carnes), it kind of helps break the ice.”

SLAA (Sex, Love Addictions Anonymous) meetings are being held at New Life Baptist church Mondays at 7 p.m.

Folks interested in attending are asked to call George at 250-748-1238 first for a one-on-one chat about the program and to discuss why the caller is interested in attending.

Stopping by a meeting can often be overwhelming for the first-timer since sex and love addiction issues aren’t as simple as 1-2-3, George said. The SLAA Monday meetings are closed sessions and folks taking part remain completely anonymous.

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