Please note that as of September 2015, Paulette Tomasson, the owner of ACARA Counselling, is on a two year sabbatical from doing therapy. She will continue her consulting practice.
Serving Vancouver, the lower mainland and all parts of British Columbia, ACARA provides hope and healing for individuals, couples, and families struggling to find solutions for compulsive sexual behaviour, trauma, grief, loss and stress-related issues.
We believe that humans are physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual beings capable of remarkable feats. We believe they possess the resources and abilities to recover from the most disheartening of circumstances. We also believe that as humans we were meant to live in relationship with one another and that our need to bond with another is innate. When this need is wounded through neglect, trauma or abandonment people suffer great emotional pain and may have trouble in their ability to relate in the way they would want to. It is also our belief that individuals can overcome and heal from these wounds with loving support and an unbiased witness. Therapy in its simplest form is an impartial witness in listening and supporting the individual to their own resolve and meaning in life. Our therapeutic approach is eclectic and gentle, always with the client in charge.
When To Seek Help
- Repeated use of sexual or romantic obsession to “medicate” away unpleasant feelings
- Inability to stop sexual or romantic behaviours despite adverse consequences
- Pattern of self-destructive behaviour or relationships(anonymous sex, affairs, etc.)
- Ongoing desire to limit sexual behaviour or destructive relationships but an inability to do so.
- Pattern of sexual or romantic behaviour becoming more frequent or riskier then planned.
- Increasing the amount of sex or romance because the current level no longer satisfies.
- Pattern of mood changes related to sexual or romantic behaviour.
- Great deal of time spent obtaining, being involved in, and/or recovering from sexual or romantic behaviour.
- Neglect of important social, occupational or recreational activities because of sexual or romantic behaviour.
Taken from the NCSAC Brochure
The following questions are frequently asked by clients who come to see us. For more visit our FAQ.
What Is Sex Addiction?
Sexual addiction is defined as any sexually-related compulsive behaviour that interferes with normal living and that causes stress for family members, friends and loved ones, and in one's working environment. Sexual addiction has been called sexual dependency and sexual compulsivity. By any name it is a compulsive behaviour that completely dominates the addict's life. Sexual addicts make their addiction more important than family, friends, and work: it becomes the organizing principle of addicts' lives. They are willing to sacrifice what they cherish most in order to preserve and continue their unhealthy behaviour; they substitute unhealthy relationships for healthy ones; and they opt for temporary pleasure rather than the deeper qualities of "normal" intimate relationships.
Sexual addicts follow the same progressive pattern as other addicts: they struggle to control their behaviours, and experience despair over their constant failure to do so. Their loss of self-esteem and self-worth grows, fuelling the need to escape even further into their addictive behaviours. A sense of powerlessness pervades the lives of addicts.
What Is Cyber Sex Addiction?
The internet has introduced a quick and easy means of access to sexual material and anonymous communication never before available. This availability has caught many people off guard and they find themselves helplessly caught in repetitive, compulsive and sometimes dangerous behaviours. They find themselves doing things they never would have believed they would do, feeling a rush of excitement at the risk. Some destroy their sense of values and self-worth, while other suffer from shame, loneliness, and sadness. Eventually, problems with family and work may occur. Medical, legal and financial consequences are usually present.
What Is Sexual Anorexia?
Sexual anorexia is one of the less known aspects of sexual addiction. Suffering from an intense fear of sexual contact, the sexual anorexic lives a life of desperate aversion and deprivation, behaviours that are compulsive and interfere in their lives. Like addicts, anorexics also feel shame, loneliness and sadness. Recovery, fortunately, is possible for such addictions. Our counselling services in Vancouver can provide the counselling and resources necessary for a safe recovery.