Sexual addiction is it’s own beast and continues to not be well understood. As one would expect it is also underserved from the typical recovery world. I remember calling for counseling to a nearby therapy center that dealt with addiction and was made to feel like a leper on the phone. I plainly said I’m looking for help with sex addiction. “Oh, Ah, Wow, I don’t know if we do that. You should call someone else.”
There are now CSAT certified counselors out there that are specialized in sex addiction. I would recommend to never go to a non-CSAT counselor after spending time with both types. The analogical difference is like using your crazy uncle Joe or a CPA to do your taxes. The benefit is apparent and significant.
As far is the 12 step program is concerned, it’s solid in practice and formation. It’s the gold standard and when implemented correctly has very high success rates in terms of sobriety.
My complaint with many of it, is that sexual addiction is still taboo, underground and extraordinary shameful compared to the other vices out there. Smoking, for example, is mainstream, legal and almost normalized that some would not even categorize that as an addiction. Who sees a counselor for smoking? Yet nicotine is one of the most chemically addictive drugs, even more than cocaine; ironically which is illegal. Alcohol is also legal when not driving and AA is the standard recovery platform that is used for individuals that overuse.
However, sex, porn, masturbation obsession, and compulsiveness is different. It’s free, it’s many times private, it rewires your brains from reality, and can be pulled up at a moment’s notice from your phone. The most accessible and free drug anywhere on that planet without anyone knowing. This vice IS legal and encouraged by parts of society as a healthly expression. No wonder over 70% of men from 18-35 are active viewers.
That’s why it’s different, that’s why it’s in many cases it’s more difficult, and that’s why it needs a better solution than 12 steps and counseling alone. The person needs training to develop the willpower to overcome temptation and Grace to continue the fight.