What Is A Certifed Sex Addiction Therapist?
A Dallas certified sex addiction therapist is a specialist, and understands both sex therapy and sex addiction therapy including sexual arousal, healthy and unhealthy courtship, sexual nurture and intimacy, healthy sexual touch, healthy differentiation and healthy romance.
Certified sex addiction therapist training is the only training in the US based on decades of research and tens of thousands of sex addicts and their sexual arousal and attachment, over many decades of study.
Can anyone be a certified sex addiction therapist?
No. Certified sex addiction therapist training requires a license by a state licensing board.
The faculty of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP) which describes its membership as follows:
“We are comprised of licensed mental health professionals, IITAP Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, trauma/EMDR clinicians, AASECT sex therapists and BBS Supervisors.”
To be a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, a licensed therapist must apply and complete approximately 4 weeks of traing with Dr. Patrick Carnes and other professionals associated with IITAP, The International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.
Ongoing supervision is required, and encouraged as the therapist and counselor grows in understanding and abilities. The Carnes model is a 30 task model. The tasks are similar in ways to the 12 steps, but are also intended to compliment and expand the 12 steps. The first tasks, tasks 1-7, deal with getting honest, abstaining, understanding addiction, establishing sobriety,limiting damage, and creating and participating culture of support. Later tasks focus on individual healing, then relational healing, and then the CSAT learns to guide the client past recovery to a way of life described as thriving. It takes many thousands of hours to master understanding and implimenting these tasks. Continiuing education every year is required to maintain the CSAT credential. The 30 tasks can be downloaded and viewed here.
In a word, expertise. CSAT training coupled with thousands of hours of supervision and experience allow a CSAT to assess, diagnose and treat not only the symptoms of sex addiction, but also the underlying attachment disorder that is the hallmark of sex addiction. CSAT training emphasizes sex addiction as an intimacy disorder, although many therapists miss the underlying attachment disorder that drives the intimacy symptoms. Without experience and training it is very easy to confuse the process of therapy as simply being communication issues when deep down they are trauma and shame issues driven by early childhood wounds in bonding.
Certified sex addiction therapist training and experience allows them to administer the Sexual Dependency Inventory and the Sexual addiction screening test, (SAST). The SAST can be taken here. CSAT trained individuals are tyhe only professionals in the US trained to use these tests and often other testing is used as well, such as the MMPI-2 RF.
The answer is a definite yes, and requires a therapist specially trained to treat the underlying causes of sex addiction. Dr. Ken Adams, an esteemed CSAT trainer descibes sex addiction in this way:
“Sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder that is rooted in impaired early attachment experiences. This impaired bonding causes the developing self to be shrouded in shame. Primary needs and desires become contemptuous to the individual. Affect regulation also is damaged because of negative bonding experiences. This further impairs the capacity to master feelings and successfully guide the process of need fulfillment. Sexual addiction is a compulsive cycle that attempts to compensate, soothe, and regulate the internal struggle. The cycle, in turn, creates more shame and dysregulation of affect. Strategies to reduce shame, regulate affect, and create sexual boundaries necessary for successful treatment of sexual addiction are outlined.” 1
It is critical that the CSAT you choose treats the entire family system: wife, partner, children. Sex addiction is a family disease and Certified Sex Addiction therapist training emphasiszes the family, and treating the partner of the sex addict is a sub-specialty that at least 25% of the training focuses on.
Feel free to give us a call for more information or to for an assessment for what group best fits your or a loved oned needs.
(1). Adams, K. (2001). Shame Reduction, Affect Regulation, and Sexual Boundary Development: Essential Building Blocks of Sexual Addiction Treatment. Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity: The Journal of Treatment & Prevention, 8(1), 23-23. Retrieved 2015, from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10720160127559?journalCode=usac20#.Vcgf5xNViko