Why Choose a CSAT? Well, you are aware treating sex addiction is a specialty area, and sex addiction is a complex state of “dis-ease” with the “Self”. Now, let’s look at how a LifeWorks Recovery CSAT can help you or a loved one not just recover, but thrive in life.
CSATs realize that sex addiction is a behavioral symptom of a core issue that often connects to an addict’s sense of shame (unworthiness). I suspect that most sex addicts want to be good people – but making good, or better, decisions isn’t the antidote to get them past their compulsive behaviors. Most likely, the addict has already tried to “be good” and stop acting out. No, CSATs understand that something is happening below the apparent surface of the addict’s life. Their job is to not only educate the addict on what addiction is, how to begin abstinence, and how to move into sobriety so that the acting out stops, but it is also to help the addict understand why addiction has become the coping mechanism of choice, to dig deep into the sandbox of the addict’s emotional world and ask, what are your fears, your pains, and your shame about? Addicts, plainly put, live their lives with their emotional sensors down. They are flying an airplane with none of the flight instruments working and the people of their life are the passengers on the plane. They are emotionally disconnected from themselves or from others. Establishing abstinence and sobriety is good, but if the work of emotional, relational, and spiritual reconnection never takes place, relapse is around the corner. It would be like releasing a substance abuser out of a detox center without building up his or ability to cope with life’s stressors apart from the addiction — as soon as something stressful happens, the reactionary reflex will be to act out.
A skilled Life Works Recovery sex addiction therapist can help understand the right tools and skills to reconnect with themselves and employ proper self-care. Asking an addict to connect with their fear, anger, pain, and shame is like asking a child who is scared of monsters to look into the closet and under the bed with the lights off and when they are all alone. If done poorly, it can be traumatizing. Proper support is necessary to keep the client from slipping away into emotional flooding, hopelessness, and overwhelming nature of the emotional world he or she has been neglecting and quite possibly has never known was there.
CSATs take into account that anger is usually the first line of emotional defense an addict and partner of an addict have to work through. Anger is more than just personal temperament or being mean and combative. Anger is a offensive tool and as well as defensive tool, used to keep everyone (including themselves) away from their pain. Pain must be addressed for recovery to happen but to get to the pain therapist has to work with the addict and partner to find out what the anger is all about. Skipping past validating and processing a client’s anger keeps that client in a state of unawareness of of what is important to them and how they see themselves — as victim, blamer, or placater. Only when they can take ownership (responsibility) for their own actions can they exit these unhealthy roles and begin to process their pain as their pain. Not as punishment, not cosmic unfairness, and not as required hoops to jump through to please other people.
Working with sex addicts is incredibly complex work that demands a higher degree of competence, the ability to be a curious detective in getting information without being judgmental, a thorough knowledge of how addicts think and feel, specifically regarding shame and anger, and the absolute necessity of helping addicts reconnect to their emotional self and how to support them in that process. I emphasize the word process because it takes time and it is usually a difficult journey for the addict.
I’ll ask you a different question – do you just want someone to help you stop acting out and nothing more, essentially learning to survive life as (or with) an addict? Or do you want to discover a new way of living life – not of surviving and barely scraping by, but one of thriving; living a fuller, richer life? CSATs are in the business of helping people thrive in their relationships with themselves, with others in their family, and with the world around them. What would you like help with? Surviving and getting by? Or moving into something better and thriving in it? It will be a difficult, scary journey. But it is path that is worth traveling. You will have to decide if the process worth it. Or perhaps more importantly, if you are worth doing the hard work for yourself.
I would argue that you are worth it — simply because you exist. You are worth far more than just getting by and surviving with life as you know it. You were made to thrive in life. As CSATs, this is our approach to treating sex addiction.