What Does A Sexual Addiction Therapist Do?

Sexual addiction therapists treat patients who are suffering from compulsive sexual behavior (CSB). This condition may lead to intense guilt and depression.

Sex addictions are often linked to underlying trauma and relationship problems. A sex addiction therapist helps clients identify the reasons behind their sexual compulsivity and find ways to overcome them.


A sexual addiction therapist is someone who has specialized training in treating people with this type of disorder. This type of therapist often uses a task-centered approach to treatment to restore the individual and their partner in recovery from this addiction.

The therapist may also work with couples who have a spouse with sex addiction, helping them to heal the trauma of betrayal and suffering caused by the addictive behaviors. The therapist may also help a person with sex addiction overcome their feelings of shame and self-hatred, and learn new coping skills to manage their sexual behaviors.

A degree in psychology or counseling is the most common education required to become a sex addiction therapist. Some colleges offer an online program in this field that is more accessible for those who have other jobs or responsibilities. Applicants should seek volunteer or work experience in the mental health field before entering graduate school. This will bolster their applications to a reputable university.

Educational Requirements

Licensed mental health professionals (such as psychologists, clinical social workers, marriage counselors, or pastoral counselors) must undergo specific educational requirements to become a sexual addiction therapist. This includes taking an accredited, intensive course in sex addiction therapy and completing 30 hours of supervision prior to earning the CSAT certification from the International Institute for Trauma & Addiction Professionals (IITAP).

To obtain the CSAT, therapists must first be licensed in their counseling field (psychologists, counselors, or clergy). After training with IITAP, they receive exclusive behavioral assessments that allow them to effectively rule out other diagnoses, such as trauma and other emotional wounds, that could be causing or contributing to their client’s sexual compulsions.

Certified Sex Addiction Therapists also have access to the IITAP network of top-quality resources to support and prepare them for their work with clients. Having these resources provides them with more options, a better understanding of how to treat sexual addiction and compulsive behavior, and more referrals to other providers.


For a therapist to help patients struggling with sexual addiction, they need extensive experience. This includes training in a variety of therapies and a strong understanding of the psychological processes that lead to these behaviors.

A counselor who is trained in a sexual addiction program can help clients explore the root causes of their behavior, including trauma, deficit, and conflict. In addition, the therapist must address the relationship dynamics created by the behavior.

The therapist also needs to develop sobriety plans that are individualized for each client. This can include finding ways to be in connection with other people while abstaining from online content that may trigger a relapse. It can also involve partnering with clients to create sobriety groups and support groups. These are often modeled after the 12-step programs used by alcohol and drug addiction groups.


Therapists who specialize in helping clients with sexual addiction often have training and experience that other therapists don’t. This specialty requires a high level of knowledge of trauma, childhood experiences and emotional wounds associated with sex addiction.

If you want to become a sexual addiction therapist, consider pursuing a bachelor’s degree in human services with a concentration in addiction counseling. This degree program can be completed online, and it can help you get a head start in the field of addiction counseling.

You should also consider earning a master’s in therapy from an accredited university. A bachelor’s in psychology may be a good starting point for your career as a sexual addiction therapist, but a master’s in therapy will provide you with more advanced training and specialized skills.

To become a certified sexual addiction therapist, you must undergo a rigorous certification process. This certification is broken into two parts: First, you must attend four one-week training sessions at the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP). Afterward, you must complete 30 supervised hours of sexual addiction therapy.

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