The benefit of group hypnotherapy in the treatment of sex addictions

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Author: Edward Millet
Date: Spring 2005
From: Journal of Heart Centered Therapies(Vol. 8, Issue 1)
Publisher: Wellness Institute
Document Type: Article
Length: 3,141 words

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Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to define addictions, describe the differences in the levels of sex addiction and then discuss the impact addiction has on relationships, society, spirituality, intimacy, and self-esteem of the addict. The next part of the paper will outline an eight to twelve week therapeutic group treatment utilizing different aspects of conventional talk therapy (person-centered and cognitive) and Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy[R].


My definition of an addiction is the use of any substance or behavior to help change the way you are thinking, feeling, or experiencing emotions. The substance or behavior can also be used to avoid thoughts or feelings, in consequence the person usually experiences guilt and shame along with lowered self-esteem. Even though the behavior usually brings about more emotional pain and no resolution of the original problem, the pattern is continued with little to no positive effects. The definition of addiction according to is: "The state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit forming, such as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma." Another definition given by the Ask Jeeves web site states that the word addiction derives from an old French legal procedure. "This procedure of addiction was intended when someone could not pay his debt to his creditor. So the person was addicted to the creditor. It was some kind of slavery until all the money plus interest was given back to the creditor. The creditor got the right to decide all of the addict's areas of life. Due to the raise of interest the addict stayed addicted for the rest of his life." The latter of the two definitions seems to accurately describe sexual addiction, as each time the person engages in the behavior, a loss of self occurs giving the addiction more "credit" in which it controls areas of the person's life. Patrick Carnes has defined sexual addiction as "any sexually related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones and one's work environment" (2001, p. 167).

Dr. Carnes will be referred to throughout this article due to his expertise in the area. His research shows that an estimated 3-6% of the population is affected by sex addiction. A survey by Dr. Carnes shows that sex addicts come from severely dysfunctional families, usually with at least one other member of these families having another addiction (87%). The dual addictions that also included sex addiction were: chemical addiction (42%), eating disorder (38%), compulsive working (28%), compulsive spending (26%), and compulsive gambling (5%). A person who is dealing with the pain from a severely dysfunctional family would be at higher risk for the development of addictive behaviors. He reports that 97% of sexual addicts reported experiencing childhood emotional abuse, 83% sexual abuse, and 71% physical abuse. Dr. Carries reports that the ratio of male to female sex addicts is three to one. One of the tools that he has...

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Source Citation
Millet, Edward. "The benefit of group hypnotherapy in the treatment of sex addictions." Journal of Heart Centered Therapies, vol. 8, no. 1, 2005, p. 95+. Accessed 28 July 2021.

Gale Document Number: GALE|A132002051