Porn Addiction Can Be Broken!
I never intended to become a porn addiction recovery specialist. In fact, if I had a choice, this would not be one I would have made. My preference in counseling has always been to focus on loss, grief, and trauma. But then again, porn addiction brings all three of those to a large number of pornography abusers. In retrospect, I suppose I should have chosen porn addiction recovery as a specialty after all. When I think of all the issue that have potential to kill the joy and trust in a relationship, porn comes in the top two. Perhaps actual adultery is the only issue that can top porn. Perhaps that isn’t even as destructive. After all, most men can recognize that adultery is wrong when you love someone. But porn? The majority of men do not understand or accept that porn is as damaging as adultery to the relationship, and are therefore less likely to stop. It took me over a year to perfect my approach to a level that I can honestly say any man who is willing can beat this curse. It isn’t easy, but with the right focus, it can be done.
“People change when they hurt enough that they have to change, learn enough that they want to change, receive enough that they are able to change.” John Maxwell
I have found that all three components must be present for real and lasting change. To accomplish this triad of healing, I developed a specific protocol of skills coaching, individual counseling, group support, and spouse support that bring about real change. Change begins when it hurts to be confronted with truth and responsibility. But must must happen in a productive way, forcing the user grow so that the pain will end. Change continues when learning causes the user to develop empathetic awareness of self and of others, creating a heartfelt need for change. And change is solidified when the user receives specific, strategic, and effective guidance into the nature of this insidious addiction. Such insight breaks through denial, empowers change, and replaces mental fusions with new beliefs and strategies.
Because of client needs, over the years I have been compelled to learn about the nature of porn abuse, the losses that it produces, the trauma that follows, and the grief that activates as the user realizes the scope of the damage porn has caused his (or at times, her) life. The loss first begins with damage to self-esteem. Shame begins to develop over time, inserting doubt into the user’s mind about their own worth. Later, as the addict’s porn obsession is found out, spouses and partners are wounded and pull back. At this point, shame tends to become toxic. This is where trauma is often realized. Trauma for the spouse when the relationship is rocked to its foundation. Trauma for the user when he faces the pain he has caused to the one he pledged his love. Trauma quickly blocks the relationship, and coping strategies are overwhelmed. Relationship hopes then become ambiguous as the partners try to foresee a positive outcome in the midst of doubt and pain.
Yes, porn recovery became a specialty for me quite by accident. But in hindsight, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Sometimes a calling finds us while we are busy looking elsewhere. At least that is what happened for me.
Be blessed in you coming in and your going out, Dr. Chuck