What Does Treatment for Sex Addiction Look Like Part 1: Inpatient/Residential (AKA Rehab)

People often ask the question about whether or not sex addiction really exists. Along with that, they also often ask what sex addiction rehab looks like, and how long it takes to recover. Because many people are familiar with rehab for chemical addictions such as alcohol and drugs, they often do not understand what that would look like for a process addiction, like sex addiction. So, this is the first of a four-part blog series written to clarify what sex addiction treatment looks like. The series will discuss the different levels of care available to those that struggle with sex addiction, what each level entails, how to know if it’s a good fit, and additional considerations.


We will begin by talking about the highest level of care for sex addiction. This is inpatient/residential treatment. When people say that they went to “sex addiction rehab”, they are generally referring to an inpatient or residential treatment program.

For starters, this usually means that they were admitted to a behavioral healthcare unit. These programs vary in length anywhere from 30 to 90 days. Individuals admitted to these programs live at the program residence during this time, so lodging and meals are provided as part of this type of treatment. Additionally, visitors and contact with the outside world is often limited for the duration of their treatment. This is due to the rigorous nature of the program where individuals are involved in therapy programming anywhere from 8-10 hours per day. During the course of their treatment, they usually receive a full medical and psychiatric work up, individual therapy, group therapy, and perhaps other alternative therapies like acupuncture, Tai Chi, Yoga, Equine therapy, or other recreational therapies.

This level of care is a good fit for individuals who are experiencing difficulty functioning in their daily life as a result of their sex addiction. For example, if an individual is experiencing ongoing suicidal ideation, then they are likely served best in an inpatient facility.