Imago Therapy and Sex Addiction
- The way I hope others would describe my sexual behavior is . . . . .
- The way I believe other do describe my sexual behavior is . . . .
- My fear about my sexual behaviors is . . .
- To hide my fear from others I . . . . .
- To manage my fear I . . . . . .
- The way I imagine therapy could help me is . . . . .
- If I could . . . . . . . then I would feel . . . . . . and be able to . . . . .
A Reality Testing styled sex addiction therapist might challenge a client with . . . .
- Why do you think you lost your job, your relationship, your friends . . . .
- Will spending money on more prostitutes really help you get that promotion at work? Lets play that out.
- Let people into your world by telling them about your sexual behaviors. Then you will actually have a chance of getting real feedback. Lets practice ways you could start this conversation and ways you could respond back.
In this style of Reality Testing Therapy, the therapist is often action oriented and challenging clients to demonstrate the reality of their thinking. If the client does X is Y really going to be the outcome? This approach is pushing clients to step back and develop a more strategic approach so that they can make life happen instead of life happening to them.
A cognitive – behavioral approach to recovering from sex addiction focuses on helping a client change their thought process and behavioral process to effect change. The theory is that if the behaviors change, then over time the client will have a different emotional experience. Additionally, if the client is able to change the way they think about a particular situation then that will free them up to do something different and thus create long-lasting change.
- A strategy that cognitive – behavioral approach therapist might take is to ask a client what are their thoughts about their sexual situation. And then the therapist might help the client shift their thinking while giving a homework assignment to do a different kind of behavior that will demonstrate / and teach an alternative method.
A 12-step approach model to recovery will use the 12 steps which were initially created for people recovering from alcohol addiction and has been slightly re-vamped to address the specific needs of the recovering sex addict.
Imago therapy and sex addiction treatment blend nicely together. A good therapist often will adapt his or her style to best fit the client. Not one approach works for everyone.