What to Expect From Treatment
In the beginning of treatment, I will perform an assessment, which includes family history, and formal testing for sex addiction and trauma.
The next step is creating a plan to take back your life by a.) quickly reducing your stress by addressing the current crises and b.) increasing your resilience by identifying your personal triggers and learning to take alternative action . As your counsellor, I will support you in uncovering the motivation and commitment to clean out the dark corners and change your experience of despair, loneliness and guilt. You will experience the relief of speaking honestly about your life without being judged or shamed. You will no longer need to lie in the effort to save your “hidden self”.
Counselling works because it is relational, but it is different from other relationships in the following ways:
it is client-centred,
clear boundaries exist,
it is problem-focused and solution-oriented,
it models respectful connection and intimacy,
it is a safe place to be honest.
One tool that we will use is the Facing The Shadow Workbook by Dr. Patrick Carnes, a task-based step by step recovery program considered to be the gold standard of sex addiction recovery. The first seven tasks focus on:
how sex addiction starts
understanding denial and how to overcome it
how to deal with the results of your actions
how to manage change and crisis
how to “do life” differently
how spirituality affects recovery
who to share with safely, and how
Other tools used in counselling include education around addiction and how the brain works for us and against us, and the power of mindfulness, gratitude exercise and choice to change the brain at a biological level. Brain changes begin as soon as you talk about what you’re feeling. Your addictive behaviour is an ingrained coping skill which has created neural pathways that encourage you to continue on this self-destructive path - building new pathways is the way out.
Many years have gone into your brain’s current wiring, and so focused practice is required to make real change. Individual counselling is often the centering core of a journey that may eventually include group therapy, 12-step program attendance, and couples or family therapy.
If you'd like to do some homework/preparation:
- Go to sexhelp.com - under the heading "Am I A Sex Addict?" take the "Sexual Addiction Screening Test"
- seek out books on sex/porn addiction. Recommended authors are Patrick Carnes, Alexandra Katehakis, Rob Weiss, Stephanie Carnes, Maurita Corcoran, to name a few If you live in Vancouver, go to Banyan Books, order from Indigo or Amazon, or access the Vancouver Public Library
- check out a SAA meeting (Sex Addiction Anonymous), there are meetings every day, all over the Lower Mainland. Their website is: www.saavancouver.org
- if you are considering telling your partner everything right now, PLEASE DON'T. There are articles on line about the uninteneded consequences of an unprepared disclosures and the damage it will do to your partner, yourself and possibly to your family.
- support your partner by helping them find a CSAT/ASAT therapist, providing reading material, and acknolwedging their pain - they are traumatized.
Andra Adams, ASAT, RPC-C
Sex Addiction/Partner Betrayal Counsellor
Some people spend entire lives seeking security through isolation, caring only for their wounded self or the secretive self that wants to take them down--the internal saboteur.
But we also all have an innermost Self who aspires to realize our genuine, and generous, vision for the future.
Showing up for yourself means a big fight with your internal protector, who thinks they're keeping you safe.
Call Us: (604) 754-7629