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To be fair on Rachel’s friends, there is some debate about whether the term sex addiction is scientifically accurate, but the field of addiction is changing fast and emphasis is shifting from the substance to the psychological symptoms of addiction.
The NHS has a website page dedicated to sex addiction.
Joy Rosendale, a sex-addiction therapist specialising in partner work, instigated the first one in the UK back in 2005, following her own experiences.
“Although there is usually huge reluctance for partners to seek help, let alone come into a group, because of the privacy and shame, something happens in these groups that liberates these women – and I say women because in my experience, it is usually women who access them,” says Rosendale, who still runs the group at the Marylebone Centre, London.
Rosendale starts each 12-week support group by educating the women about sex addiction.
“One of the points of this group is to depersonalise it.
“First, the addict goes into recovery on their own to work out causes and develop relapse prevention strategies.
I felt that meant the risk of relapse was too great, so I left.
Online dating (or Internet dating) is a system that enables strangers to find and introduce themselves to new personal connections over the Internet, usually with the goal of developing personal, romantic, or sexual relationships.
Nobody is suggesting partners should stay, she stresses. But even then, they need support with rebuilding trust and reclaiming their sexuality.” Rachel agrees.
“Much as my husband tried to stop his behaviours by understanding the nature of sex addiction, he wasn’t willing to delve into the cause.
“Ideally, partners get their own therapy,” says Hall.