What to look for when choosing a CSAT (for both PA & partner)?
A Certified Sex Addiction Therapist (CSAT) is a professional who has undergone specialized training to assist individuals and couples in dealing with issues related to sex addiction and its consequences. When searching for a CSAT, especially in the context of porn addiction (PA) or for partners dealing with betrayal trauma, it’s essential to ensure that the therapist is competent, compassionate, and a good fit for the specific needs of the individual or couple.
Here are some important factors to consider when choosing a CSAT:
- Credentials and Training
- Certification: Ensure the therapist is a certified CSAT. This certification indicates that the therapist has undergone rigorous training under the International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals (IITAP).
- Continuous Learning: The field of sex addiction therapy is ever-evolving. Check if the therapist engages in ongoing education to stay updated with the latest research and techniques.
- Ensure the CSAT has experience in treating the specific type of addiction or concern you’re facing. Some CSATs might specialize in porn addiction, while others may focus on other forms of sex addiction.
- For partners, it’s crucial to find a CSAT who understands betrayal trauma and its nuances.
- Therapeutic Approach
- Inquire about the therapeutic methods the CSAT employs. Different therapists may utilize various approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, EMDR, or a combination of several methods.
- Ensure the approach aligns with your comfort level and belief system.
- Experience with Partners
- If seeking therapy as a partner of someone with porn addiction, choose a CSAT familiar with the unique challenges and emotions partners face, such as betrayal trauma.
- Comfort and Compatibility
- Therapy is a deeply personal experience. It’s essential to feel comfortable and safe with the CSAT.
- Consider scheduling a preliminary session or consultation to gauge your comfort level.
- Location: While many therapists offer online sessions, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, some people prefer in-person sessions. Determine what works best for you.
- Availability: Check the therapist’s availability, frequency of sessions, and flexibility in scheduling.
- Fees and Insurance: Inquire about fees, payment options, and if they accept insurance.
- Reviews and Recommendations
- Personal recommendations from trusted individuals can be invaluable.
- Online reviews or testimonials can also provide insight, but take them with a grain of caution, understanding that everyone’s experience is unique.
- Cultural and Gender Sensitivity
- If issues of gender, sexuality, or cultural sensitivity are crucial, ensure the CSAT is well-versed and respectful of these aspects.
- Group Therapy and Workshops
- Some CSATs offer group therapy sessions or workshops, which can be beneficial for individuals and partners to connect with others who share similar experiences.
- Emergency Support
- In some cases, the individual or couple may need emergency support or counseling. Determine if the CSAT provides such services or can recommend resources.
Finding the right CSAT requires research, intuition, and sometimes trial and error. It’s essential to prioritize your well-being and ensure that the therapist aligns with your needs, values, and comfort level. Remember, the goal is healing, understanding, and growth, and the right therapist can be a valuable ally on this journey.