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Sexually Compulsive Behaviors, Paraphilias, Love Addiction & Sex Addiction

awaken through recovery

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. | James Baldwin

Sex and love addiction is characterized by compulsive patterns in romance, sexuality and relationships that have harmful consequences for the addict and others in their life.

While sex and romance are a natural and healthy part of relationships, the sex and love addict uses love or sexual experiences to escape from depression, anxiety, vulnerability, and other life stressors.

For most people seeking help, your compulsive patterns are secretive, shameful, and destructive. In spite of this, you find yourself returning to the behavior again and again, even if it goes against your values and/or harms others.

For some people seeking help, your sexual or romantic behavior may not be an addictive pattern but is still not in accordance with your values or causes harm in your life, such as an affair. If this is the case, you could still benefit from our services.


At Pathways Institute we understand the devastating impact of sex and love addiction. We understand the immediate need to address these patterns and behaviors.

But we are not simply interested in helping you address behaviors. We see this as just the first step towards the goal of being able to be more fully present in your life. This presence will help you:

  • connect you to your deeper purpose in life,
  • live in accordance with your values,
  • develop truly intimate relationships with yourself and others.

It’s a goal of personal, relational, and spiritual transformation, helping you to connect with the real creative intelligence of life.


Whatever the extent of your problem behaviors with sex and/or “love,” and regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, or lifestyle choices, we create a non-judgmental and safe environment so you can grow to trust yourself and fully accept your problems.

For some, sex addiction escalates to the point where you may commit a sex offense, such as viewing child pornography. For others, it coincides with a paraphilia, such as attraction to children, arousal to rape, fetishes, or sadomasochism.  The Pathways Institute is unique in that we have years of experience working with people who struggle with trying to control these types of sexual urges. We are aware of the shame and secrecy surrounding these feelings and it is our goal to provide a safe space for you to  get the help you need. (Please note: due to recent changes in the law, we are required to report use of child pornography if you disclose it to us).

Additionally, the Pathways Institute has worked with women who suffer from sexual addiction, and welcome any inquiries from women who may wish to explore their sexual and/or love addiction.

Whatever the extent of your sex and/or love addiction, we work to create a non-judgmental and safe environment so you can begin to trust yourself and fully accept your problems, free to move beyond the secrets into a more meaningful and fulfilling life.  We also offer outpatient intensive programs for sex addiction for those who need a more intensive program or who can’t find a specialized program locally.

Treating behaviors such as:

  • Pornography addiction
  • On-line chats or “dating” sites
  • Infidelity or serial affairs
  • Prostitution or sexual massage
  • Frequent casual encounters
  • Sex in public
  • Purposeful bumping into others
  • Exhibitionism
  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Child pornography
  • Attraction to children or teens
  • Sexual harassment
  • Fetishes
  • Sexual Offending
  • Sex Addiction/Sex Addict
  • Love Addiction
  • Female sex addicts and love addicts
  • Partners

Does this apply to you? Take our questionnaire.


This Program Will Help Individuals

  • Stop acting out in their sexual behaviors;
  • Identify high -risk situations that trigger the impulse to act out sexually and develop strategies for overcoming them;
  • Restore, repair and gain stability and intimacy in family and personal life;
  • Repair job related problems or revise career plans that have been neglected due to sexual behavior;
  • Explore and understand the roots of their sexual behaviors, including stressors, trauma, mood disorders, etc.;
  • Begin to have deeper and more meaningful relationships with themselves and others based on a more authentic expression of the self;
  • Identify unmet needs and to learn how to meet them in a healthy way, ultimately leading to deeper and more intimate relationships with themselves and others;
  • Resolve criminal or other legal problems by providing the court or attorneys with expert assessment and/or treatment;
  • Become part of a supportive network of people who have had compulsive sexual behaviors and overcame it;
  • Define and implement life-style changes that increase self confidence.
  • Get out of the cycle of sexual behaviors and move towards a happier, more intimate, more fulfilling life.

Why Seek Treatment?

Individuals with compulsive sexual behaviors don’t know why; often these behaviors will feel mysterious to those who have them, and will cause the person to feel out of control.

They don’t understand how to stop the behaviors.

They experience shameful feelings that prevent them from talking about their problem in order to get help to correct the problem.

They don’t understand the consequences of their actions on society, others in their lives or themselves.

They end up in jail or prison often suffering from undiagnosed and treated mental illness.

They are unaware of mental health problems such as impulse disorders, mood disorders and anxiety disorders.

They are unaware of available cognitive behavioral and psychotherapeutic treatment options.

They are unaware of available psychiatric medication that may benefit them.

For many people, these behaviors are about a longing for connection or an escape from stress or unhappiness. Often these behaviors can be a search for a way to feel soothed, connected, loved or comforted.

In spite of these longings, the behaviors frequently are secretive and shameful and can lead to deception, loss of relationship or divorce, isolation and feelings of loss of control.  Recovery requires compassion and a willingness to look inside one-self with honesty in order to understand the meaning these behaviors have had in your life.

Individuals can learn to employ new behaviors in order to resist their impulses. They learn to accept responsibility, new ways of coping with the underlying psychological and emotional triggers, create a relapse prevention plan, and repair relationships. New behaviors combined with psychological understanding are the foundation of relapse prevention.

All inquires are strictly confidential. Contact the Pathways Institute to set up an appointment or receive more information.

Insurance reimbursement may be available.