Facts about sex addiction

Therapist to offer three information meetings

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COEUR d'ALENE - Really want to know what sex addiction is and what it isn't?

A certified sexual addiction therapist plans to conduct three public information meetings this month at Calypsos coffee shop. The first meeting starts at 11:30 a.m. Friday, titled "Sex Addiction 101."

Ed Dudding, owner of Coeur d'Alene Counseling, said sex addiction is what's known in his profession as a "process addiction." He said that means people become addicted to the process of trying to get sex, not the act itself.

"It's that process that people get addicted to," he said. "They're not aware of that."

Other process addictions include gambling and working. Sex addiction, along with one-night stands and serial affairs, can also mean pornography and "compulsive masturbation." People can also get addicted to the process of falling in love, Dudding said.

"That's a pretty common one," he said.

He said sex addiction is "a really flawed solution to the person's pain. That pain tends to be (from past) trauma."

As a therapist, he said, it's really important to determine whether a person has an actual addiction "or just a compulsion problem."

He has owned Coeur d'Alene Counseling, located at 421 E. Coeur d'Alene Ave., for three years.

While working as an associate counselor for another group, he said, the number of sex addiction clients he treated grew rapidly.

"I absolutely loved working with them," he said.

In the past three years he has worked with approximately 250 people dealing with sex addiction problems, both men and women.

Typically, "Men get help, and women don't," he said.

He said he is the only certified sexual addiction therapist in North Idaho. He received his certification from the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals.

Dudding will conduct the second meeting at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 15, on the topic of "Women and Sexual Addiction: Not primarily a male problem."

The final meeting starts at 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 22, titled "Recovery for Partners of Sexual Addiction: Should I stay or should I go?"

No registration is required.

Dudding said the meetings are open to all, including pastors, nurses, physicians, mental health practitioners, spouses, family and friends of sex addicts.

Calypsos is located at 116 E. Lakeside Ave.

Dudding: (208) 755-7114.

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