I do not believe that therapy is necessary for a sex addict to achieve sobriety. In many cases, the tools and support within 12 step groups are sufficient. Although I have found my experiences in therapy to be extremely rewarding, I know sex addicts who have achieved and maintained long term sobriety without the assistance of therapy.
That noted, I do not believe my relationship with my wife would have survived without the specialized sex addiction therapists who have supported us on our journey. The pain of betrayal I caused my wife was simply too deep for us to process on our own. We needed a skilled third party to help us rebuild our relationship.
I am convinced that complete transparency is a requirement for an optimal relationship. How could my wife ever possibly trust me again if she didn’t get a full disclosure of my acting out behavior? Without outside help I don’t believe I would have had the courage to be completely honest. Also, my wife is firm in her conviction that women should not be put through the disclosure process without the support of a therapist. The pain is simply too great to experience alone.
We completed our disclosure during a three-day intensive with Dr. Milton Magness. The couple’s recovery system we learned during the intensive with Dr. Magness was absolutely critical to our early recovery. I highly recommend his program, or ones like it. After completing our intensive, I saw hope in my wife’s eyes for the first time in the six months since I had hit my bottom. For those who are interested, Dr. Magness’ book “Stop Sex Addiction” and the materials on his website are excellent resources for couples and individuals just starting out on their recovery journey.