Overcoming Barriers to Sex Addiction Treatment

Three common barriers to receiving treatment for sex addiction are shame, fear, and finances.  Dr. Matthew Hedelius addresses these barriers in these short video clips.

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Intro – Barriers to Treatment

Hi.  I’m doctor Matthew Hedelius.  I’m the director of Paradise Creek Recovery Center.  I would like to talk today about the barriers of treatment and how to overcome them.  Oftentimes when people recognize they need treatment, they have some significant barriers or concerns that will often prevent them from getting the help they need.  So I’d like to address three of those factors and offer some advice on how to overcome them.

Overcoming Shame

When people recognize that their life is falling apart as a result of severe sexual addiction and past trauma history. THey oftentimes think they are the only ones in this situation. They are afraid to access help because of who they might see and the implications this might have. They are oftentimes dealing with messages they have had in their lives for many, many years that those who access mental health treatment is weak and a failure. The reality is that those things are simply not true. Someone who accesses help for recovery in a treatment situation is not a failure, is not weak. They are actually very smart. I have a long-term saying that the only difference between a healthy person and a unhealthy person is that when a healthy person needs help, he asks for it.

So, recognizing that you are not alone and that the process of coming into treatment will reduce the shame, is very helpful. We talk about two types of shame in treatment. One is a healthy shame. The other is a toxic shame. Healthy shame recognizes that we’re human, that we’ll make mistakes, and that is okay to make mistakes and that we can recover from those mistakes. Toxic shame is a sense of identity. Rather than having made a mistake, I become the mistake. Coming to treatment helps one recognize that we are all human, and that we will make mistakes, and that we need help in terms in accessing recovery and healing that is available to everybody.


The second obstacle or barrier to treatment is fear. There are many fears about privacy being violated or having things being put in my mind by other sex addicts that are much worse than mine. what if I go to treatment and my wife or partner is gone. These are all common, common fears.

Addressing one of the major ones as far as privacy and confidentiality–we value your confidentiality above all else while you are here. The only persons that will even know you are in treatment here are those whom you specifically sign a release of information for and give us permission to talk to. Generally, that will be a therapist, maybe a partner. Each of those people if they want to call in and get information on your status and how you are doing, will need to be on a release of information signed by you and witnessed by a staff member. They also receive a codeword that is specific to each individual. If they cannot give that codeword, we cannot either confirm nor deny that you are here. So we protect that specifically. We also greatly reinforce the importance of confidentiality among the other patients in the facility so that when they leave they will not talk about your case or your situation.

Another fear is what if my partner, spouse, or family leaves me if I go into treatment? I wish that was something we could say that never happens. The reality is that sometimes it does. However, there is a greater chance of avoiding that if one does go to treatment than if he doesn’t. By the time someone gets here and invests the emotional work effort that is required, it does send a very strong and significant message to their family members and loved ones that he is serious about getting well.


The third barrier is financial. Health care is one of the most expensive costs that we have in the country today. Especially, good health care is very pricey. At Paradise Creek Recovery Center we are on the lower end of the overall continuum of residential treatment centers in the country that specialize in sex addiction and trauma treatment. Our price is $19, 900 for 28 day program. That covers all of your sleeping arrangement, food, snacks, all of the treatment including individual therapy, group therapy, recreational therapy, and activities outside of the facility. It includes a rope course and other activities that we occasionally do on weekends.

That’s a lot of money. There’s no doubt about that. But I encourage people to look at things like this: if this were cancer, or you had lost a limb, or some other very serious illness had come upon you, with or without insurance, you would do just about everything you could do to fix that problem. By the time someone gets to the level of needing this type of treatment, they are at that spot in their lives. It will often cost much more if you proceed to divorce or those type of things.

So our encouragement is to do what you need to do to invest in yourself, invest in your family, and access the funds that you need to get the help you need. Many times there could be secondary reimbursement from your insurance company. We can provide insurance billing forms for you that will allow you to bill your insurance company upon being released from the facility that would possibily bring with them some reimbursement of some of the fees that you paid.

I hope this has been helpful in addressing and looking at some of the barriers to treatment. We certainly invite you to our facility. We invite you to call 855-442-1912 and you can ask our staff additional questions. You’re also free to visit our website at www.paradisecreekrecovery.com to seek more information.

Thank you.

Call 855-442-1912 to discuss how you can receive treatment for sex or porn addiction.