Sexual Recovery Blog

Trauma and Sexually Compulsive Behavior

Posted by Terry Kendrick on

“Why do I keep doing what I know is destructive to myself, my spouse, my marriage and my family?”  This is a question that many of us ask ourselves way too often!  And, yet, regardless of the known consequences we continue to “act out” our compulsive behaviors.   

In my experiences as a sexual addiction therapist, I have come to realize that Dr. Patrick Carnes’ research findings are right on!  He states over 97% of sex-addicted adults came from families where some trauma impacted them during their childhood growth years and that trauma continues to manifest itself in covert ways as adults.   Ok.  So, is there any effective method to treat that trauma and, supposedly, curtail the behaviors I hate??  

The answer is YES!

The method I have experienced to work with my own trauma and that of my clients is called Post Induction Treatment, developed by Pia Mellody.  In this treatment model, the client is directed to complete a comprehensive Family-of-Origin worksheet, and an Abuse Timeline Inventory.  From these introspective, self-assessment tools, the therapist can then understand the client’s family system and the emotional, physical, sexual, or spiritual abuse that prevailed in that system.  Once the therapist and the client debrief this information together, the therapist suggests an age of the client where an experience of trauma occurred, and then they begin working specifically on that inner-child wound age and time.  

The theory is that until the wounding (trauma) that happened at that age is resolved, the adult subconsciously continues to “act out” the behavior they used to cope back at that age-time frame.  Through guided imagery and empty-chair interventions, the client is able to re-address the specific trauma and work through resolution and acceptance of their history.  The power of the trauma is released and change of behavior begins.

It is never too late to change and to stop acting out your past trauma!!

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