As with any behavior, sexual behavior or cybersex can be healthy, compulsive, or addictive:
Healthy sexuality is sexual behavior that is periodic, pleasurable, and controlled, with no adverse consequences.
Compulsive sexuality is more driven, consuming more of a person's time and energy, poorly controlled, and continued despite negative consequences on a person's life.
Sexual addiction includes compulsive sexuality, dominates a person's life to a major degree, and continues despite severe life consequences. In addition, the sexuality becomes a primary life focus, with more obsessive preoccupation about sexual behavior and irritability or negative feelings when sexual behavior is blocked. As the addiction increases, the individual takes increased risks to engage in the behavior. These risks can include engaging in unprotected sex or viewing internet pornography in public or work settings.
Compulsive sexuality, sex addiction, and cybersex affect men and women, adolescents and adults. For adolescents, the incidence of cybersex, compulsive sexuality, and "sexting" is increasing.
Effective treatment must include careful, confidential assessment followed by treatment intensity tailored to include tasks, support, and strategies to gain initial recovery from the addiction, and understanding how the addiction developed, followed by longer-term stability, recovery and growth in relationships.
As Gary Dec, Psy.D. and Associates has three staff members who are Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSAT), we are able to provide the most comprehensive and coordinated treatment for the addicted individual, partner or spouse, couple, and family in the Chicago suburbs. Because we have three CSAT certified therapists on our staff, we are able to offer treatment within our organization to support coordinated treatment and integrated recovery for the addicted individual, partner or spouse, and couple.
At times, an addicted individual requires more intensive treatment to attain initial sobriety and recovery. For these individuals, we offer outpatient treatment spanning a continuum of intensity, from weekly individual sessions to intense outpatient programs including multiple hours of treatment daily over two-four weeks and encompassing individual, group, couple, and family treatment.