One of the things you will find on my site is a list of self-help resources for various concerns. Recently, a colleague of mine compiled some information I have been meaning to for sex addicts and their (past and present) partners. I have reproduced Bill Herrings’ posting about the different support options available that go beyond the in-person 12-Step meeting. I highly recommend poking around his blog for a wealth of helpful articles and information.
Submitted by Bill Herring on Sun, 2012-08-05 22:34
People whose lives have suffered because of the ravages of misguided sexual desire often find themselves emotionally isolated from others due to their shame and the fear that others will not fully be able to comprehend what kind of support is truly helpful. This is just as true (and sometimes even more so) for the partner of a person who has repeatedly engaged in deceptive sexual behavior.
The opportunity to benefit from the shared experience of others in a similar situation is invaluable. Nobody understands a problem better than somebody who has walked a similar path. Family, friends, therapists and others may all have something to offer, but each have their own limitations. Truly mutual help offers a benefit unobtainable anywhere else.
This is why support groups can be so very helpful. For issues related to repeated sexual loss of self-control, 12-step groups are a primary resource for the “experience, strength and hope” that are available there. I encourage anyone who is reluctant to attend a 12-step group to read my article “12 Step Groups: Twelve Objections and Twelve Responses.” I also suggest to people who are planning to attend such a meeting for the first time that it’s far better to listen for at least one message that may be helpful rather than using some aspect of the experience that is less than useful as a reason to not return. Anyone can find something to not like about a 12-step meeting, but extracting something extremely valuable is like panning for gold: the effort is ultimately highly rewarding.
However, for a variety of reasons a person may not be able (or may not choose) to attend a support group in person. The good news is that there are many online and telephone versions of support groups that are easily available to anyone, no matter where they are in the world. I encourage anyone suffering from the pain, isolation and confusion that accompanies sex addiction and related problems to give any of these a try.
- Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) electronic meetings – this 12-step fellowship offers text chat, telephone and webchat meetings at various times throughout the week.
- Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) telephone and online meetings are offered by this 12-step group.
- Sexual Compulsives Anonymous phone and online meetings are offered by this 12-step group.
- Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) phone meetings are offered by this 12-step group.
- Sex/Pornography Addiction Support Forum – This forum is operated by DailyStrength.org, “the largest, most comprehensive network of people sharing their knowledge experiences and support.”
- Sex Addiction Support Forum. This forum is operated by MD Junction as “a community of patients, family members and friends dedicated to dealing with sex addiction, together.“
- Sex Addiction Support Group – This forum is located at SupportGroups.com, whose mission is “providing concise, up-to-date information and a meeting place for individuals, their friends and families, and professionals who offer pathways to help.“
- Sex Addiction Support Forum – a PsychForums.com support forum, which is “devoted to providing you with support and information for mental health and self-improvement.”
- Reddit NoFap – this is a forum specifically to help people break the cycle of compulsive masturbation to porn (i.e. “fapping”). Unlike any other venue, this community utilzes unique, often earthy and frequenty funny jargon, and has an atmosphere and attitude that is often missing anywhere else. “Whether your goal is to casually participate in a NoFap week or monthly challenge as a test of self control, or if fapping has become an addictive problem in your life and you want to quit for a longer period of time, you will find a home and friends here.”
- Women Who Struggle With Sex Addiction – from Blazing Grace, “a Christ-centered ministry to those who want freedom from sexual addiction—and their spouses.”
- Through the Flame, “the only International online support network for those affected by ponography addiction”.
- COSA telemeetings – online meetings for COSA, which is a 12-step “recovery program for men and women whose lives have been affected by someone’s compulsive sexual beahvior.”
- Sex Addict Codies – a support forum hosted at the Junkie’s Wives Club, whose motto is “We’re all here because we’re not all there.” Note: this forum requires a simple registration.
- Marriage and Family — a Blazing Grace Christian forum (see description above), populated by both addicts and partners.
- Sisterhood of Support – a fee-based online support group for spouses and partners of sex addicts, hosted by MarriedToASexAddict.com.
Note: there are also many for-pay online support and therapy groups that are not listed here. The forums on this page are free (with the exception of “Sisterhood of Support” which has a modest cost and is included here because of its value).
It is worth emphasizing that support forums are only representative of the people who are on them, so that the quality and extent of support and guidance can vary from group to group and time to time. Most forums have far more readers than contributors. Even without joining into any discussions, the wide variety of topics covered by these sites can be very useful to anyone desiring more information and understanding about this complex problem, and they are excellent places to ask questions that may not be able to be addressed almost anywhere else.
I encourage anyone who has information about additional online and telephone support forums to contact me so that I can include them here.
Remember, addiction and despair breed in isolation, while recovery and hope thrive in connection.
Note: The information reproduced in this post is the intellectual property of Bill Herring, LCSW, CSAT.