For some, this word brings relief, an end to suffering, a respite from behaviours that are causing distress. A break from pressure from others to behave sexually or it can give us a respite from our own compulsion.
For others the thought is profoundly alarming, frightening, even, and the idea of spending even a day with out being sexual in some form is impossible.
Celibacy can be a very useful tool when working with sexual aversion and compulsion or with sexual trauma. To have a period of time where all the energy of sexuality is literally turned off can bring space to experience other aspects of the self, so allow extreme emotions to diminish, to stop behaviours that seemed completely overwhelming and to take on the task of defining your version of healthy sexual practices and working out how to be truly intimate with another person.
A celibacy contract is agreed between the client and the therapist. It is defined by looking at which behaviours are problematic and from there agreeing to curb, redefine or stop and take stock of the feelings that are being negated, sublimated and ignored. It is a work in progress that is re-defined as the work progresses and can be a potent tool to help create the space for change.
I am Carolyn Cowan, a Psychosexual & Relationship Therapist who is also a sex addiction therapist and a member of COSRT & ATSAC.
You can make appointments to see me in Belgravia, central or south London. I can also work via Skype or FaceTime.
To discuss therapy options, clarify questions or to make an appointment I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0208 6513233