Set Your Own Roadblocks

Dorothy Hayden, LCSW

209 E. 10th St. #14 NYC NY 10003

212-673-5717

 

The following components of an action plan to succeed in porn addiction treatment are vital.

Destroy the cache. An addict who hopes to be successful must eliminate porn and sex addiction and their results from their lives. That means deleting and destroying computer files, games, pictures, videos and stories. It means throwing out magazines, videos, DVD‘s and books. It means getting rid of old emails, chat transcripts, letters, and other communications. It probably means getting rid of Instant Messenger, changing your email address and maybe your phone number. Destroying the cache of pornography is an important early step in the process. And you must be ruthless.

Get it in the open. Like many addictions, the addiction to lust, sex and porn thrives in the dark. Turn the spotlight on. This means confessing to your spouse when appropriate and to a religious leader if there is one in your life. Move your computer into a room where anyone walking by can see what you’re doing and what is on the screen.

Set you own roadblocks. If Internet porn or cybersex is your challenge, get a good filter or an ISP that filters from the server side, and let your spouse set the password. If you are tempted by the neighborhood strip club or adult bookstore, change you routes to work so you don’t pass by. Establish some meaningful limits in your behavior.

Find your triggers. Every addict has some feelings, thoughts or experiences that preceded acting out. Identify yours and find ways to minimize them or to react differently to them. For example, if one of your triggers is boredom, commit that when you are feeling bored, you’ll get up and walk for ten minutes around the office or the block. If a trigger is rejection, then turn to an affirmation like “I am a person of infinite worth” and repeat if several times out loud.

Be accountable. Perhaps the most important thing is to have an accountability partner-someone to whom you report daily (or more often) about your successes and your failures. Join a 12-step Sexaholics Anonymous group or a similar support group. Or use a close and trusted friend or religious advisor. But have someone to whom you will account and who will check up on you if you don’t check in.

Set up a bank. Porn addiction therapists recommend that you give your accountability partner a large sum of cash that will be returned to you if you have 100 days without acting out. If not, the cash will be donated to charity. This can be a great motivator.

 

www.sextreatment.com

 

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The Nature of Sex Addiction

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All of my sexually addicted clients get the same things that drugs and alcohol give to chemically dependent individuals. What do they get from it? an intense high, comparable to nothing else in the…

Source: The Nature of Sex Addiction

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The Nature of Sex Addiction

All of my sexually addicted clients get the same things that drugs and alcohol give to chemically dependent individuals. What do they get from it?

  • an intense high, comparable to nothing else in their lives;
  • a way to numb painful feelings such as anger, anxiety or fear;
  • a way to escape stressor inherent in life;
  • unable to resist urges and cravings

However, the sex addict’s high lasts only as long as the orgasm.  Sex addicts then feel shame guilt-ridden and depressed.  Each time they indulge, he comes face-to-fact with reality.  But that is not to stop them.  The feelings of guilt and remorse drive them back to the addiction to numb those feelings.  It’s a vicious cycle.

How can Sex Be A Drug?

Most people think of sex as a wonderful part of life.  No so with drug addicts. To understand sex addiction, it’s helpful to think of it as a drug – the sex addict‘s drug of choice.  Some of the benefits are:

  • It’s anesthetic – it numbs the pain
  • As a tranquilizer to relieve anxiety and fear
  • It’s a mood elevator – it alleviates depression
  • It’s used as a mood-changer so they can escape reality

What is it to be addicted to sex?

One alcoholic prefers beer, another wine, another whiskey, the sex addict has his preferred way of acting out.  Among them are:

  • compulsive masturbation
  • exhibitionism
  • voyeurism
  • pornographic images on computers and Smart Phones
  • live web-cam sexual activities
  • “sexting”
  • erotic messages over the phone
  • a steady stream of affairs
  • regular one-night stands
  • sexual masochism
  • regular visits to prostitutes
  • erotic chat rooms
  • seeing single women as objects to be “conquered”

The Obsessive Preoccupation

Sex addicts’ waking hours are consumed with thoughts of their next sexual “high”.  The constant preoccupation with it interferes with living in reality — with relating to family and spouse, with productivity on the job, with enjoying time with friends, with enjoying the simple acts of daily living. Obsessive preoccupation hinders them in enjoying a book or becoming engaged in a movie, or having hobbies and interests.  In effect, it takes up their lives.

Sex as a Compulsion

An obsession is a repetitive thought; a compulsion is a repetitive behavior.  Sex addicts compel them to act it sexual rituals over and over and over again.

This overwhelming urge to continually repeat a destructive behavior – despite the negative consequences forms a distortion of thinking.  He becomes totally illogical, morality, values and even the strongest desire to not engage in the behavior.  The obsession takes control of his mind; the compulsion takes over his actions.

The acting out is not a conscious decision.  Either an inner mood or an external event triggers and he automatically acts in a sexual way.  Once that dynamic is under way, the addict is virtually unable to control himself – driven to satisfy the overpowering need for the sexual “hit”

It is only through entering sex addiction recovery that the cycle can be broken.

Call 212-673-5717 for a Consultation

 

See www.sextreatment.com for 40 articles about sex addiction ny  and free e-book.

 

 

 

 

The Experience of Addiction

Sex Addiction Treatment New York

For a Consultation Call 212-673-5717

 

An addiction is an habitual response and a course of gratification or security.  It is a way of coping with internal feelings and external pressure that  provides the sex addict with predictable satisfaction, but that has concomitant costs.  Eventually those costs outweigh the subjective benefits the addiction offers the individual.  Nonetheless people continue their addictions as long as they believe the addictions continue to something for them.

An addiction may involve any attachment that grows to such proportions that it damages a person’s life.  Addiction follows certain patterns – the single-minded grasping of a magic seeming object or activity; the loss of control,  perspective and priorities- is not limited to alcohol and drugs  When a person becomes addicted, it is not to a chemical or an activity but to an experience.  Anything that a person finds sufficiently consuming and that seems to remedy deficiencies in the person’s life can serve as an addiction

A person is vulnerable to addiction when that person feels a lack of satisfaction in life, an absence of intimacy or strong connections to other people, a lack of self-confidence or compelling interests, or a loss of hope.

The “hook” of the addiction – the thing that keeps people coming back for more – it that it give people feelings and gratifying sensation that they are not able to get in other way.  I t may block out sensations of pain, uncertainty, or discomfort.  It may provide temporary feelings of control, of intimacy or belonging.  The addiction accomplishes something for that person, or the person anticipates that it will do so, however illusory these benefits may actually be.

Cite: Peele, PhD, (1992)  The Truth About Addiction and Recovery,

Resources

12-Step Groups 

·       S.A.A. – Sex Addicts Anonymous: National 12-step program encourages participants to define their sex addiction recovery through the boundaries of a “Sex Plan” which is evolved by working with other recovering members. Population is mixed, primarily men, both homosexual and heterosexual with some female attendance.§  www.sexaa.org

 

·       S.C.A. – Sexual Compulsives Anonymous: 12-step program found in major urban areas nationally. Primarily attended by gay and bisexual men and some women. Participants define their sex addiction treatment plan through the boundaries of a “Sex Plan” which is evolved by working with other recovering members. Has a program for sex addiction wives.

§  www.sca-recovery.org

 

·       S.L.A.A. – Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous:  National 12 step program focused on addictive sexual and romantic relationships. Helpful for people who consistently involve themselves in abusive, non-nurturing relationships as well as sex addicts. This program tends to attract more mixed male/female group.§  www.slaafws.org

 

·       S.A. – Sexaholics Anonymous:  National 12 step program which employs the most restricted definition of sex addiction recovery. Sobriety is defined as “No sexual behavior outside of a committed (heterosexual) marital relationship.” Population is primarily heterosexual men, some women do attend. Has a program for sex addiction wives calledS-Anon.www.sa.org and S-Anon sanon.org

·       S.R.A. – Sexual Recovery Anonymous: Sobriety includes “freedom from sex outside a mutually committed relationship.” Population is primarily men, both gay and straight with some female attendance.§  http://sexualrecovery.org

Groups for couples, spouses, partners, and family members

The following 12-Step fellowships are for friends and family of sexual compulsives, or for couples.

 

·       R.C.A. – Recovering Couples Anonymous: A 12-step program that helps partners who are addicts or co-addicts on issues of commitment, intimacy and mutual recovery, with a focus on improving the significant-other bond. All couples, married, non-married, gay and straight, are welcome.§  recovering-couples.org 

§  COSA – A recovery program for men and women whose lives have been affected by someone else’s sexual behavior. 

·       S-ANON and S-Ateen – S-Anon is a program of recovery for those who have been affected by someone else’s sexual behavior, while S-Ateen is a similar program for teenagers (with additional adult guidance).§  www.sanon.org

Helpful Links

www.yourbrainonporn.com. This site will help you understand exactly how today’s extreme Internet porn can alter the brain. Armed with that knowledge, you’ll realize that some primitive circuitry in your brain is just trying to do its job when it pushes you toward porn. And you’ll see how to outsmart it and restore your balance.

Get an App:

·       r/TRIBE

·       NoFap Emergency App

 

Non 12-Step Forums: 

·       Reboot Nation – Has its own forum. Start your own recovery journal, try a “classic” reboot, post, ask questions, share, get support and help raise awareness of porn-related problems. 

·       NoFap.org It has its own forum and is synched up with Reddit’s Reddit/NoFap (below)Find an Accountability Partner. Accountability Partners are pairs who hold each other accountable during the NoFap Challenge. Create a Journal thread. Strict NSFW filtering.

·       NoFap subreddit – Very active forum on reddit. 

·       PornFree subreddit – Community to help those with porn addiction 

·       NoFap Teens subreddit 

·       NoFap Christians subreddit 

·       NoPorn subreddit 

·       Your Brain Rebalanced – Start your own recovery journal, discuss variations on the rebooting theme, post, ask questions, share, and get support.

·       Feed The Right Wolf – Blog, articles, forum 

·       Daily Strength: Sex/Pornography Addiction Support Group – Active forum for sex/porn addicts and their partners.

 

·       Porn Addiction Info – Active forums for both porn addicts and partners. 

·       No-Porn.com – Active forums for both porn addicts and partners, recovery materials. 

·       Through the Flame – Active forums for both porn addicts and their partners. 

·       Love & freedom project – Free ebook: quit PMO in 30 days

·       Omega Man’s Resources – List of resources from member of YBR 

Non 12-Step Organizations, Sites & Programs: 

·       Recovery Nation – Free program (workshops, articles,resources, coaching)

·       Thread about Recovery Nation’s program 

·       Porn Free Power – Free guide packed with strategies and exercises 

·       PornFree Radio by Matt Dobschuetz 

·       Love you, hate the porn – Blog, good info for couples 

·       Healthysex.com – Professional services, articles. Authors of “The Porn Trap” 

·       PornHelp.org – Help people take the first step in quitting porn 

·       The Sex God Project – Started by a Gay man 

·       Building the New – Porn addiction recovery through Mindfulness & Compassion

·       The Fortify Program – Recovery program (free to those under 21) 

·       Inner Gold – blog, videos, counseling, and addiction programs. 

·       Healthystrokes: traumatic masturbation syndrome – If you are a face down (prone) masturbator, you need to follow this link

·       Wiki on porn recovery – Good tips on avoiding porn and porn recovery. 

·       The Society for the Advancement of Sexual Health (SASH)

“SASH envisions a society in which the stigma and ignorance, which currently define the perception of out of control sexual behavior, no longer exist. Instead, adequate and effective treatment modalities exist to properly address the issue.”  

·       Pathways Institute for Impulse Control – Professional services, articles 

·       Rational Recovery – All addictions. 

·       SMART Recovery® – All addictions. Active forum, online meetings, lots of resources. 

·       Scoop It: Sex Addiction – Comprehensive collection of curated, up-to-date information regarding addictive/compulsive sexual behavior.  

·       PornFreeLife.com – A free e-book.

 

Do you Have a Problem with Internet Porn?ng in a way that is contrary to our values, we keep secrets in the hope that others won’t perceive what we see in ourselves. Reaching out for help takes courage No matter what your addiction is, admitting to yourself that you have a problem that you can’t solve on your own takes a great deal of courage. Sex addiction may be the hardest addiction to admit to. It is an extremely personal and private problem, and the addict fears being loathed, despised or ridiculed. Overcoming this barrier and getting help is an action that should be respected by others, and it’s the first step in recovering your self-respect too. Getting back in touch with the person you want to be Most addicts enter a recovery process because they want to get their lives back on track and recover their self-respect. Self-respect is based on your core values and how you see yourself living up to them. Thus it is your values, the desire to become the person you once believed you were and who you want to be again, that made you reach out for help. Your values are a powerful driving force in your life, and it’s important that you get to know them and understand them. If you are a recovering sex addict, ask yourself what drove you to take the first step towards turning your life around. Identify the core values that were violated by your addiction. Now choose the single value that is more powerful and more meaningful to you than all the rest. Your next step is thinking about how that value would manifest itself in your life. That’s what you’re aiming for. That’s what makes your recovery process so worthwhile. Your values inform your goals and will become your strongest allies in your relapse prevention strategy. You are not a ‘bad’ person No addict is an inherently ‘bad’ person. They may have done things they know are wrong in their pursuit of their chosen high, they may have betrayed themselves and those closest to them, but it is addiction rather than a lack of values that caused this to happen. As part of your recovery, you will try to make amends with those you have wronged, including yourself. You may not be forgiven by the people you have hurt, but it is important that you forgive yourself. Understand that you are leaving the past behind and that you will be living up to your values from now onwards, one day at a time. Recovery from addiction is a very uncomfortable process, but by keeping your values in clear sight, by having the vision of what you are striving to achieve in front of you, you can ease your path. What you are trying to accomplish is worthwhile. You are worthwhile. You are not only recovering your self-respect, you are earning it! About the Author: Dorothy C. Hayden, LCSW, is a psychoanalyst and sex addiction therapist located in Manhattan, New York.  Her book “Total Sex Addiction Recovery-A Guide to Therapy” is considered as ‘recommended reading’ in the field of sex addiction therapy.

Do you have a Problem with Internet Pornography?

  1. Do you find yourself spending increasing amounts of time online looking at pornography or engaged in sexual or romantic intrigue?
  2. Do you become involved in multiple romantic or sexual affairs online at the same time?
  3. Being truly honest with yourself, do you think pornography use or online sexual activity violates your marital commitments?
  4. Have you been unable to cut back on the frequency of your online sexual involvement despite a thought that you should do so?
  5. Have you been unable to “stay away” from sexual materials, sites, or interactions that have made you uncomfortable or worried about yourself when you previously viewed them?
  6. Does online porn use interfere with home life, work or school (such as making you tired because of the previous night’s use?
  7. Does pornography use intrude on relationships that are important to you?  Have you experienced a decrease in your intimate sexual life?
  8. Do you collect pornography, keeping hundreds of videos or images stored in your computer?
  9. Do you engage in online fantasy acts  or view other porn depicing illegal or violating sexual acts such as rape, bestiality or child porn?
  10. Has the time you spent interacting with friends, family and loved ones decreased because of your porn use or fantasy involvement?
  11. Do you lie or keep secrets about the amount of time you spend interacting with porn, the type of porn you view, or the types of activities you engage in online?
  12. Do you have sex – either in online fantasy, or in person – with someone other than your partner?
  13. Do you become irritable, angry, or extremely ashamed when asked to give up porn involvement to engage with partners, family, or friends?
  14. Has the primary focus of your sexual or romantic life become increasingly related to images found in magazines, videos, or Internet activity?

If you are excessively involved in any one of these areas, or has had problematic consequences as a result of any one of these, it can be a clear sign of concern that something needs to be addressed.

Involvement with illegal online sexual activity is always a problem and should be brought up with a professional therapist who is skilled with these issues.

People who said yes to one to three of the symptoms should openly discuss their concerns with a caring friend.  More than three positive answers indicate the need form more professional support of counseling.

www.sextreatment.com

(Adapted from Untangling the Web: Sex, Porn and Fantasy Obsession in the Internet Age; Robert Weiss and Jennifer Schneider)

tags: Sex Addiction Therapy NYC, Sex Addiction Treatment NYC, Therapy for Sex Addiction NYC, Treatment for Porn Addiction NYC

The Fruits of Sex Addiction Recovery – A Healthy Personality

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                                                                                          Dorothy Hayden, LCSW
New York, NY 10003
212-673-5717

 

The Fruits of Recovery– A Healthy Personality
If you view the end result of the recovery process exclusively as the cessation of addictive behavior, you’re selling yourself short.
Active addiction is merely a symptom of your core problems. You can be free from addiction for a period of time but if you haven’t done the hard work of introspection, self-understanding and change, your old addiction friend will sooner or later come to visit.
Addiction, especially sex addiction, involves a developmental arrest in the personality from inadequate parenting. You literally get “stuck” because an active addiction prohibits psychological growth. If your main coping mechanism is going to the addiction when you have unwanted feelings or normative stress from living, you never develop higher-level ways of functioning and coping.
Letting go of compulsive sexuality will allow you to continue that growth. Growth towards what? MATURITY?
Maybe you’re wondering what THAT is. Well, below is a list of the characteristics of a healthy personality so you know what you could be striving for in ongoing recovery.

What is a Healthy Personality?

  • In a healthy personality, the self evolves from being focused only upon itself to a widening range of people and activities. There’s a sense of focused personal involvement and participation in the activities of work and love.
  • A healthy personality has the capacity for intimacy and the capacity for compassion. The person shows authentic participation with their loved ones and concern for their welfare. Compassion is a sense of kinship with and empathy for all people because we all have our frail humanity in common.
  • Maturity includes self-acceptance, frustration tolerance and emotional control. Healthy people live with their shortcomings with little conflict within themselves. They have a basic sense of security in the self and basic trust in people and whatever spiritual meaning they embrace.
  • Mature people do not distort reality to make it compatible with their desires and fears. They accept and adjust to reality for what it is.
  • Healthy people believe in the importance of work and lose themselves in this activity. Work and responsibility provide meaning and a sense of continuity to life.
  • Healthy people can reflect on their own feelings, thoughts, impulses and desires and on the behaviors and motivations of other people. They consider the consequences of their actions and make conscious choice in the interest of their own “enlightened self-interest”.
  • Mature people have a sense of directedness which guides all aspects of a person’s life toward a goal or a series of goals and give meaning to life. Should it unfold that a particular goal is unattainable, they cultivate new goals.
Sounds pretty OK, yeah? Just keep doing the next right thing and the serenity and self-esteem of having a healthy personality can be yours.
CALL NOW FOR A FREE 30-MINUTE CONSULTATION
212-673-5717

An Introduction to Sex Addiction

Reclaim Sexual Sanity:  Find Recovery Now by Calling 212-673-5717 for an Initial Consultation.  See www.sextreatment.com for 35 full-length articles about sex addiction and for details about my private practice.

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My focus for the blog is going to be therapy for those addicted to sex.   However, posts about addiction in general will continue to be interspersed.   For now, I’m providing a series of articles about theory because treatment is most effective if you understand what it is, exactly, you’re being treated for.

It is well known among people in the 12-step sex addiction programs that of all the addictions, sex is the most difficult to master. Far from the notion that sex addiction s the “fun” one, the suffering of dealing with this affliction is enormous. The compulsive urges are  so compelling that it is common for members of the SAA recovering groups to be unable to maintain any continuous time of sexual sobriety, giving way to despair and hopelessness.

Before sex addiction therapy, sexual enactment is the addict’s only source of safety, pleasure, soothing and acceptance. It vitalizes and connects. It relieves loneliness,  emptiness and depression. Sex addition has been called the athlete’s foot of the mind: it is an itch always waiting to be scratched. The scratching, however, causes wounds and never alleviates the itch.

Furthermore, the percentage of people who go to therapy or a 12-step program is quite small. The majority of sexually compulsive people live in isolation filled with feelings of shame.

Almost 100% of the people who come to me for an initial consultation, whether it be for compulsive use of the baths, public bathrooms, prostitutes, phone sex, a fetish, crossdressing, or addiction to dominatrixes, relay that beneath the shame they feel in telling me their story, they also experience a sense of freedom that comes from finally being able to share with another human being the hidden, shameful, sexually compulsive acts that imprison them.

This is a condition that gradually bleeds away everything the person holds dear. The life of a sex addict gradually becomes very small. The freedom of Self is impaired. Energies are consumed. The rapacious need for a particular kind of sexual experience drives the addict to spend untold hours in the world of his addiction. Inexorably, his compulsive sexual behaviors begins to exact higher and higher costs.

Whether it be on the internet indulging in sexual fantasies with fantasy people, being on the phone to the sex hot-lines, frantically searching the internet and the S & M clubs for someone who will act out a particular, ritualized fetish fantasy, cruising the bars searching for the “one” who will have sex in a public toilet, or going to dungeons to be whipped, flogged and humiliated, sex addiction is a devastating illness that takes an enormous toll. Friends slip away. Hobbies and activities once enjoyed are dropped. Financial security crumbles as sums as high as $40,000 or $50,000 a year are spent on sex.

Then there is perpetual fear of exposure. Relationships with partners are ruined, as the appeal of intimate sex with a partner pales in comparison to the intense “high” of indulging in the dark and devious world of sexual compulsion.

 

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