BREAKING THE BONDS OF DESTRUCTIVE DESIRES

Disordered sex, love and relationship behaviours are especially hard dependencies to identify, because they can present through such a wide range of symptoms. Key indicators can include compulsive sexual acts and thoughts, subsequent shame and guilt, purposeful isolation from others in order to pursue sexual urges and problems maintaining healthy, meaningful relationships.

Compulsive sexual behaviour can manifest in many different ways, from exhibitionist sex to coercive sex to sex involving pain and humiliation, and its consequences can disrupt clients’ families, work lives and mental health. Additional challenges to recovery are the prevalence of highly sexualised imagery in day-to-day life, and that for most people it is not realistic or desirable to abstain from sex completely, as a recovering client would from a substance.

Much like those with sexual compulsions, people with a disordered need for love are searching for something – a person, relationship, or experience – to provide the emotional and life stability they lack, and use intense romantic experiences to temporarily ‘fix’ themselves and feel emotionally stable.

At Resort 12 we take a holistic, individualised view of clients’ need for sexual expression and understand the nurturing power of healthy connections with others to support successful recovery. Our experts offer both sex-positive and traditional, abstinence-based treatment, as appropriate for each client’s needs. Without judgement, our therapists help clients discover the underlying needs and impulses behind their behaviours, and define and move towards the kinds of relationships that will sustain their healthy, fulfilled new lives. We recommend that LGBTQ clients who come to us with sex, love and relationship issues join our dedicated healthy relationships breakout group, where honest feedback from others experiencing similar patterns enriches our therapy offer.