At City Gate, men, women and adolescents are given the opportunity to progress through the stages of behavioral change, and heal from past and present trauma or stressors. Counselors utilize Best Practices including Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Harm Reduction, EMDR, Trauma Focused CBT, and Prepare/Enrich.
What is the problem?
The sex industry is growing exponentially, and garnering high revenues simultaneously, by distorting social norms of healthy sexuality. The United States, in particular, is facing an inevitable epidemic: widespread sexual addiction. Fueled by the ever-increasing accessibility of the internet, and a mainstream media which continues to gravitate towards sexuality and skewed perceptions, this growing issue cannot be overlooked. In particular, with youths spending an astounding 48 hours on electronics per week, interaction with adult material is unavoidable and is sparking sexual compulsiveness at younger ages. It has been shown that certain sexually addictive behaviors, if unaddressed, can progress to sexual offenses. These offenses have become increasingly evident from daily news stories across the country, as well as television shows like Dateline NBC’s ‘To Catch a Predator.’ With the number of convicted sexual offenders growing, the problem becomes clearer – where do you place those convicted when there is no room left behind bars?
There needs to be more of a focus on early intervention to control behavior and prevent offenses from occurring. Currently education related to healthy sexuality is far overshadowed by the media exploitation of unrealistically distorted sexuality. Education on sexual addiction needs to be increased in order to establish acceptance that the problem exists, and can be managed. Sexual addiction can be compared to alcohol and drug addiction 40 years ago, with few outlets for those seeking help and resistance from the public to accept that this too is a public health issue. Addressing these issues now will put sexual addiction on the same track of treatment, early intervention, and prevention.
What we can do to solve the problem:
Our main goal is to utilize early intervention to address the sexual addiction problem and counteract the rising number of sexual offenders/offenses. Millions of state and federal dollars are being directed to catch and convict sexual offenders. A portion of these resources need to be directed toward early intervention and prevention. Then we, as a society, can help prevent sexual abuse by intervening with those with sexual compulsiveness, before it escalates into physical, legal, economic, or social consequences.
Currently, because of its taboo nature, most effected individuals cannot overcome the shame involved and seek the necessary intervention and support to stop the progression of the behaviors. Addressing the issue is a difficult topic for addicts, spouses, family, friends and peers. Often those who pursue individual or couples counseling hide the sexual addiction, and therefore hinder progress and change.
City Gate Life Recovery Center offers responsive options to educate the public on the addictive brain to increase understanding, thus reducing the shame barriers keeping many from seeking help. By providing cognitive-behavioral treatment and group-structured accountability options, we provide a safe atmosphere, to intervene before the sexual addiction progresses. Overall, through combining these strategies of treatment, early intervention, and education we can make a greater impact on this critical social issue.
What we will ultimately accomplish:
By working towards solving the problems above, we can counteract the adult industry epidemic and increase education and awareness on sexual addiction across all members of society. We can create a future where insurance companies recognize the associated costs of sexual compulsivity and thus encourage sexual addiction prevention. Physicians will be provided with screening tools necessary to assess and refer for necessary counseling. School systems will have educators equipped with strategies to prevent boundary violations, and students will be educated on how to protect themselves from falling into the traps of a hyper-sexualized media. Parents will be more aware and willing to help their children. College curriculums will have integrated sexual addiction programs as well. Business, professional, and criminal justice entities will understand and recognize when an intervention is necessary to prevent minor offenses from becoming major. Through advocacy the sex industry will be held accountable and voluntarily contribute to the recovery effort financially. Success stories will normalize and reduce the shame connected to sexual addiction, and will encourage others to seek help.