A Feasibility Study of a CBT-group Treatment for Hypersexual Disorder in Women

University essay from Malmö universitet/Centrum för sexologi och sexualitetsstudier (CSS)

Abstract: The purpose of this thesis was to investigate the feasibility of a treatment for hypersexual disorder (HD) by calculating and reporting the results with pre-collected data from a research project at ANOVA/Karolinska Universitetssjukhuset. The treatment was a cognitive behavioral group therapy (CBGT) developed for HD administered in a 7-session group setting with a sample of HD-diagnosed women (n = 16). Feasibility was explored through symptom change of hypersexuality, sexual compulsivity, psychological distress, and depression. Symptom change in relationship to treatment attendance was also explored. In this thesis, the results are considered in a broader context, discussing theoretical issues concerning women’s sexuality in relation to hypersexual problems and medicalization of hypersexual behaviors.   The treatment was shown to be feasible. Significant decrease was found on all measures. Attendance rate significantly correlated with a decrease in depressive symptoms, but not on other measures. Women’s sexuality might differ from men’s, but the treatment, which was first evaluated for men, is still feasible for women. Treatment for hypersexual problems in women and hypersexual problems in women in general have been understudied, which makes this study an important contribution to the research field. Further treatment studies could potentially investigate whether specific alterations based on gender and sexual orientation could be needed for further development of the treatment. There are issues concerning medicalization of hypersexual behaviors which should be considered when addressing the phenomenon, such as the influence of moral and cultural factors on the understanding of hypersexuality. Still, there is need for treatment for hypersexual behaviors experienced as problematic, and having these problems addressed within the medical and scientific field has potential for being beneficial and is preferred to having them left to alternative, unregulated health care providers.

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