Hypnotherapy can help with sex addiction
Relate describes sex addiction as “any sexual activity that feels out of control". It can include a single behaviour or range of them which may include: masturbation, use of pornography, use of chat rooms and/or sex lines, ongoing or multiple affairs, partner sex or visiting prostitutes. This list is not extensive, nor is it the behaviours that define the addiction but it is the level of control over the compulsion to carry out the behaviours. The difference between someone who has an addiction and someone who does not, is that the addict is unable to control the compulsion to carry out these behaviours even if they know the negative consequences are severe.
Hypnotherapy can provide considerable support in overcoming sex addiction. Hypnotherapy can help reduce anxiety which is both caused by and is a driver for sex addiction. The anxious mind likes to carry out familiar behaviours and is less likely to want to make changes to our normal ways of coping with life. When we bring our anxiety levels under control, changes in the brain make those decisions easier, which will lead to a happier future in the medium to long-term. This enables the addict to take control of their compulsions.
It also becomes easier, once anxiety is brought under control, for us to develop new habits. Positive habits which create a better balance of positive chemicals in the brain.
Milton Erickson famously said: “You use hypnosis not as a cure, but as a means of establishing a favourable climate in which to learn". This of course is essential in the case of an addict who needs to learn how to live without the crutch of an addiction, which is causing much destruction in their life. We know that hypnotherapy and hypnosis gives the brain time and space to work out different ways of doing things. It can change our perceptions and the chemical make-up of the body and the brain.
Hypnotherapy can also help addicts to cope with the often stressful fallout of having an addiction such as one that focuses on sexual acts. It is not unusual for sex addiction to result in friction within families and relationships, and of course it is easy to see how such an addiction could lead to the break-up of these support networks.
Hypnotherapy can also help the partners of the sex addict. Many of whom have to overcome feelings of hurt, confusion, stress and anxiety caused by their partner’s behaviours. We know it is more likely an addict will recover when there is a good support network around them. However, a sex addiction is often the most difficult for a partner to forgive, especially if it involves repeated affairs, and so it can be a big ask for a sex addict’s partner to hang around to support the addict in their recovery.
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