This was a very informative presentation from Mr Chi Ko’s personal perspective. His background in sexual health with the NHS extends over 20 years. He now works as a Sex Therapist Counsellor in Private Practice.
It was interesting to learn that due to lack of Government funding, access to treatment is difficult. He added 70% of his clients are from a reasonably affluent background. Many find their way to him having been arrested.
Sex addiction (A progressive intimacy disorder) has risen substantially; possible cause cited was the free easy access of pornography across the spectrum, from mild to illegal.
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to visit a pornography site running the risk of being placed on the sex offenders register. (Currently ten years) Like other addictions, often boredom or the thirst for pleasure, is the initial catalyst. It can progress to a compulsion. The behaviour escalates in terms of activity, often crossing over from legal to illegal, and from safe to high risk destructive behaviour for the addict in trying to seek satiation, in the quest to numb or soothe them.
Of course very often, there are others on the periphery, partners, and family members, where the impact of the addiction has a tremendous negative effect on them and their relationship.
If possible when the partner can be involved that is a positive in the recovery process. Chi used the analogy of constructing a home of Lego; it works better if two people are jointly in agreement with the design rebuilding the pieces together, brick by brick.
The client assessment phase is very important, as the history of the client is critical in establishing the potential complexity of the condition.
In terms of treatment, recovery is dependent upon the degree of complexity and can take up to two years.
Chi spoke about the Cycle of Change, urging 90 day abstinence to assist the building of a new neuron pathway. In a very illuminating talk Chi stressed that sex addiction is an under resourced, low
– funded illness, which requires specialist knowledge and experience to assist suffers.