Category Archives: Recovery Techniques

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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Dealing with Those Damn Cravings

image photo : Little Devil 1

Cravings occur in response to negative emotions that may not even be available to you in your conscious mind.  The feelings can be repressed long-ago, but the manifestation is an irresistible urge to go back to the sex.

Especially in early sexual recovery, these cravings can create significant distress.  You inability to handle intense cravings will get you right back where you don’t want to be.

Here’s some tips on how to get through with them:

  • Recognize them as a normal part of your recovery process.  Nothing is wrong with you.
  • Remember — this uncomfortable state won’t last forever.  A craving is a sometimes thing.  Given time, they’ll run their course and you’ll be feeling yourself again.  Remember that all (almost all) the urges you’ve ever had have passed.  In life, we all have to sit out a lot of things.
  • Better breathing is your route to calmness and vitality.  Teach yourself a simple breathing technique from the net or, better yet, get a book on “pranyama” – the Yogi’s system of breathing.
  • Get Busy.  Wash the kitchen floor  – by hand.
  • Call a friend and talk it through.
  • Remind yourself of the benefits of sexual recovery.
  • Visualize the most demoralizing occurrence of your acting out.
  • Get perspective.  Really, now.  What’s so AWFUL about feeling uncomfortable for 10 minutes?
  • Remind yourself that a craving does not keep steadily increasing until it – blows the top of your head off!!  It will diminish.
  • Distraction.  When you feel an urge coming on, immediately involve yourself with a non-sexual pleasurable activity.  The more active, the better.  Run around the block.
  • Reflect about what could be driving the urge…an uncomfortable feeling?  A desire to avoid something?
  • Do a visualization called “urge surfing”.  Imagine yourself at the beach.  See yourself as a surfer riding the wave of a craving.  See how the waves (urges) start small, grow in sizes, then break up and dissipate until they make up the foam along the shore line.

The above represents some coping mechanisms for dealing with urges and cravings.  The next post will address healthier coping skills for dealing with the distressful inner states that fuel the impulse to act out.

If you’re interested in treatment, feel free to contact me at dorothyhayden1231@gmail.com for a free 30-minute phone consultation.

htpp://www.sextreatment.com

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10 Tools to Quit Porn Addiction:Values Clarification

Tool #1 is to replace compulsive, destructive behaviors with value-laden behaviors.

Take time to do some soul searching.  What are the most important values in your life?  What is important to you? Family, career, spiritual principles, self-respect, being a part of a larger community, financial security?  Whatever your values may be, I’m taking a guess that there’s a conflict between your values and your sexual behaviors. Become aware of the space between them.

If you fill your day with actions that reflect your personal values, rather than actions that sexually gratify only you, can you think about “what a wonderful life it will be?”

I’m re-posting an earlier post to remind you.

If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth may save you.

—Gospel of Thomas 

Think of your porn addiction as a powerful, sometimes overpowering involvement to which you turn for security and gratification when you fail to find better gratifications in the rest of your life. The more you turn to the addiction, the more primary it becomes.  Yet the more you rely on it, the more negative experiences it produces in your life and the more you need to return to the addiction. 

If you turn to internet porn for solace to the exclusion of meaningful involvements in the rest of your life, you are captured by addiction.

Do not despair.  Addiction can be beaten — people do it all the time!  This blog will, among other things, teach you about therapies, techniques and exercises that work on the needed skills and attitudes that can help get you to where you want to be.  Hopefully, it will help you get attached to life in as many ways as possible.

I believe that before an individual even forms a “game plan”, (which we’ll do in time) it is necessary to build a strong foundation of knowledge of what values you hold most dear and establish motivational aims.  These will strengthen you on your journey to sexual recovery. 

If you at the cross-roads in your life where you feel that change must occur, it’s time to do a little soul-searching.  Go within and ferret out values that you’ve had but have betrayed. What’s been important to you in your heart-of-hearts.  Family? Health? Spiritual beliefs?  Or being a good person?

Then consider cultivating some new values that might give your life new purpose.  When you can truly experience how the addiction is damaging what is most important to you, the steps out of your addiction often fall into place. You can use your own values as a tool to fight your addiction.

Why do Values Even Matter in Addiction Recovery? 

While pursuing sexual highs to the exclusion of attachment to others and productive work, you’re values are on display.  You are signaling either that you see little wrong in it or that the other values in your life are less important than the temporary sexual pleasure you get from porn addiction.  Think for a moment about the difference between being motivated by a hunger for pleasure and being motivated by your essential values.  Quite a different picture, no?

Stanton Peele, in “7 Tools to Beat Addiction” lists values that help combat addiction:

  • Achievement – accomplishing constructive and socially values goals, such as participating in athletics, running for office, getting an education, succeeding at work, or providing for your family.
  • Consciousness – being alert, awake, and aware of your surroundings; using you mind to make sense out of your life and experience
  • Activity – being energetic and engaged in the world around you.
  • Health –eating well, exercising, choosing an overall healthy lifestyle
  • Responsibility – fulfilling you commitments.  Understand the spiritual aspects of “duty”
  • Self-respect –  caring for yourself and, be extension, all people
  • Community – being involved in the world around you and contributing to the welfare of the communities in which you are involved.

How do Values Fight Addiction? 

People drop addictions all the time when using interferes with their parenting skills. They value the well-being of their children more than the pleasure they get from addiction.  If you have kids, satisfying work and basic self-respect, the rationalizations that keep addiction in place are harder to defend.

People who value clear thinking shy away from the “Erotic Haze” which is really like regular intoxication.  Rational decisions cannot be made when you’re trapped in your addiction cycle. 

People who hold achievement as a core value wouldn’t waste hours and hours looking a porn; they’d be involved in productive, creative activities that help them to achieve their goals.

During this soul-searching time, you may need to learn how to do things in a way that is consistent with your values, or to value new ways of looking at the world. Take some time to really SEE how your addiction is in conflict with the basic values your hold.

Embrace and relish what you think is important and right – or in cases where you recognize that your values are wrong or harmful to yourself and other work on changing them.  Publicize you values as primary indicators of who you are.  And harness and use your values as fuel for your recovery.

http://www.sextreatment.com

 

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“Alternative” Treatment for Porn Addiction

We’re taking a brief break  from the topic of what constitutes a sexual compulsion.

I’ve come across a few requests through this site for  “alternative” treatment  for porn addiction.  I wondered for a while what that could mean.  Vitamins and minerals?  Acupuncture?

Finally someone mentioned that the cost of treatment centers was exorbitant, but he needed help nevertheless.

Ah!  Perhaps “alternative” means “affordable” and, by definition, away from centers, therapists, coaches, shrinks, and psychiatrists altogether.

I thought this might be a good time to put in a plug for my practice.  Centered in Manhattan, I often use “SKYPE” to do sessions with people worldwide.  AND, if folks can come during weekday afternoon hours, I can offer a drastic cut in my usual fee.

That said, let’s assume you mean REALLY a home-remedy treatment plan completely divorced from the clinical community for how to quit porn.  So, here are my thoughts:

  • Go to TONS of Sex Addicts Anonymous Meetings.  I don’t know how nontraditional that suggestion is, but these folks will definitely help you get the monkey off your back (and it’s FREE!).  I can’t say enough about the benefits of 12-step.  On a personal level, I’ve enjoyed 25 years free from alcohol through it.
  • Instead of using the internet to get into trouble, use it to get well.  There are a number of sites and forums around where you can find plenty of others who have been in your boat and climbed out.  They’ll be happy to help you get on shore.  Included are:
  • www.recoverynation.com and www.thisisyourbrainonporn.com.  Do Not, Not, Not…miss them.
  • www.healthymind.com. Information about how to recover from sex addiction.
  • no-porn.com.  A forum for recovering porn addicts that’s been around forever.  You’ll find plenty of people who have succeeded in getting free from the addiction.  Ask for help.  Click the link for “hypnosis”.  There you’ll find a company called “Hypnosis Downloads” which offers one protocol for sex addiction and another for porn addiction.  Both are very good.
  • www.feedtherightwolf.com.  A GREAT site.  They also offer a free online recovery program for porn addicts who want help.

Helpful Books on Treating Porn Addiction

Treating Pornography Addiction: The Essential Tools for Recovery, by Kevin Skinner, Ph.D.

Breaking the Cycle: Free Yourself from Sex Addiction, Porn Obsession & Shame by George Collins, MA

In the Shadow of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior, by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. et al.

The Sex Addiction Workbook, by William T. O’Donahue, et al.

That should get you started.  In a week or so, I’ll write about the specific recovery therapy I use when I work with clients.

Feel free to ask for more specific suggestions.

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

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