Sex Addiction

Elana Chasser, LCSW, CSAT, CPTT, CMAT

Sex Addiction Recovery

Sexual addiction can deeply affect your life, love, and relationships, requiring a lot of effort to keep secrets or lead a double life, which can be exhausting and lead to devastating hardships in all areas, including your work, finances, and especially your primary love relationship. You might find that thoughts about sex consume a significant part of your day and have a powerful hold over your mind. Whether it's an issue with pornography, compulsive masturbation, engaging in online or in-person relationships outside your primary partnership, or other behaviors that you struggle to control and keep hidden, it can make you feel like you're losing control. Many individuals realize that, over time, they're drawn to more extreme behaviors that cross the boundaries they want to maintain, boundaries they never thought they would violate. You may feel shame by your acting out behaviors yet be unable to stop them, fueling a greater sense of shame. Living in line with your values is what you want but you may only be motivated to seek help after being caught.

While addictive behaviors cause pain, addiction is really about the avoidance of feeling pain! Behind addiction, there's often hidden trauma, and it is vital to realize that the addiction is an attempt to ease or numb the deeper emotional pain that's already there. It’s been used as your best, perhaps favorite strategy to temporarily find relief from the distress and discomfort that stems from underlying trauma or emotional wounds.

This understanding is a compassionate and empowering realization. It allows you to acknowledge that addiction, while problematic, is a strategy that you discovered, maybe long ago, and used in response to deep-seated pain. It is not an excuse for your choices and behaviors. However, by understanding and addressing the root causes of addiction and healing the underlying trauma, you will open the door to true recovery and a path towards lasting relief and well-being. Recognizing the connection between addiction and emotional pain is a vital and pivotal step in your journey towards experiencing a healthier, happier life, and loving, connected relationships.

In a relationship where trust and safety have been damaged, it's crucial to approach your partner or spouse with compassion, honesty, and accountability, as they're likely deeply hurt from betrayal trauma. Understanding your partner’s pain and showing genuine empathy without becoming defensive is critical. It's important to know that the opposite of sexual addiction is connection, and in recovery individuals learn to experience true intimacy and connectedness. Open and truthful communication, without any deception, is essential for rebuilding trust. Sobriety is a critical non-starter to the recovery process, requiring steadfast motivation, dedication, and support. Engaging in therapy alongside a 12-step program have proven to bring back balance and recovery to those who seek it. Fully committing to the recovery process can help rebuild trust and hope in your relationship. Being patient during setbacks while exploring why and how they happen is necessary. Being patient for your process as well as your partner’s process is essential for the mending of her heart and healing of your relationship. Learning about and establishing healthy boundaries is necessary, especially considering the boundary failures in your addiction. Prioritizing these elements lays the foundation for healing and the potential for a stronger, more resilient relationship.

Living with trauma, pain, anxiety, and out of control behaviors for a prolonged period affects your nervous system, keeping it in a heightened, activated state. With this in mind, I find it extremely helpful and healing to use Somatic Experiencing, a trauma modality which focuses on sensations in the body to help discharge trauma and relax the nervous system. We will work together to help you clear the fog that addiction causes and gain clarity and healthy strategies for living a healthy, honest life moving forward.

Realizing and admitting these challenges to yourself is an extremely courageous step towards seeking recovery and authentic healing and regaining control over your life, love, and relationships. You don't have to be a prisoner to your desires. Your addiction itself has meaning. I will hold a safe and supportive space for you to gain understanding and insight about how addiction became part of your life, why sex became your drug of choice, and how it has tried to help you survive. Together we will work to help you restore balance and boundaries in your choices/behaviors, bring healing to where there has been hurt, and connection to your authentic self – your values, your essence, your love!

Are You Looking To Heal Your Relationship After Betrayal?

With over 30 years of clinical practice and having had the privilege of working with many individuals and couples, I've consistently witnessed the incredible drive people have to find relief and heal their pain. It's truly remarkable how we can transform our lives.

If you've noticed patterns in your choices or behaviors that aren't serving you or helping you reach your goals, it's important to approach them with curiosity and compassion. The good news is that these patterns can change!

My approach is rooted in encouragement and support for your growth and healing journey. Together, we will align our efforts with your personal goals to enhance your overall quality of life and your relationships. You're not alone in this, and I'm here to walk this path with you, guiding and supporting you every step of the way.

Testimonial From A Recovering Addict

Five years ago, after many years of struggling alone with destructive and addictive habits, I reached out to Elana for help. I had been leading a double life. My life had been turned upside down and as some would say, completely unmanageable. Together, slowly, day by day, week by week, we began peeling back the layers of childhood, and traumas that made me who I was. We developed new mechanisms to replace the old destructive ways that I used to cope.

This was all done with kindness, compassion, and empathy. We focused on being more open, honest, and vulnerable. My recovery has been long and with bumps along the way and together with Elana we have processed this all. Today I have healthier relationships with my children, parents, and friends. My romantic relationships are now lived with honesty and not lies. Elana has played a crucial role in my recovery journey, and I am forever grateful.
- MR

Elan Chasser Social Worker Sex Addiction
Elanna Chaser Headshot

Elana Chasser,

About Elana Chasser

Working as clinical social worker for over 30 years.
Work history: Residential Treatment Facility for emotionally troubled adolescents, domestic violence shelter, outpatient mental health clinic – supervisory role, private practice since 2005.

LCSW Licensed-Clinical-Social-Worker
CSAT Certified-Sexual-Addiction-Therapist
CPTT Certified-Partner-Trauma-Therapist
CMAT Certified-Multiple-Addiction-Therapist

Licensed in:
New York and Massachusetts

Elana Chasser, LCSW, CSAT, CPTT, CMAT

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