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Compulsive use of sex can be as destructive and damaging as any other addiction – often more so. The ongoing debate among health care professionals of the legitimacy of calling compulsive sexual behaviour an addiction, the advent of cybersex, as well the shame and fear of being stigmatized, prevents those with a sexual addiction from seeking the help they need and deserve. In many cases, sexual or other abuse from the past may heighten the need for secrecy.

Defining sex addiction

Sex addiction manifests in several forms. Common sex-related addictions, which are defined as behaviours which negatively impact one's life that are done in excess, are:

  • Pornography
  • Prostitution
  • Masturbation
  • Sadistic or masochistic behaviour
  • Voyeurism 

Cybersex is considered the ‘crack cocaine’ of sex addiction and is considered to have dramatically increased the incidence of sex addiction. Some reasons for this: it is interactive, secretive, inexpensive and society has normalized its use. 

Emotionally, the sex addict won't have healthy boundaries and may stay in unhealthy relationships or jump from one partner to another. Sex addiction can also lead to feeling empty or incomplete when alone, a decline in personal relationships with family, friends and acquaintances, decreased productivity, and physical consequences such as Sexually Transmitted Diseases or sexual dysfunction.

Sex addiction can also generate feelings of shame, emotional distress, and inadequacy, and can lead to more serious psychological disorders.

Treatment

Chabad Lifeline has an effective treatment model developed by Patrick Carnes and the Meadows Institute for Trauma and Addiction in Wickenburg, Arizona.

Jennifer Kotry, MA, CSAT is Quebec's only  Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT), an experienced addictions counsellor and certified sex addiction therapist. She worked for many years at Bellwood Health Services, an addiction rehabilitation centre in Toronto. While working at Bellwood, Jennifer held several roles, including family counsellor, group therapist and trauma/sex addiction therapist.

She offers individual and group counselling at Lifeline for both the addict and those affected by the addiction, as well as education on sex addiction and the impact it has on the individual, family members and society.

Partners of sex addicts

It is extremely important for partners of sex addiction to also get support. We also offer education, support and counselling for partners of sex addicts. 

Contact us for more information or to meet with Jennifer. 

Meetings related to sex addiction (such as Emotions Anonymous and Survivors of Incest Anonymous)  take place at our centre on a weekly basis.

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