PRESS RELEASE: Winnipeg, Manitoba (11/14/2013)- The last 20 years have seen a marked increase in marital infidelity and sex addiction. It’s easy to understand why. The Internet now offers unprecedented distribution and access to pornography, chat rooms, webcams, dating and hookup sites, enabling millions of people to engage their sexual desires. Unfortunately, this behavior has led to a new generation of sex addicts, people with unhealthy attachments to the fantasy world.
Gerry Pettyjohn is the founder of Living in Freedom Therapy, a counseling practice that helps people break free of sexual addiction and assists partners of sex addicts to heal from the intense trauma of being sexual betrayal. Sexual addiction is a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts. As with all addictive behaviors, the impact on the addict and their family is dramatic and increases as their addiction progresses.
“This whole thing boils down to relationships,” says Pettyjohn. “Most people do not end up in my therapy chair unless they get caught. That’s why people are in my office. They want to fix a relationship that’s exploded.”
According to Pettyjohn, there are six types of sex addiction: biological, psychological, spiritual, trauma-based, mental illness related addiction and intimacy anorexia, an active, intentional withholding of emotional and sexual intimacy from your partner. Pettyjohn himself was a sex addict for 24 years, having developed intimacy anorexia. In 2007, facing the threat of losing his family, Pettyjohn finally hit rock bottom and resolved to break free from his addiction.
“I’d tried quitting before but I was trying to do it by myself,” recalls Pettyjohn. “In true recovery you have to involve other people. I visited with pastors. I started going to counseling. I attended sex addiction recovery groups. That’s when things really turned around.”
Having restored his marriage, the experience inspired Pettyjohn to pursue his Master’s degree in counseling and obtain a certification for sexual recovery therapy so that he could help other people. Today, Pettyjohn is a professional Christian therapist specializing in sex addiction and infidelity. About two thirds of Pettyjohn’s clientele are sex addicts (95 percent male and five percent female sex addicts) and one third of his clientele are the partners of sex addicts.
“There are five vital components to recovery,” says Pettyjohn. “Counseling, recovery groups, accountability partners, education and prayer. In AA they say, ‘Whether you believe in God or not, pray!’ It’s about getting outside your own selfishness by turning to a power greater than yourself.”
Close-Up Talk Radio will feature Gerry Pettyjohn in a two-part interview with Doug Llewelyn on November 18th and November 25th at 1pm.
Listen to the show www.blogtalkradio.com/closeuptalkradio. If you have a question for our guest, call (347) 996-3389.
For more information on Gerry Pettyjohn, visit http://www.livinginfreedom.ca/