Finding a therapist who is knowledgeable about sexual addiction is critical. Because of the relative newness of the field, locating an informed counselor may be difficult. A Christian counselor trained in sex addiction is the ideal choice, but unfortunately, such professionals are quite rare. Because more resources are available to provide spiritual support, look first for a clinician who understands sexual addiction. If that person is also a Christian, that’s a plus but no ethical counselor will do anything to challenge your faith, and someone who doesn’t understand sexual addiction can do more harm than good.
Here are some suggestions about how to find a counselor:
- Ask other recovering people for recommendations.
- Ask other mental health professionals for counselors trained in addictions.
- Contact your local drug and alcohol council for referrals.
- For specifically Christian counselors, check the listing of therapists who are members of an organization like the American Association of Christian Counselors (www.aacc.net). Understand that this is a general listing and members may not be familiar with sexual addiction.
It’s wise to interview the therapist to see if she/he seems to be an appropriate choice. Here are some questions to ask:
- Are you trained in treating addictions? Are you specifically familiar with sexual addiction? Have you heard of Dr. Patrick Carnes? Do you recommend the 12 Step program of recovery? Do you work from a trauma-based model in treating addictions? How many sexually addicted clients have you treated? What’s your definition of sexual sobriety? What’s your experience in helping sexual co-addicts? What about couples? How do you work with them?