Probably the most controversial issue surrounding addictions of all types is recovery. Most recovery programs are based on the AA 12 step model. Statistics are difficult to decipher and recovery rates vary from 5% to almost 100%. The higher stats don’t take into account all the members who come to a few meetings and, for whatever reason, never return. Of course, those who stay will claim a 100% recovery rate.

Scientific data on the 12 step programs show that the recovery rate is almost exactly the same as no intervention at all, which will result in a spontaneous recovery of about 5% of addicts. It is unfortunate that the mindset of our society is that 12 Steps is the only way to go. Sex Addicts who are incarcerated are often forced to go to the meetings as a condition of their parole. Some claim that it can do no harm and that there is nothing better out there; but both of these assumptions are erroneous.

Forcing an addict to participate in a program that they don’t believe in only adds to the stress and shame that fuels the addiction. There are many other programs available that do not espouse the 12 step philosophy or the disease model.

One of the programs that aligns with my philosophy about Sex Addiction is the SMART Recovery program which offers addicts the tools to change their lives for the better. Contrary to the 12 step programs that claim that addiction is a disease which can never be cured and that the addict must give up control of their lives to a higher power–stating that they are powerless over the addiction, programs like SMART empower the addict to take control of their lives, take accountability for their actions and make healthy changes in their lives.

In later posts I will detail which recovery methods we tried and which ones worked and which ones didn’t. Please join and tell us what worked for you.

Peace and love to all.

Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts. ~Winston Churchill~

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6 Responses

  1. After a 3 day weekend of intensive sex addiction counseling with a complete disclosure and polygraph, my husband has been working the 12 steps with SAA. He has not acted out in 1 year, 8 months.

    While we talk about it often, I try to stay out of his recovery. It’s something he needs to do for himself.

    After counseling, I read every book I could find about sex addiction, healing, codependency, and boundaries. I tried COSA phone meetings as there isn’t an in person meeting in our area. I tried them twice a week for a month.

    I found that I didn’t like them. I was ready to heal, to move on. While knowing there are others out there in similar circumstances to mine was valuable, I just wasn’t getting much out of it. I also don’t think I need 12 steps to heal myself.

    I know I’m codependent. Where that becomes a disease vs. my personality is still something I ponder. I’m interested to check out the SMART you mentioned.

    I’m lucky that my husband is doing so well in his recovery, but I also know that I will never live the way I did before counseling again. I have grown, I have learned and I will continue.

  2. Ellen….may I ask…what do you think really helped (and continues to help) your husband recover? I just recently found out about my husband and he is very willing to get help and do whatever is necessary. I know there isn’t one thing for everyone, but I was just curious…for him/you…what helped the most? At this point I have decided to stay in the marriage with his promise to get better.

    1. Hello, I read your reply to a post on “married to a sex addict” I was wondering if you ever got a response to the best solution or if you could share how your marriage has been since? I recently found out about mine, I have not told him I know yet because I am afraid it cant be worked out but I know I have to. I am trying to educate myself and prepare for the worst. Thank you.

  3. Its been a little over 2 years since he was caught. We went thru most of it full of lies and covering up
    his past. He went on and off to SAAL meetings. We live on an island in Massachusetts and there are no
    SA groups available so he had to leave every Friday to travel 2 hours each way. He hated it, and now refused to attend. He said “I am never going back to that place” He has set his focus on meditation
    and works with a private councilor who’s forte is addictions of any kind.
    He said he has his own way to deal with it and says he has no triggers or thoughts that entice him.
    Sounds like he is fooling himself.

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