Certified Sex Addiction Therapists (CSATs) are in great demand as sex addiction is growing, partly due to the proliferation of Internet access. It’s easier to gain access to sexually explicit material, fueling the sex addiction. Dr. Lara Dye, a clinical psychologist and addiction specialist in Austin is training to be a CSAT. Do what does that mean for you? In this blog post, we’ll break it down to layman’s terms.
WHAT IS SEX ADDICTION?
Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. Addictions have a negative impact on the addict’s relationships and gets worse as the disorder progresses. In order to satisfy the addiction or the compulsions, the addict usually has to intensify the addictive behavior to achieve the same results — namely gratification and in a sense relief. This relief is only a temporary fix with more needed to continue the same high. Substance addictions work in the same way like with smoking. Once the nicotine wears off, another cigarette is needed to continue the feeling.
For most sex addicts, behavior does not progress beyond compulsive masturbation or the extensive use of pornography or phone or computer sex services. However, for others, addiction can involve illegal activities such as exhibitionism, voyeurism, obscene phone calls, child molestation or rape.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NORMAL SEXUAL INTENTIONS AND SEXUAL ADDICTION?
A healthy desire for sex or a relationship with another person is normal. It’s when this desire turns to desperation no matter the cost and sex becomes a compulsion that sex addiction happens. There are some common signs to look for in sexual addiction:
- Sex dominates the person’s life to the detriment of all other hobbies and other interests.
- The person engages in phone sex, computer sex, use of prostitutes, pornography, or exhibitionism.
- The person continually masturbates.
- The person has multiple sexual partners, cheats on partners, and overall, the person’s life is consumed with getting sex wherever he or she can.
- Note the person’s words: he or she may drop hints as a cry out for help, such as using words such as compulsion or even addiction.
- In extreme cases, the person crosses over to criminal activities, such as stalking, rape, incest, or child molestation.
This is where a specially qualified therapist, a CSAT, can enter the picture and get the sex addict the help he or she needs. Many sex addicts will not seek help themselves; it’s usually a loved one who notices the signs and reaches out to a qualified CSAT professional.
Dr. Lara Dye is just such a candidate. With years of helping those addicted to process addictions (of which sexual addiction is one of), Dr. Lara Dye is an expert in helping sex addicts recover. One of her specialties is helping sexual addiction that was caused by childhood relational trauma. If you know someone who is a sex addict or you yourself are exhibiting some of the symptoms listed above, contact Dr. Lara Dye today. She can give you the tools and the processes you need to restore normal, healthy relationships in your life and end the compulsions you have. Contact her today for a consultation!
WHAT DOES CSAT TRAINING ENTAIL?
In order to become a certified sex addiction therapists (CSATs), you must first be already licensed in your particular counseling field (psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage counselors, or pastoral counselors). CSAT training is an intensive four weeks with the faculty of the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). Next, training entails learning a highly manualized, thirty-task approach to treatment designed to be followed in individual and group sessions as well as with any 12-step self help program for addiction. Once the four-week intensive and the task approach training is complete, the trainee must be supervised by CSAT therapists for 30 hours of actual clinical work with sex addiction clients prior to certification.
Every two years continuing education is required for renewal of the CSAT certification. This is in addition to any state board and/or professional licensing body requirements.
WHAT CAN CSAT THERAPISTS DO THAT OTHERS CANNOT?
The special CSAT training allows the credentialed person to greater assess the level and type of sexual dependence of patients. This involves more in-depth training in analyzing the client’s sexual and trauma history and an assessment of family issues. Other addictions may be a factor as well.
In part two of our series, we’ll learn more specifics that CSAT therapists do that other therapists do not. If you know someone in need of sexual addiction therapy, please reach out to Dr. Lara Dye today. She offers individual or group sex addiction therapy sessions as well as telehealth services, which is therapy over an internet connection. She is passionate about helping people lead happy, healthy lives in relationships with others. Call her today!