The treatment of sexual addiction and other addictive disorders involves three steps. The first or Level One change is the removal of the defensive and addictive behavior. But the process doesn’t end with sobriety. Next, the dysfunctional patterns in the recovering person’s relationship with self and others must change. These include control, secrecy, isolation, emotional distancing, poor self-care, and distorted cognitions. And finally, the early, shaming experiences must be uncovered and released as much as possible. Emotional, relational, intellectual, and spiritual development are the goals.
These goals are best achieved through the combination of psychotherapy, active involvement in a 12 step recovery group appropriate to the addicts needs, and other direct work including reading relevant material, attending workshops, and so forth. The support of others, including other recovering addicts, is enormously valuable and useful. Depending on the severity of the addiction, medication and a period of appropriate inpatient treatment may also be valuable.