Meditation Awareness Training for the Treatment of Sex Addiction: A Case Study

J Behav Addict. 2016 Jun;5(2):363-72. doi: 10.1556/2006.5.2016.034. Epub 2016 Jun 27.


Background Sex addiction is a disorder that can have serious adverse functional consequences. Treatment effectiveness research for sex addiction is currently underdeveloped, and interventions are generally based on the guidelines for treating other behavioral (as well as chemical) addictions. Consequently, there is a need to clinically evaluate tailored treatments that target the specific symptoms of sex addiction. It has been proposed that second-generation mindfulness-based interventions (SG-MBIs) may be an appropriate treatment for sex addiction because in addition to helping individuals increase perceptual distance from craving for desired objects and experiences, some SG-MBIs specifically contain meditations intended to undermine attachment to sex and/or the human body. The current study conducts the first clinical investigation into the utility of mindfulness for treating sex addiction. Case presentation An in-depth clinical case study was conducted involving an adult male suffering from sex addiction that underwent treatment utilizing an SG-MBI known as Meditation Awareness Training (MAT). Following completion of MAT, the participant demonstrated clinically significant improvements in addictive sexual behavior, as well as reductions in depression and psychological distress. The MAT intervention also led to improvements in sleep quality, job satisfaction, and non-attachment to self and experiences. Salutary outcomes were maintained at 6-month follow-up. Discussion and conclusion The current study extends the literature exploring the applications of mindfulness for treating behavioral addiction, and findings indicate that further clinical investigation into the role of mindfulness for treating sex addiction is warranted.

Keywords: addiction treatment; behavioral addiction; hypersexual behavior; meditation awareness training; mindfulness; sex addiction.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Awareness
  • Behavior, Addictive / psychology
  • Behavior, Addictive / therapy*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Meditation / methods*
  • Mindfulness / methods*
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sexual Behavior* / psychology
  • Treatment Outcome

Grant support

Funding sources: No financial support was received for this study.