Is sex addiction really an addiction?
In April of 2011, The American Society of Addiction Medicine updated their agreed upon definition of addiction, “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.”
Sexual addiction is a disorder characterized by sexual compulsivity, obsession, persistence engaging in sexual behaviors despite negative consequences, and symptoms of withdrawal and tolerance related to sexual activity. Dr. Patrick Carnes developed diagnostic criteria related to sex addiction which includes but is not limited to; a pattern of out of control behavior, consequences due to sexual behavior, inability to stop despite adverse consequences, sexual obsession and fantasy as a primary coping strategy, neglect of important social, occupational, or recreational activities, and inordinate amounts of time spent in obtaining sex, being sexual, or recovering from sexual experiences.
What is sex addiction?
Sexual addiction, also known as sex addiction, is a conceptual model that describes compulsive participation or engagement in sexual activity, despite negative consequences.
How to stop sex addiction? Why is a 45-day program recommended?
Treating addiction effectively requires long-term dedication to your personal recovery. There is no such thing as a get well quick response to addiction. It takes longer than four weeks to get the traction you need to change the lifelong-held beliefs and behaviors that are rooted in addictions. Scientific evidence reveals that individuals who remain in treatment longer have a better chance of maintaining long-term sobriety.
How will my family be involved in my treatment?
Family members will be encouraged to be an active and integral part of the process. During treatment, they will be invited to attend an intensive week-long family program. We believe that family support and involvement in the process is a key component for success in long-term recovery. You and your family will explore addiction, recovery, and healthy relationship dynamics while in a safe environment focused on healing.
Will you have a personal trainer that I can work with at Gentle Path?
Gentle Path at The Meadows has a Masters level Recreational Therapist and trained staff on hand to help our patients with their exercise and recreational needs in our self-contained, state of the art fitness area. We recognize that exercise is an important part of recovery and frequently our patients require assistance in learning how to balance life and exercise needs. At Gentle Path at The Meadows, we schedule time in each week for a specialized workout, fitness, and recreation activities.
What resources do you have to accommodate a specific diet?
Gentle Path at The Meadows has a full dietary staff that can accommodate any special dietary needs. Led by a Registered Dietician who also has a Masters Degree in counseling and working with our classically trained chef who came to us from world-renowned resorts in the Scottsdale and Wickenburg area, meals are prepared from only the best and freshest ingredients with the dietary needs of the patients being foremost in our minds. Special dietary needs should be communicated to the intake coordinator you are speaking with before admission.
Are private rooms available?
We have found that sharing rooms offer an opportunity for increased accountability and support during treatment. Patients may be placed in private rooms at different points in their stay depending on census and room occupancy, however, a private room cannot be guaranteed and may be contra-indicated. Stopping sex addiction is disease of isolation, and individuals who suffer from it often report feeling “alone in a crowd.” At times, private rooms can add to that isolation, and that isolation is something that we try to help while at Gentle Path at The Meadows.
What will you do if I don’t get along with my roommates?
Requests for room changes are handled on a case-by-case basis. Our patient community is relatively small, and challenging interactions with your peers can often be experienced as growth opportunities. However, every effort will be made to make your stay comfortable so you can focus on the issues that brought you to treatment.
Can I access my company emails and have access to a computer?
Access to email and internet is limited to maintain the security of our treatment facility. Additionally, we have found that patients receive the maximum benefit from treatment when they are free from work-related stressors and able to focus on their recovery process without distraction. Patients may be granted very limited and supervised access to email at the discretion of their primary therapist. However, we suggest that you make alternative arrangements for the management of your work responsibilities and plan to only “work” on your recovery while in treatment.
Will you have females working in your program?
Yes, we have male and female staff members working at Gentle Path at The Meadows. Our staff members are highly trained and experienced in maintaining appropriate professional boundaries with patients at all times. We understand that sex addiction is a disease of profound boundary failure. Our patients have the opportunity to begin practicing their boundaries in interactions with trained professionals before being challenged to implement them outside of a treatment setting.
Can I have a TV in my bedroom?
No. Access to electronics is limited to provide a safe and secure environment that is free from distractions and conducive to healing and sobriety. Electronic elements such as TV, Internet surfing, and even radio/music can be a distraction to our patients from the emotional work that they are doing on a daily basis. We have found through 35 years of work that the best work is done by patients with only limited access to these distractions. Patients do have access to a community television during specified times of the day.
Will we ride horses in this program?
Patients participate in weekly Equine Therapy that involves therapeutic interaction with horses; however, horseback-riding is not part of our program. Family members will also have an opportunity to participate in Equine Therapy during Family Week.
How will you protect my confidentiality?
Everyone on campus is typically a patient, family member, authorized guest or Meadows employee. Our facility stands in the center of a large section of property situated off the main road and secluded from view by dense trees and foliage. Members of the press and unauthorized persons will be escorted from the property immediately. Also, cell phones, cameras, and recording devices are prohibited on campus to protect the confidentiality of our patients.
Patients sign a confidentiality agreement at admit and are asked to pledge to maintain the confidentiality of their peers regularly. The importance of this is consistently reiterated throughout treatment. Family Week guests and authorized visitors on campus also sign a confidentiality agreement. All Meadows employees are legally and ethically bound to maintain your confidentiality and exceptions to staff confidentiality will be discussed upon admission. Patients will be notified of any professional visitors to campus, and those individuals will also sign confidentiality agreements.
What is the typical number of patients enrolled at any given time?
While we are licensed to treat up to 28 patients at one time, our patient census may vary over the course of your stay, typically ranging anywhere from 12 to 24 patients.
How often will I meet with my therapist?
Each patient is assigned to a primary therapist who is responsible for overseeing his individualized treatment plan and case management needs. You will see your primary therapist every weekday in the primary group. While the primary treatment modality at Gentle Path at The Meadows is group therapy, patients will meet individually with their primary therapists, Trauma resolution therapists, evening/weekend therapists, and Continuing Care Coordinator several times throughout their stay. Additionally, patients have individual sessions with our Medical providers, psychiatrists, psychologists, and Dr. Carnes.
Will I see Dr. Carnes?
Dr. Carnes will meet with each patient individually and be a part of groups and lectures throughout the treatment process. He will also be personally involved with your treatment. He works side-by-side with the Gentle Path staff and in the development and implementation of the treatment program.
Will I have homework at night – how much?
Homework assignments are part of the treatment program, and there is time structured into the daily schedule for homework completion. While the Gentle Path program schedule is highly structured, there is also time for rest, relaxation, exercise, socializing and play. We consider all of these activities to be essential to maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Is 12-Step participation required?
Treatment should have a 12-step basis. People who learn the steps and go to meetings do much better than those who do not. One of the frequent objections to the 12-step approach is its requirement for a spiritual basis. However, a person does not have to identify with any particular religious or spiritual belief system to benefit from the support provided by the 12-Step fellowship. We have found the inclusion of a 12-step program to be beneficial to the maintenance of long-term recovery.
One of the challenges in recovery is learning to approach and work on deeply personal issues. It’s about learning to deal with what Carl Jung called the “shadow self.” In recovery, you start on a journey that will help you expose your shadow self and allow you to see who you are. One difficult task is to explore relationships with others and your relationship with yourself both past and present. 12-Step and support groups are crucial in facilitating this process. Working within the context of a group comprised of others who have been in your shoes allows you to bring your barriers down and allows others to know who you are. Meetings help to build that critical support network where you can share your successes and failures, let others know when you are in trouble, and provide the environment where you can ask for help.
Recovery is not an event; it is a process. Attending and being involved in 12-Step groups as well as, finding and utilizing the help and support of a sponsor helps to sustain the process of recovery.
Why is sex addiction not in the DSM?
There are many factors that contribute to which mental health disorders appear in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM). New editions of the DSM are published as our understanding and conceptualization of mental illness evolves and expands based on research. Compared to other mental health issues, research on how to stop sex addiction is relatively new and, admittedly, controversial. One important change to the DSM-5 is the inclusion of Gambling Disorder in the category Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders based on research that gambling activates the brain’s reward system in the same way that a drug does. While other process addictions like internet addiction and sex addiction were not included in this version of the DSM-V, this change is promising in that it opens the door for further scientific research to be conducted on addictive behaviors that are profoundly impacting people’s lives.
Your Recovery Is Important To Us
Gentle Path at The Meadows located in Wickenburg, Arizona, provides an intensive, experientially based 45-day treatment program for men with the complex issues of sexual addictions.
We are a Behavioral Health Inpatient Facility with 28 beds, accredited by The Joint Commission which demonstrates our ongoing commitment to safe, high-quality care, and treatment meaning that patients can be assured outstanding care at Gentle Path at The Meadows.
In a safe and nurturing community composed of their peers, men are guided on their journey of recovery by examining the underlying causes of addiction and co-occurring disorders. The goal is for these individuals to gain the courage to face difficult issues, including grief and loss; heal from emotional trauma; and become accountable for their feelings, behaviors, and recovery. Visit us here or feel free to phone us at 855-333-6076.