Overcoming Sexual Addiction With Jon Leyse, MA, LMHCA

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Jon Leyse, MA, LMHCA

Hi, I’m Jon Leyse. I’m a therapist at Crosswinds Counseling and one of the things that I specialize in is sexual addiction. It’s pretty common for clients to come to me and want to talk about [sexual addiction]. Whether it’s pornography addiction or any kind of unwanted sexual behavior – could be online sexting or chatting, affairs – basically, anything sexually that they don’t want in their life, but they’re addicted to and they’re not able to get rid of it. And that has been around for, you know, since the beginning of time. But certainly, with the invention of the internet, it’s become accessible. It’s more affordable than ever, often free and anonymous, and that social barrier of going out and hiring a prostitute is no longer there with the internet.

So we’ve seen the statistics. [They] are pretty overwhelming, both inside and outside the church, as to how many, not just men, but certainly predominantly men that have these sexual addictions. They usually come and talk to me or another Crosswinds therapist 1) when they got caught or 2) when they’ve been trying to get free and they’ve been unable to. One of the things that I find when people come and they finally open up, is that they’re just swimming in shame. They feel guilty. They feel terrible. Whether they’ve gotten caught or whether they’ve been unable to get free.

The shame is usually so thick that it prevents people from actually being curious about why it is that they’re caught in a sexual addiction. Typically most people just think, ‘Well, it’s because something’s wrong with me,’ or, ‘because I’m perverted,’ or they just have this kind of simplistic answer. And one of the things that I love to do as a therapist is to really stop and talk about why this got its hooks in you, and just lay aside the shame for a while and just be curious about where this started. That often will show what the real desire is that people are looking for and that will point us away toward freedom.

It’s really fulfilling for me as a therapist to see people you know that are in their teens, all their way into their 70’s or 80’s, that have been addicted to unwanted sexual behavior for years to get free and find freedom and be released from all that guilt and shame. So, I would love it, if that’s something that you’re struggling with, or you know someone that is struggling, to come and talk to me, and we can work on this together to find freedom. Thanks.

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