Where do you start when you’re looking for sex addiction help or counselling for porn addiction? The range of services available can be bewildering, from free peer-support websites right through to extortionately priced luxury rehabs. You also have to decide if you want individual counselling, group therapy or couple counselling? Or all three?  And do you want to follow a 12 step progamme or would you prefer CBT or REBT or MI or CFT or EFT or any other acronym you can think of (if you’re not sure what that all stands for, don’t worry, they’re different therapy approaches and many counsellors don’t know what they stand for either!!!).

Am I a Sex Addict?

The first thing you need to do is be sure that you really are struggling with sex or porn addiction and then you need to find out how severe the problem is. If you haven’t used our online assessment tool yet, then please do, as this will help you to identify not only if you’re struggling with addiction, but also how entrenched it is. Most online assessment tools will only give you a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, but the one we use will give you a score which will help you to think about how serious your problem is. https://thelaurelcentre.co.uk/am-i-a-sex-addict.  Once you know more about your problem, then you’ll be able to consider how best to overcome it and start living the life you want to lead.

Recovery from sex and porn addiction

Broadly speaking recovery from sex or porn addiction always requires a two-pronged approach. You need to identify any problems that are making it difficult for you to stop, such as anxiety or depression, low self-esteem or stress, and you also need to develop pragmatic relapse prevention strategies. Most people also benefit from being part of a recovery group, whether that’s 12-Step or another peer support group. Being with others can provide you with the support, challenge and accountability that most people in recovery need.  Some people benefit from individual counselling as well, but research suggests that if you can only afford one approach, then group is the most effective way of beating addictions, of any severity.

Individual counselling also has a place though, especially for people who know that their compulsive behaviour is a symptom of a deeper underlying issue. Some people are very aware that their porn use has become a way of managing anxiety or depression, or that multiple hook ups and affairs are a way of dealing with low self-esteem and loneliness. In these situation, individual therapy can also be beneficial to identify the roots of these difficulties, change negative thinking patterns and develope healthier coping strategies.

How to beat sex addiction

Beating porn addiction and sex addiction is rarely easy, but finding the right approach for your needs will definitely help.  If you’re struggling with a relatively mild porn addiction, then joining an online support group such as www.NoFap.com or following an online programme such as Fortify, or the Kick Start Recovery Programme at www.sexaddictionhelp.co.uk  may give you the encouragement you need. If you’d prefer something a bit more personal, then do also look at our 8 week online recovery course.

If your problem is moderate then you’ll probably benefit from doing some deeper group work by joining one of our 12 week or 6 day intensive programmes, and you may find a few individual sessions will also help you to firmly establish your new recovery lifestyle.

If your score came out high then you’ll almost certainly benefit from individual psychotherapy as well as group work. While the group will give you all the tools you need to get sober and provide you with accountability and relapse prevention strategies, you’ll also need to do some digging and ensure the roots of the addiction are dealt with.

Whatever approach you take, do ensure that the therapist or counsellor you work with has been trained to at least certificate level specifically in sex and porn addiction.  Regrettably there are many therapists who do not know how little they know and may not be able to give you the help you deserve. And whether your addiction is mild, moderate or severe, do find a 12-Step support group such as SAA or SLAA. Whilst 12-Step is not an alternative to therapy, it most certainly is the perfect accompaniment.