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Sexual Addiction

An estimated 3 -6% of the global adult population suffers from sexual addiction. Destructive behaviors don’t have to hold you back. Learn more about recovery and take action today.

What is Sexual Addiction?

Defining sexual addiction has been difficult for professionals to agree. The definition is broad, complex and debatable:

Any sexually-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment.

The behavior completely dominates one’s life and becomes a priority forsaking all others

Sexual addiction can take on many forms.  These may include one or more of the following (but this is not an exhaustive list):

  • Pornography (internet, strip clubs, videos, magazines, books, etc.)
  • Prostitutes
  • Chat rooms
  • Multiple sexual partners
  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Affair(s)
  • Voyeurism, exhibitionism, fetishes
  • Anonymous sex
  • Compulsive sexual episodes
  • Frequenting adult businesses
  • Romance novels
  • Molestation, rape, incest

Who is at risk?

There are many ways an individual is susceptible to sexual addiction. Unhealthy attachment injuries (neglect: emotional and/or physical) to caregivers during infancy is a good indicator of future risk.  Individuals who have experienced trauma and abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, verbal and neglect) are most at risk according to research. Boredom, the newest found indicator, also plays a role in vulnerability to an addiction-forming.  Early exposure is a common component creating a fertile ground for young children to become addicted.

At this time, there are approximately nine indicators that professionals use to determine if someone is addicted sexually:

  1. Acting out (a pattern of out-of-control sexual behavior)
  2. Experiencing losses due to acting out behaviors and an inability to stop in spite of negative consequences
  3. Continued pursuit of self-destructive behavior
  4. Persistent desire to reduce or limit sexual behavior
  5. Primary coping strategy is through sexual fantasy or obsession
  6. Tolerance: increasing amount or intensity of sexual experiences due to finding current levels of activity no longer satisfying
  7. Mood swings related to sexual activity
  8. Excessive amounts of time spent seeking sex, being sexual or recuperating from sexual encounters
  9. Abandonment of family, friends, social or work relationships because of sexual behavior

Although a clear definition of sexual addiction is forthcoming, it is evident that there is no question of the impact it is having on individuals as addicts, significant others and their families.  Research has provided strong evidence for biological and psychological reasons for sexual addiction. In addition, there is much evidence of sexual addiction being correlated with other diagnoses and disorders. There are effective treatment interventions that have been proven to be beneficial to all of those affected by sexual addiction and there is promise of healing and recovery for those touched by this devastating addiction.

How can I get help?

As a certified sexual addictions therapist, Allison is highly qualified to work in this area.  Her extensive training has taught her to assess and provide treatment modalities that have been the most successful in restoring individuals and relationships touched by sexual addiction.  Research has shown the most effective and lasting treatment includes individual sessions and group work, of which Allison provides both. Through her academic training in this field, coupled with life experience, she has the vantage point of understanding the turmoil of being under the addiction’s control, and of being wounded by others’ sexual addictions.  These experiences have enabled her to connect with clients in a unique way many other therapists may not able to connect. 

What is therapy like?

Therapy is provided for the addict, significant others, and the family.  Initially, it will address the addiction and healing toward recovery by tearing down the dysfunctional foundation that has been formed.  Next, along with the therapist’s help, the couple will begin to rebuild the sexual foundation for their marriage with a healthier sexual framework reinforced by trust and authenticity.  For those willing to work, there is enormous hope. Allison witnesses recovery and healing occur each and every day.

Get help.

If you are unsure if you have a sexual addiction, or you suspect a loved one has a sexual addiction and would like more information, contact us.


The time is now. Take the first step on your healing journey.