How to Find a Qualified Sex and Porn Addiction Therapist

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In a post last week, we discussed how not every therapist is qualified to treat the issues of sex and porn addiction. Many therapists will simply treat the symptoms of the addiction, such as depression and anxiety, without ever addressing the underlying issue. Other therapists will suggest that sex and porn addicts just need to loosen up a bit and enjoy their sexual life, which is the exact opposite of what men and women whose compulsive sexual behaviors are destroying their lives need to hear. Still other therapists will attempt to ‘diagnose’ and ‘treat’ things like homosexuality, fetishes, and kinks as sexual addiction. Needless to say, these attempts help often do more harm than good.

As such, it’s incredibly important that sex and porn addicts seeking professional help find a therapist who is qualified to help them with their real issue—the addiction. To this end, we recommend that first and foremost you look for a CSAT (Certified Sex Addiction Therapist) designation after the clinician’s name. And even with that, you should interview and evaluate a potential therapist before you decide to move forward with that individual.

The right clinician for you will help you feel comfortable (not shamed or devalued) and understood (supported and guided). You also need a therapist who will confront you about your behaviors and your distorted thinking (your denial), even when doing so makes you angry.

Asking the following questions either prior to or during your initial therapy session can be quite helpful in terms of choosing the right therapist.

  • Are you trained in the diagnosis and treatment of sexual addiction? If so, what training have you received? (If the therapist is CSAT trained and certified, you’re on the right track.)
  • Do you have experience working with sexually addicted clients? If so, to what extent?
  • Have you helped clients with other addictions—alcoholism, drug addiction, and the like?
  • Do you recommend that your sexually addicted clients attend 12-step recovery meetings? (Most good sex addiction therapists will not only recommend this, they will insist on it.)
  • Do you offer sex addiction-focused group therapy or recommend it to your clients? (Again, most good sex addiction therapists will not only recommend this, they will insist on it.)
  • How would you help me if I relapsed? (Good sex addiction therapists take a non-shaming approach that looks at the underlying causes of the relapse and how the addict might avoid similar issues in the future.)
  • If applicable: Are you comfortable working with LGBTQ clients?
  • If applicable: How will you address or handle my religious beliefs?
  • If applicable: What kind of direction and support can you offer my spouse? (Typically, good sex addiction therapists will suggest that your spouse see a different therapist, so long as that other therapist is knowledgeable about sexual addiction and experienced in working with spouses of sex addicts.)

As much as you may want to find someone who can help you right now—especially if you are in the midst of an addiction-related crisis—it is a good idea to interview more than one potential clinician before deciding who to see. And there is nothing wrong with doing this. In fact, good therapists understand the need for a mutual fit, and they will not be offended if you choose someone else. The best clinicians sometimes encourage potential clients to sit with several people before deciding who fits them and their situation the best. They may even offer up the names and contact information of other CSAT-certified clinicians.

If you are struggling to find a good sex or porn addiction therapist, please feel free to call us at 747.234.4325 or to email us at this link.