Preparing For Your First Session of Sexual Addiction

Preparing for your first counseling session of Sexual Addiction Treatment at Sex Therapy in Philadelphia / Center for Growth.  Coming and meeting with our therapists to address your sex addiction  for the first time can be uncomfortable.  You may be wondering what types of questions will our sex therapists explore with you?  Feelings of shame can make this experience be nerve racking.  To help ease your nerves we have put together a list of typical first session types of questions that we will want to explore with you.  Prepare yourself.  The answers may be hard and embarrassing to talk about.

Talking about a sexual problem like sex addiction requires you to take a huge risk. It’s a leap of faith that help is not only available, but that it will help you.  We get that it’s hard to acknowledge painful negative behaviors that you are not proud of.  Our job is simply to help you get to where you want to be, as opposed to judging you.

To help you prepare for your first sex addiction treatment session at Sex Therapy in Philadelphia / Center for Growth we want you to be as open and honest with yourself as possible as we try to find out where you are getting stuck and how we can help you in your path towards healing.  In general we ask anything and everything that we believe may be related to your particular problem.

We as sex addiction therapists, are most helpful when have a good understanding of what your are struggling with.  Below is a list of questions that you may be asked in your first session(s).  Remember, our sex addiction therapists are only as good as you let us be.   The more you allow yourself to be vulnerable, the more insightful we become because we are actually having getting to the know the real you.

In general, after all the initial paperwork has been completed, sex addiction therapists will ask you what brought you here today?  Additionally, they will want to know what kinds of problematic sexual thoughts, fantasies, behaviors you currently, or historically have engaged in and of course why you want to change, and why now:

Typical talking points include:

On a more complex level, areas that will be explored are:

  • The family that you grew up in? Expectations
  • What is the frequency that you engage in each sexual behavior(s)? How much time do you spend thinking about the sexual behavior / activity?
  • When do you believe your sexual addiction began?  Can you identify the initial triggers?
  • What about your sexual thoughts or your behaviors make you feel guilty or bad?
  • What type of thoughts are you comfortable with? Which sexual behaviors or thoughts do you believe are healthy?  Or could be healthy for another individual without your history?
  • Have you or anyone in your family of origin struggled with gambling addiction, eating disorders, shopping addictions, drug or alcohol problems? Type A personalities? Or other obsessive-compulsive behaviors?
  • How have family members managed their addictions or obsessive-compulsive behaviors?
  • Are there any specific feelings (boredom, stress, anxiety, depression) that tend to give you an urge engage in the sexual behavior?  How else do you try to manage these feelings?
  • Can you try to describe the thought process that occurs when you feel preoccupied with sex? At what point do you give yourself permission to act out?
  • Do you find yourself taking more and more sexual risks? Do you feel that your sexual addiction continues to get worse? And if so when did you first become aware of this pattern? What have you done to try to set limits?
  • When do you tend to engage in the sexual behaviors?  Is there a certain time of day or a certain time of the week?  Who knows?
  • What do you imagine would happen if all of your friends, family and work colleagues were to find out?
  • What makes your care if they know?
  • Discuss the energy that you have spent creating a double life for yourself? How have you covered your tracks? Are there ways in which this double life has brought you closer or further apart from your friends and family?
  • What other behaviors are associated with your sexual behaviors?  Alcohol, drugs, certain friends, always after a work victory or set back?
  • How much money do you spend in a month on your sexual addiction? How much money do you think you have spent in total on your sexual addiction?
  • How has your sexual addiction interfered with other areas of your life? Work? Relationships? Family?
  • Who knows about your sexual addiction? Who in your life is a positive support person(s) or whom do you imagine would be supportive?
  • Have you ever been caught before?  If so, by whom? And how did you handle the situation? Were you truthful? Did you cover lies with lies?
  • What makes you want help now?  Who knows that you are seeking help?  Who supports you and why?
  • What do you imagine your life would look like if you were magically healed?  What types of things would you be doing differently? How would you spend your time and emotional energy?
  • What type of therapist are you looking for?  What types of interventions do you respond best to?  How much time are you willing to commit to recovery? What does recovery mean to you?

These are some of the questions that we typically ask at Sex Therapy in Philadelphia / Center for Growth when someone comes to us with a sexual addiction and is seeking treatment.  It is likely that you will be asked other questions too, and depending upon your history, and who you are, it may even take us several sessions to complete a thorough assessment.

Coming to therapy for the first time can make anyone feel nervous, but being prepared not only will help you gain insight into yourself, but may help to ease your anxiety.  You are taking a bold step in overcoming a sexual addiction.  Help is available. You do not have to do this alone.

 

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