So many sex addicts, wrapped up in feelings of shame, isolate their nature from others. They make their problems unknown to the world, and thus unknown to eachother. Sexual addictions are considerably more common than most would believe, but because they are hidden from view, the prevailing attitude is that to be a sex addict is to be ‘not normal’. The most powerful aspect of group therapy for sex addicts, one that is experienced by every participant in their first session, is the startling realization that they are not alone. This realization forms a foundation of security on which a true understanding of ones problems, and an effective means of coping with them, is built.
The Power of Community
Western values come from a long history dating back to religious institutions that, by-and-large, denied much of human sexuality. While our civilization has evolved in many ways, many of our feelings towards sexual thoughts and actions remain influenced by those values. We are taught to keep the ‘sex’ part of our minds under control, to keep our thoughts and actions private, and to keep taboo thoughts and feelings inside.
Because of this, in our society it’s generally not easy to talk about sex. Talking about sex addiction, and many of the thoughts, feelings, and desires that sex addict experience, is nearly impossible. The fear of judgement and punishment causes us to keep these feelings inside and simply live with them, alone.
That is until you meet other sex addicts.
Because we all keep these feelings inside, we can pass another sex addict in the street, work with them every day, even live with them, and have no idea that this other person shares so much of the experience we believe to be alone in feeling. Meeting them on common ground, and finding out that we are not alone, is a tremendously powerful experience that can fill a person with confidence, replacing shame and guilt with hope and strength.
All Walks of Life
To an addict who has been their life with their sexual nature hidden under feelings of shame and guilt, judgement’s are made concerning what it means to be a sex addict. Entering into their first group therapy session, many of these judgments are challenged and changed.
The most powerful judgement, and one that is always changed, is that you are alone. Sex addicts keep their issues under wraps for so long, and so well, that they spend a life being incapable of relating to another. It leads to a belief that they simply are not ‘built’ the way that everyone else is, that they are somehow ‘broken’, and that others are unable to understand the things they think and feel every day.
Participating in your first group therapy session exposes the fact that you are far from alone. That many of those that surround you every day, in all walks of life, operate just as you do, and have experience they can lend to help you deal with the problems you believed you had to suffer thorough alone.
Group therapy is one of the most powerful methods that any addict can use to cope with their addiction. Perhaps nowhere is it more powerful than sex addiction, as sharing sexual thoughts, feelings, and experiences in common conversation is nearly impossible.
If you’re interested in the possibility of participating in group therapy, or simply would like to learn more, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Whitestone.