Shame Reduction, Affect Regulation, and Sexual Boundary Development: Essential Building Blocks of Sexual Addiction Treatment

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Sexual addiction is an intimacy disorder that is rooted in impaired early attachment experiences. This impaired bonding causes the developing self to be shrouded in shame. Primary needs and desires become contemptuous to the individual. Affect regulation also is damaged because of negative bonding experiences. This further impairs the capacity to master feelings and successfully guide the process of need fulfillment. Sexual addiction is a compulsive cycle that attempts to compensate, soothe, and regulate the internal struggle. The cycle, in turn, creates more shame and dysregulation of affect. Strategies to reduce shame, regulate affect, and create sexual boundaries necessary for successful treatment of sexual addiction are outlined.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2001

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