Healing for sex addicts and their partners

In today’s world, sexually graphic material, sex chat rooms and hookup apps like Tinder are just a click away.  This has resulted in compulsive sexual behaviour, otherwise known as sexual addiction, becoming a more significant social, psychological and health issue.

Dr Fai Seyed, a qualified psychotherapist and esteemed academic, has dedicated herself to aiding individuals struggling with this issue, as well as their intimate partners. Recently, she achieved a ground-breaking milestone by completing Australia’s first-ever PhD on this topic through Alphacrucis (AC) University College. Her thesis focuses on investigating the experiences of female partners who discover their male counterparts’ sexual addiction.

She explains, “You can find studies and research from around the world, but when it comes to Australia, it was tough to find information. There was a huge gap in our understanding of these issues right here at home. The more I delved into it, the more passionate I became about helping the partners who often get left behind and need support while their loved ones go through sexual addiction therapy.”

Dr Seyed’s research specifically highlights the complex emotional, spiritual, and relational consequences faced by women whose partners struggle with their sexual behaviour. Her thesis argues that these women need customised medical and therapeutic support systems to help them navigate these challenges.

With three published books on sexual addiction and a fourth in progress, Dr Seyed has already discovered much to say about this topic. However, she acknowledges that discussing sexual addiction remains a sensitive subject for many. She notes, “My practice is struggling to meet the growing demand, which just demonstrates there’s a vast number of people who wish to share their experiences and find healing. Unfortunately, societal barriers make it challenging for individuals to openly address this issue outside of a clinical setting. I hope to change that.”

“To break free, you need to utilise all these resources, but your relationship with God is the ultimate foundation.” – Dr Fai Seyed

She envisages churches and other community spaces becoming safe and supportive environments for those struggling with sexual addiction, which can range from porn addiction to more destructive behaviours and addictions. These places should be equipped to identify the signs of addiction and have action plans in place to provide the necessary support.

Dr Seyed advises, “If you find yourself engaging in repetitive actions that make you feel ashamed and powerless, and it starts affecting your daily life or relationships, it’s a sign that you might be dealing with a compulsive behaviour. Remember, it’s not about passing judgment on yourself or others. It’s about recognising that we all have our struggles with sin as human beings. We need salvation and redemption. Can someone addicted to sex find true healing? Well, the first step is being honest with yourself, with God, and with others.”

Dr Fai Seyed (pictured) is passionate about sharing practical outcomes of her AC research degree.

She emphasises that addressing sexual addiction requires a holistic approach. “Connecting with God is the most important weapon we have against this addiction. God can reveal himself through good therapists, insightful books, support programs, and the caring community in your church and local area. To break free, you need to utilise all these resources, but your relationship with God is the ultimate foundation.”

“As therapists, we must break the taboo around this topic, especially since it affects almost everyone in this digital age. I’ve been fortunate to conduct my research at AC, and it has been truly remarkable. AC believed in my work and supported me every step of the way, opening doors in my professional and academic life that I never dreamed possible. Now, I’ve become a leading voice in this area, publishing in research journals and writing books to raise awareness. My contribution is shaping best practices among therapists, both here in Australia and around the world.”

Explore AC’s range of counselling courses so you can bring the light of Christ through best-practice care and support. Alphacrucis also offers Higher Degree Research (PhD) programs where candidates can choose research from a wide range of topics impacting society today.