San Diego Mayor Bob Filner announced on Friday he will take a two-week leave of absence to attend therapy for sex addiction after harassing "dozens and dozens of women" by his own admission.

"On August 5, I will be entering a behavior counseling clinic to undergo two weeks of intensive therapy," Filner said in a news conference. "I must take responsibility."

Although recent scientific research questions the existence of sex addiction as a condition, Filner seized on the clinical aspects of the "diagnosis," explaining that therapeutic counseling would be the first step toward self-improvement.

However, the married mayor said his age as a man from a "different generation" failed to excuse his conduct — but may go some distance in explaining it.

Therapist Kristin Zeising described to San Diego's local 10News the type of therapy Filner may receive during his two-week respite from city business. "The therapy would entail talking about why they have these behaviors, where did they come from, where were they learned and what are their thoughts on how they treat other people," she said.

Although a believer in the therapy, Zeising told the news station she doubted two weeks would be sufficient.

"Two weeks of therapy, I believe, he will show signs of awareness as to why he has been doing what he has been doing and show the public he has some insight into that deep motivation to change," Zeising said. "The prognosis isn't 100 percent that he is going to change his behavior and never do these things or say these things or treat people poorly again."

That poor treatment involves allegations of a pattern of sexual harassment of women over years in public service, critics say.

San Diego Unified School District psychologist Morgan Rose says Filner cornered her during a meeting and repeatedly attempted to kiss her. Like others, Rose has demanded the mayor's resignation.

City Council President Todd Gloria told reporters that therapy would wash away the mayor's transgressions. "Bob Filner's announcement that he will be taking a leave of absence prolongs the pain he is inflicting on our city at a time when San Diegans are calling for an end to this civic nightmare," she said in a statement. "The mayor has finally acknowledged his very serious disorder which prevents his ability to govern and seriously affects his ability to interact with people."

A recent study from researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles cast doubt on the clinical relevance of sex addiction, or hypersexuality. "Some have suggested that those who have difficulty down-regulating their sexual desires be diagnosed as having a sexual 'addiction,' the researchers wrote. "This diagnosis is thought to be associated with sexual urges that feel out of control, high-frequency sexual behavior, consequences due to those behaviors, and poor ability to reduce those behaviors; however, such symptoms also may be better understood as a non-pathological variation of high sexual desire."

Without a clinically relevant diagnosis, such behaviors remain within the normative realm of the human — and thus within range of moral judgment, some say.

Source: Steele, Vaughn R., Staley, Cameron, Fong, Timothy, Prause, Nicole. Sexual Desire, Not Hypersexuality, Is Related To Neurophysiological Responses Elicited By Sexual Images. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology. 2013.