Which Techniques Are Used in Psychotherapeutic Interventions for Nonparaphilic Hypersexual Behavior?

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Abstract

Introduction.

Attempts to draw a distinction between excessive and so-called normal sexual behavior are discussed controversially. Although no consensus has been reached so far on how to label the phenomenon of clinical relevant excessive sexual behavior, Kafka proposed the term hypersexual disorder. There are only a few empirical studies on the effectiveness of treatment. In the recent systematic review by Hook and colleagues, the total number of subject-related studies amounts to only 14 studies. However, it might be difficult for mental health professionals to fully comprehend the intervention techniques used in the different studies.

Aim.

The present article aims at reviewing the psychotherapeutic interventions for nonparaphilic hypersexual behavior use.

Method.

Each study mentioned in the recent review by Hook et al. was analyzed with regard to the psychotherapeutic interventions that had been applied. Only studies with positive treatment outcomes were considered. From among those studies, only the interventions which seemed to be sufficiently detailed and which are related to the obvious therapeutic results in the treatment of hypersexual symptoms were chosen. Furthermore, the interventions were assigned to the proposed diagnostic criteria of the hypersexual disorder.

Results.

The hypothesized mechanisms how certain treatment techniques could change and influence hypersexual symptoms were mostly described in an unsatisfactory way. Interventions were targeted on impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning, negative mood states, stressful life events, and lack of behavioral control. No specific interventions were included for the risk for physical or emotional harm to self or others.

Conclusion.

Future treatment approaches should explicitly formulate the etiological mechanism and contain interventions for the neglected areas. In addition, a more flexible approach in the treatment of different subgroups with hypersexual behavior might be promising.

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