Joanna Benfield Sex Addiction Therapist Harley Street, Central London, and Online

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Sex Addiction and Porn Addiction Therapy

Sex is a natural, normal and enjoyable part of our lives, but sometimes it can become something that feels out of control, damaging and destructive. Sometimes people find themselves addicted to porn, watching it for hours every day and, as a result, their work and their relationships suffer. Others become addicted to having sex with strangers or with escorts. They may find themselves spending huge amounts of money, putting themselves and their partners at risk of sexually transmitted diseases and damaging their relationships. When sex feels like it has become out of control, then it is time to seek help.

As a leading expert on sex addiction and porn addiction, I work with individuals struggling with compulsive sexual behaviours. I provide an innovative treatment programme for sex addicts and porn addicts, based upon a range of therapeutic approaches that have been proven to work. I help clients to understand why they are using sex in a compulsive manner, so that they can get to the bottom of their addiction. I work with them on a programme designed to stop harmful sexual behaviour, address sexual compulsivity and to redevelop a healthy relationship with sex.

I also work with the partners of sex addicts, who have often become traumatised by the discovery of their spouses' behaviour. Discovering that a partner has been having sex with escorts or has been fired from their job for downloading pornography at work sends shockwaves through families that cannot be underestimated. Partners can be left feeling angry, betrayed and extremely vulerable, with a sense that there is nowhere for them to turn. I have seen the impact of sex addiction on many partners and have years of experience in guiding them through the trauma, grief and emotional upheaval that their spouses' addictions have wreaked on their lives. I help them to restore self-esteem, gradually rebuild trust and move towards new healthy relationships.

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Therapy Services

As a specialised sex addiction and sexual compulsivity therapist, I work with my clients to help them:

  • Stop harmful sexual behaviours
  • Set goals for recovery
  • Understand the underlying causes of their behaviours
  • Address childhood and adult trauma
  • Develop new strategies for living
  • Repair damaged relationships
  • Develop healthy sexual relationships
  • Develop relapse prevention strategies



So, how do you decide if you would benefit from sex addiction therapy? Sex addiction - or compulsive sexual behaviour disorder , to use the correct clinical terminology - is a very specific phenomenon. It does not refer to the behaviour of someone who simply enjoys lots of sex. A sex addict is someone for whom the relationship with sex has become problematic. They keep engaging in sexual behaviours in a compulsive way, even when they recognise that these behaviours are unhealthy and damaging for them. Because the behaviour is out of control, the person cannot simply choose to stop. This may work in the short-term, but the behaviours will creep back in if the person has not identified why they are behaving like this and then addressed the root causes. To find out more about whether you or your partner might be a sex addict and therefore might benefit from therapy, please click here.

My clients come from a wide range of backgrounds. Many are high-flying professionals - bankers, lawyers, company directors or medical professionals - who are outwardly extremely successful and seem to have their lives together. Yet, behind closed doors, things look very different. Their sex lives have become out of control, resulting in disastrous consequences for themselves and their families. Clients usually come to see me once the addiction has become completely unmanageable. For example, it may have led to loss of employment due to pornography use on work computers, financial ruin due to numerous escort visits or marriage breakdown due to the multiple affairs. In many instances, clients will come to therapy when their partners have discovered evidence of their addiction; typically, this occurs through seeing phone messages, such as text exchanges with escorts or evidence of prolific pornography use on electronic devices. Usually, this comes as a great shock to the partner and may threaten to destroy the relationship. For many people, coming to therapy will be the only way in which they can attempt to save their relationship and overcome their addiction.

You can find a case study of a typical (yet fictional) client here.

About Me

As an experienced sex addiction and porn addiction therapist, I have worked with hundreds of clients struggling with sexual compulsivity. A prominent expert in both the sex therapy and sex addiction fields, I am often approached by the media for advice on sex and relationship issues. I have been featured in Marie Claire, Men's Health, Women's Health, Top Sante, Glamour, Look and Woman magazines, as well as BBC Radio Five Live's 'Men's Hour'. My first book, Three in a Bed: Conversations with a Sex Therapist, was published by Harper Collins in January 2016. I co-edited the Routledge International Handbook of Sexual Addiction, published by Taylor and Francis in 2017, and have also written a number of academic papers on the treatment of sex addiction, which have been published in the Journal of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity, the BACP Private Practice Journal and the BACP Healthcare Counselling and Psychotherapy Journal.

In 2017, I was very honoured to win the 'Psychosexual Therapist of the Year (UK)' award in the prestigious GHP Women in Health Awards.


When choosing a sex addiction therapist, it is important to know that they are properly qualified. In addition to having 14 years' experience of working in this field, I have an MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy (with distinction), with a specialisation in the treatment of sex and porn addiction. I also have a Postgraduate Diploma in Psychosexual and Relationship Therapy (with distinction) and a Diploma in Therapeutic Counselling. Additional qualifications include a Diploma in Integrative Supervision and certificates in trauma treatment, psychological coaching, cognitive behavioural therapy and brief solution focused therapy. For further information, please see the 'About Me' section of this website.

Harley Street Expertise, Delivered Online

Based in Harley Street, London, prior to the pandemic, I currently work with individuals online, via Skype, Zoom and FaceTime, and by telephone. This has allowed me to expand my scope to work with clients worldwide. Research has shown that online therapy produces similar outcomes to face-to-face therapy and that clients are predominantly satisfied with working in this way. It increases flexibility, cuts out travel time, and allows therapy to continue during periods of physical absence. Many clients also say that they find it easier to open up when working online, as opposed to face-to-face.

To arrange an initial consultation session, please click here.

Professional Membership

As a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and a Qualified Member of the Association for the Treatment of Sexual Addiction and Compulsivity (ATSAC), I abide by strict codes of ethics. This means that all information shared by the client during the counselling process is strictly confidential (within the limits of the law). I also adhere to the supervision and professional development requirements of my professional bodies.

“It has not been in the pursuit of pleasure that I have periled life and reputation and reason. It has been the desperate attempt to escape from torturing memories, from a sense of insupportable loneliness and a dread of some strange impending doom.” - Edgar Allan Poe



Joanna Benfield - Sex Addiction and Porn Addiction Therapist
Treating Sexual Compulsivity
Harley Street expertise, delivered online


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