The hidden addiction: Why experts believe compulsive sexual behaviour is a growing problem in Irish society

Compulsive sexual behaviour is rarely discussed in public, but it is an addiction similar to gambling or drinking that can be treated by health experts. Psychotherapists and other counsellors now have long waiting lists for their services and are calling for more accessible treatment

Many people suffering from compulsive sexual behaviour are ‘generally traumatised – more than likely developmentally traumatised, which means there would have been trauma in their childhood’. Picture: Getty/iStockphoto

Psychotherapist Donal Clifford and his team see the effects of compulsive sexual behaviour day after day. More than 60 people a week come to them for group counselling through Sex and Love Therapy (SALT), a programme for anyone who feels their sexual activity – whether it be porn, texting or anonymous sex – has spiralled to the point that it has a negative impact on their life.

Clifford says demand for the service, which is ...