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Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
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My husband is seeing a counselor who thinks my husband is a

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My husband is seeing a counselor who thinks my husband is a sex addict/co-dependent. He is "treating" my husband with a 90 abstinence from all sexual behavior. This "agreement" was made without my knowledge that there is any problem. My husband insists that I am his only sex partner and that he is not using porn. He says his therapist "diagnosed" him as needing sexual abstinence because he thinks my husband uses sex with me to not deal with his feelings, ie as a process addiction. However, we have sex about 2-3 times per month. I am angry and confused! Does this sound even remotely like proper "treatment"?

Each professional has a different manner of dealing with client issues; however, there are general principles that are rarely if ever violated.


One of those key aspects is that the choice of therapy will not harm the client or have negative impacts on the client's relationships. A 90 day abstinence is not a common choice, nor is it trained in any mainstream modality of therapy that I am aware of...


Although it is common for males to use sexuality as a means to avoid dealing with deep seated issues, there are many other ways to deal with this avoidance going through an abstinence of this length. Besides, and simply said, if this was the way to access buried feelings then the practice would be far more mainstream. Truly, most therapists could easily access feelings through a multitude of other practices.


To not involve you in the decision also shows a complete lack of regard for your feelings and I see that as harmful, even potentially abusive in an emotional sense. This is a couples issue, not simply an individual client's problem.


I often tell those I see in counseling, if you feel bothered by a particular therapeutic intervention there is probably a good reason that you feel that way. And, finding a good therapist is often a process in itself. There are many poor and inadequately trained therapists and it is a wise idea to be cautious. A therapist should be researched as much as a surgeon as the process of counseling is an art, as well as a learned skill.


This in my opinion is an unusual practice at the least. And there are much more appropriate ways to access feelings than this...I would consider exploration of other means. Steven

Steven Olsen and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you so much. I just needed to be validated by a professional not currently involved in the situation. Your reply corresponds 100% with my thoughts on the matter, as well as with those of my closest friends and my own therapist, too. I appreciate your careful candor and your expedient reply.

Thank you...With two professional opinions now under your belt you can feel more confident in your choices from here on in. My best to you.

If you have found our interaction helpful, please rate me so I get credit for my answer. Thank you. Steven

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