Are you in a relationship with someone who is a sex addict? Do you find yourself obsessed with your partner’s sexual behavior? If you answer “yes” you could be a Co-Sex addict. To help understand the signs of a Co-Sex addict, what type of impact a Co-Sex addict can have on the relationship and how someone can overcome being a Co-Sex addict, I have interviewed therapist Lauren Hoyt MA, LAMFT, LISAC, CSAT-S.
Tell me a little about yourself?
“I graduated from the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Psychology and the University of San Diego with a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy. I am a Licensed Associate of Marriage and Family Therapy, a Licensed Independent Substance Abuse Counselor, a Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist and Supervisor, and I am trained in EMDR and Hypnotherapy.”
“In my career, I have worked with children of divorce and loss, and high-risk adolescents in San Diego. For approximately 8 years, I trained with and worked alongside with Dr. Patrick Carnes in renowned treatment centers like The Meadows and Pine Grove/Gentle Path for the treatment of addictions, sexual addiction and complex trauma.”
“Currently, I am enjoying working with individuals and couples struggling with addictions, codependency and trauma in my private practice, New Directions Counseling, located in Tucson, Arizona. I also enjoy supervising and consulting with other clinicians for the treatment of sexual addiction.”
What are the signs and symptoms of a Co-Sexual addiction?
“Co ‘” Sexual Addiction is very similar to codependency, the only difference is that the person is in a relationship with a person who has been engaging in sexually compulsive behaviors. Oftentimes, a Co-Sex Addict is not aware of their partner’s behaviors because of the secrecy that accompanies addiction. But once their partner’s behavior is discovered or revealed, Co-Sex Addicts will often find themselves struggling with reactions and overwhelming feelings of hurt, anger and fear. Their reactions are simply their way of dealing with the overwhelming feelings. Of course, not everyone reacts the same, however some reactions may include becoming preoccupied or obsessed about their partner’s behaviors and motives, attempting to control their partner’s sexual acting out behaviors, blaming themselves or taking too much responsibility for their partner’s behavior, keeping secrets or making excuses for their partner and/or feeling a loss of sense of self, just to name a few.”
What kind of impact can a Co-Sex Addict have on the relationship?
“It’s important for Co-Sex Addicts to remember that they cannot change or control their partner, but they can begin the process of healing for themselves. And only in the healing process can they discover what they need for themselves and their relationship.”
How can someone overcome being a Co-Sex addict?
“The process can be described as healing rather than overcoming. And it is not uncommon for Co-Sex Addicts to seek support in this process. This is often difficult for them because they have taken on the shame and feel embarrassed about their partner’s behaviors. Co-Sex Addicts first will need to feel validated in their experience that they are not crazy, and their feelings and reactions are normal. They will need to learn and practice healthy boundaries and self-care while they continue gain more knowledge about sexual addiction and co-sexual addiction, and focus on their own process of healing.”
What type of professional help is available for a Co-Sex addict?
“There are different types of help and support available for Co-Sex Addicts. Individual therapy, couples therapy and support groups are very important resources for the healing process. I would recommend finding a Certified Sex Addiction therapist in the area. They can do this by visiting www.sexhelp.com. Certified Sex Addiction Therapists understand sexual addiction specifically, the impact it has on a relationship and both partners in the relationship. With a skilled therapist or therapists; individual, couples and family therapy are available to them. There is also Twelve Step meetings and support groups. Support groups are sometimes available through their therapist or can be recommended by their therapist. Twelve step meetings such as COSA (Co-Sex Addicts Anonymous) at www.cosa-recovery.org, or S-Anon at www.sanon.org are free of cost and help individuals find others who understand and are struggling with similar issues. Although may co-sex addicts fear attending these meetings for various reasons, they oftentimes find them very valuable once they have given them a chance.
Thank you Lauren for doing the interview on Co-Sex addicts. For more information on Lauren Hoyt or her work you can check out her website at www.new-directions-counseling.com.
Female and Male Orgasmic Disorders