Treating_the_Sexually_Addicted_Client

Treating_the_Sexually_Addicted_Client - Articles Treating...

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66 J ournal of A ddictions & O ffender C ounseling •April 2005 •Volume 25 A rticles Treating the Sexually Addicted Client: Establishing a Need for Increased Counselor Awareness W. Bryce Hagedorn Gerald A. Juhnke Seventeen to 37 million Americans struggle with sexual addictions (P. Carnes, 1994b; A. Cooper, D. L. Delmonico, & R. Burg, 2000; B. Morris, 1999; & J. L. Wolf, 2000)), yet traditionally trained addictions and offender counselors often find themselves unprepared to assist clients who are sexually ad- dicted. This article provides a general overview of the disorder, explores the ongoing definition debate, and offers clinically proven treatment protocols. The suggested prevalence of sexual addiction is staggering. An estimated 17 to 37 million Americans struggle with this addictive disorder (Carnes, 1994b; Cooper, Delmonico, & Burg, 2000; Morris, 1999; Wolfe, 2000). These figures are greater than the combined number of Americans who are addicted to gambling or have eating disorders (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Colum- bia University, 2003; Potenza, Fiellin, Heninger, Rounsaville, & Mazure, 2002; Shaffer & Korn, 2002; Tenore, 2001). In addition to the prevalence, the incidence of sexual addiction is rising, due in part to the affordability, accessibility, and anonymity of sexually explicit material available on the Internet (Cooper et al., 2000). The prevalence of sexual addiction is predicted, based on current trends, to continue rising at a rapid rate (Cooper, 2004). Because of the lack of qualified counselors, many addicted individuals turn to self-help groups, all of which are administered by nonprofessionals without for- mal education and training in treating sexual addiction (Haugh, 1999; Myers, 1995; Wolfe, 2000). Of the 73 nationally known 12-step, self-help support groups, 8 distinct groups are dedicated to individuals seeking assistance in managing their sexu- ally addictive behaviors. This number of sexual addiction support groups is more than any other 12-step group addressing an addictive disorder and may reflect the large number of individuals who are sexually addicted. Despite steadily in- W. Bryce Hagedorn, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, Florida Interna- tional University; Gerald A. Juhnke, Department of Counseling and Educational Development, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Gerald A. Juhnke is now in the Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology, Adult and Higher Education, The University of Texas at San Antonio. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to W. Bryce Hagedorn, Department of Educational and Psychological Studies, ZEB 239A, Florida International Uni- versity, Miami, FL 33199 (e-mail: [email protected]).
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J ournal of A ddictions & O ffender C ounseling •April 2005 •Volume 25 67 creasing self-referral and participation in 12-step, self-help groups such as Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anony- mous, Sexual Compulsives Anonymous, and Sexual Recovery Anonymous, the treatment community lacks the resources and funding to address this growing population (National Council on Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, 2000).
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