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Tiger Woods – Golfer. Sex Addict?

Jan 24th 2010
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Tiger Woods has entered a sex rehabilitation clinic in Hattiesburg, Mississippi to receive treatment for sex addiction. The Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services center has very tight security and dark tarps have been placed upon wire fences. The official website for Pine Grove says that the Gentle Path program is “for those suffering from sexual addiction, relationship addiction and sexual anorexia.”

What qualifies someone as a sex addict anyway? Dr. Aviel Goodman, director of the Minnesota Institute of Psychiatry (1998) defines it as:

a condition in which some form of sexual behavior is employed in a pattern that is characterized by two key features: 1) recurrent failure to control the sexual behavior, and 2) continuation of the sexual behavior despite significant harmful consequences explains further that  a sex addict has:

a normal sex drive that has become obsessive, to the point that behavior is out of control. Sexual addiction is referred to as a ‘process’ addiction, as opposed to a substance addiction like alcohol or drugs. In a process addiction, the euphoric feeling (or “high”) comes from chemicals released into the brain, rather than from an external source. As the mind becomes accustomed to the release of these chemicals, it searches out for continued sources of that high…The many forms of sexual addiction have one thing in common, the behavior is done in secret, and the sex addict becomes skilled in hiding this secret life from those closest to him…Sexual addiction is rarely caused by only one factor, but is more likely a build up of conditions over time.

Treatment involves a number of individual sessions using different techniques, pharmacotherapy, and group sessions.

And what possible treatment could Tiger be having? Benoit Denizet-Lewis, who wrote a book on sex addiction while working in the same center says that therapy usually requires group sessions as well as family and couples therapy.

He adds that patients must sign a “celibacy contract,” write “empathy letters” for the unfaithful men, and “cost letters” for their wives. He explains further that:

“Men who had repeatedly cheated on their wives had to write ’empathy letters’ to them, which would never be sent but were read in group therapy sessions and usually criticized for not being nearly empathetic enough,” he recalls.

On a similar note, sex addicts’ wives “wrote their own, painful ‘cost letters’ – detailing how the sexual addiction had affected them – that were read to their husbands for the first time in group by another group member.”

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