Sex Addiction Treatment

Whilst sex and love are integral parts of what it means to be human, when normal patterns of relating to and being intimate with others break down, it can cause a range of emotional and psychological problems. Sex addiction, also sometimes known as love addiction, is typified by normal intimate relationships progressively becoming destructive and damaging.

Free Addiction Assessment

At Life Works, we understand that it can be difficult to seek help regarding behaviours that are widely regarded by society as being ‘taboo’. However, our free sex addiction assessment with one of our experts, enables you to discuss your concerns in a compassionate and non-judgemental environment where confidentially and discretion are guaranteed.

To find out more about Life Works sex addiction treatment please call 01483 745 066 or click here to complete a short enquiry form.

How is sex addiction treated at Life Works in Surrey?

At Life Works, we implement a variety of established methods to treat sex addiction. Our bespoke treatment programmes take a holistic approach, which not only addresses the obvious symptoms and compulsive behaviours associated with your sex addiction, but also examines underlying causes and triggers, as well as treating any co-occurring mental health conditions.

Our Addiction Treatment Programme for sex addiction is based on the well-known 12-Step addiction treatment model, which was first pioneered by the organisation Alcoholics Anonymous (AA). This abstinence-based model enables our clients to replace destructive, compulsive sexual behaviours with healthier ways of loving and relating. Clients will also have the opportunity to participate in 12-Step fellowship groups such as Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA).

During the sex addiction treatment programme, clients will participate in both group and 1:1 therapy. Group therapy allows clients to share experiences and receive encouragement from other clients who are experiencing similar problems. 1:1 therapy provides our clients with comprehensive, individualised therapy with one of our addictions experts.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) in the treatment of sex addiction

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is widely used in the treatment of sex addiction. This form of psychotherapy is based on the principle that sex addiction is underpinned by deeply ingrained, dysfunctional thought patterns. CBT challenges these negative beliefs, encourages clients to explore why they developed in the first place, before empowering them to change unhealthy thought processes and the resulting compulsive behaviours.

What causes sex addiction?

As is the case for other forms of addiction such as alcohol, drugs or gambling addictions, sex addiction develops due to the euphoric ‘high’ that it can create. Sex addicts then crave engaging in more and more sexual behaviours in order to experience the high over and over again.

In addition to craving the ‘high’ associated with sex, research indicates that there are a number of other possible causes of sex addiction which include genetics, family influences, chemical/hormonal imbalances, past experience of abuse, addictions, other mental health issues, and existing medical conditions.


Some research indicates that a number of hereditary genes can increase an individual’s susceptibility to developing an addiction to sex.

Family influences

Having a family history of substance abuse or other forms of addiction, as well as growing up in a dysfunctional and unstable family environment, have been found to increase a person’s predisposition to developing sex addiction.

Chemical/hormonal imbalances

Sex addiction has been linked to imbalances of neurotransmitters in the brain, as well as the hormones that are associated with sex.

Past abuse

Research demonstrates that a large proportion of sex addicts report having suffered from abuse in childhood or adolescence, particularly sexual abuse.


Having an existing addiction, whether this is a substance addiction or addiction to another form of compulsive behaviour such as gambling or the internet, increases the likelihood that an individual will also go on to develop an addiction to sex.

Mental health problems

Existing mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, personality disorder, or having other problems with impulse control, can make an individual more vulnerable to falling into the destructive habits that are associated with sex addiction.

Medical conditions

Research has shown that certain medical conditions such as dementia, multiple sclerosis (MS) and Huntington’s disease, can damage certain areas of the brain and result in the development of compulsive behaviours including sex addiction.

What are the signs and symptoms of sex addiction?

Engaging in sexual activity to the extent that this has become out of control, may be indicative that a harmful addiction has developed. Sex addiction is not simply having a high sex drive, but rather, refers to a compulsion to participate in excessive sexual behaviours despite the negative consequences that this can cause. The following are common signs that you or someone that you know, may be suffering from sex addiction:

  • Experiencing persistent and overwhelming sexual thoughts and urges
  • Having multiple sexual partners
  • Engaging in increasingly risky sexual behaviours such as unprotected sex
  • Sexual activity with paid sex workers
  • Healthy relationship breakdown
  • Sexual infidelity
  • Excessive masturbation
  • Excessive use of pornography
  • Feeling guilty after acting upon your sexual compulsions

What are the signs and symptoms of love addiction?

Love addiction refers to an individual becoming dependent on a relationship or on receiving validation from another person. Love addicts crave intimacy and attention and often feel as though they cannot cope without the relationship. The following are typical signs that you or someone that you know, may be suffering from love addiction:

  • Clinging to an abusive or unhealthy relationship
  • Believing that you are worthless if you are not in a relationship
  • Relying on other people for your emotional wellbeing
  • Craving attention from your relationship
  • Seeking new sources of attention
  • Low self-esteem

Contact us

Life Works provides first rate support and guidance in the treatment of sex addiction. To discuss how we can help you, please call 01483 745 066 or click here to complete a short enquiry form.



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