"We first have them do a timeline of their life and talk about all the major events and traumas," he says. "We're jumping in deeply into the feelings and these things that they've been detached from and avoiding many times their whole lives."
Dr. Drew says this makes sex addiction the most difficult and painful to treat, and for some, recovery takes three to five years. "It is a relationship with the self that is flawed. Parts of the self get literally walled off from them. They can't love them," he says. "They can't even access them."
Oprah says she believes interpersonal and spiritual experiences can help addicts access the parts of themselves that have been walled off for so long. "You cannot survive without a spiritual connection," she says. "When you have a deeper, spiritually grounded love for yourself ... you will no longer allow other people to abuse you. Because you know that you are carrying God's body. You're God's body. You're made in the image of that which is greater than yourself."