Hypersexuality Treatment & Sex Addiction Counselling
Hypersexuality Treatment & Sex Addiction Counselling in Calgary
Sana Psychological is here to support you, whether you are new to recovery or are looking for support to help you maintain your recovery progress. Paige Abbott, Registered Psychologist at Sana Psychological, has been working with those struggling with Hypersexuality, Sexual Anorexia, and Sexual Addiction as a standalone condition as well as a symptom in combination with other Addiction issues, like substance abuse, for over a decade.
What Is Hypersexuality?
Sex is a natural part of many relationships and human behaviour. In health, sex is a way for people to express love, connection, care, and vulnerability with one another. Healthy sex feels rejuvenating, restorative, and intimate. Unfortunately, sometimes the unhealthy part of our brain looking for feel-good neurotransmitters, like dopamine, can take over and people may start to notice that a once healthy relationship with sex starts to look unhealthy.
An unhealthy relationship with sex may involve infidelity, pornography use that feels excessive or violating of your typical preferences and values, acting out with strangers, escorts, or people that are not normally your attraction (same-sex, opposite sex, minors, etc.). Your relationship with sex may not have progressed to these levels yet but you are starting to feel that it is not the healthy act it once was. Whether it is a feeling or behavioural evidence that something has gone awry, sex addiction counselling can help.
Hypersexuality as a Symptom of a Disorder
Sex addiction is not a choice. It is important for you to remember that you did not choose what is happening to you right now.
A struggle with sex addiction does not define your personality or represent who you are, it is a symptom and a medical condition that it is important to seek treatment for. That is where therapy can help.
Common Characteristics of Hypersexuality
Within the past 3 months have you experienced any of the following with your relationship with sex and love:
Causes of Hypersexual Disorder
Sex Addiction is caused by a complex integration of biological and environmental factors. Current research suggests that 40-60% of addiction vulnerability is due to genetics (NIDA). While this research applies to drug addiction, it is thought to be applicable to other manifestations as well. This leaves 40-60% due to environmental factors like attachment, family of origin influences, trauma, abuse, sexual abuse, adverse childhood events (ACE’s), behavioural exposure, and other factors that the individual experiences which contribute to the activation and manifestation of Addiction in their life. At Sana Psychological, Hypersexuality Disorder and Sex Addiction are treated as biological conditions rooted in the brain that have been influenced by other life experiences.
Our Hypersexuality & Sexual Addiction Treatment Approach
The initial 1-2 sessions will involve gathering as much background information as possible about you, including: strengths, available coping network and tools, challenges, as well as information about your relationship with sex, others, and self.
Information is gathered to know about all parts of you. Sex addiction counselling is about much more than just your engagement with sex and love. There will be many areas of life that you can start to address to support change, such as relationships, feelings processing, boundaries, communication, self-esteem, and more.
Paige Abbott has been trained in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) as well as Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and also incorporates elements of Solution-Focused Therapy, Motivational Interviewing, and Twelve-Step Facilitation into her sessions. Follow-up appointments generally involve a check-in to see presenting issues and immediate things that have come up that you may want to process, follow-up on any suggestions provided in past appointments to get an idea of progress as well as roadblocks that are coming up, followed by a more in-depth exploration of challenges, patterns, and coping.
Sessions are active and engaged as Paige likes to ask lots of questions and provide reflections, challenges, and psychoeducation along the way. At any point, if the therapeutic approach or goals need to be changed, please speak up and this will be processed. Sessions come from a non-judgmental, compassionate, empathetic place. Treatment is customized to the individual and designed to meet you where you are at with an approach you feel comfortable with.
Support for Loved Ones
Sex addiction counselling may also involve concerned family members or friends who have been impacted. They may come in individually for their own support and/or join some sessions or parts of sessions with the individual who is experiencing sex addiction. If you are a family member reading this and hoping your loved one will change but you are not sure if they are ready, I would encourage you to come in for yourself to look at your own health and recovery plan. Change in any member of a relational unit creates change for the whole unit, so perhaps change can start with you.
Even if you are feeling that your personal changes are not having an impact on your loved one, it will provide you the strength, resources, and ability to cope with an extremely difficult, draining, and challenging situation.
Loved ones of those who are struggling with sex addiction experience a significant amount of resentment, hurt, and confusion. This can be damaging to their relationship with self, mental health, and lead to self-doubt, insecurity, and lowered self-esteem. Loved ones benefit tremendously from engaging in their own counselling and recovery work in order to find peace, serenity, and contentment in their relationship with themselves, as well as explore where they are at in their external relationships.
Why Choose Sana Psychological?
When you come to Sana Psychological, you are choosing to work with an experienced, empathetic therapist who is ready to support you in making some changes in your life. Sex Addiction counselling will include a focus on more than just the behaviour and incorporate the development of communication, emotional intelligence, boundaries, self-care, and more to help you improve your mental health and sustain the changes that you are incorporating into your life.
Sessions are offered in-person in Calgary, Alberta or by using Technology Assisted Counselling which can consist of phone or video sessions depending on need and preference. Cost is $200/session. Sessions are available to anyone who is in the province of Alberta at the time of appointment as this is Paige Abbott’s jurisdiction of licensure. Payment options include cash, debit, credit card, e-transfer, and direct billing with a number of different insurance carriers.
Hypersexuality treatment can be short or long-term, depending on your needs. Paige Abbott, the Registered Psychologist at Sana Psychological, prefers to meet with people over a longer period of time (6+ months) to ensure sustainability and maintenance of progress as sex addiction recovery tends to ebb and flow. If this does not work for your needs, that is okay too. We will do as much work as we can in the available sessions to get you building a healthy recovery plan that you can tailor as needed. All it takes to get started is an e-mail, phone call, or text to request an appointment. Appointments can also be scheduled and managed online for your convenience, including the first appointment.