Porn Rewires The Brain
Often I am asked, “What’s the big deal with viewing porn? Everyone does it.” I answer this question by communicating how viewing pornography rewires the brain.
To begin, we must understand how our brains to learn quickly through repetition. Watch a infant begin to walk and you will see how his/her brain learns through repeated attempts, failure, learning, and eventually success. (more…)
Rigid/Disengaged Family System
When I work with men that struggle with sexual addiction, one of the first things we will do is look at his family-of-origin. Often, I find a family system characterized as rigid and disengaged.
A leading researcher in the field of sexual addiction, Dr. Patrick Carnes, found that 77% of men and women who report as struggling with sexual addiction were raised in a rigid family and 87% report coming from a disengaged or disconnected family. (more…)
Sex Addiction & Attachment
I believe that sex addiction counselors need to (re)think about addiction differently than we have in the past. Human beings have been created to possess an inborn need to bond and connect with others. When we are feeling safe, happy and healthy, we will bond with the people around us.
When we don’t feel safe, loved, seen, or soothed; we will turn to something or someone that will give us relief from the pain of loneliness. Relief could be as simple as endlessly checking our smart phones or it might be pornography, video games, social media, gambling, or drugs. We will bond with something because that is our human nature. (more…)
Defining sexual addiction
Sexual addiction, also referred to as sexual compulsion and sexual dependency can be defined as any sexual activity that feels “out of control”. The sex addict feels compelled to seek out and engage in sexual behavior, in spite of the problems it may cause in their personal, social and work lives. It may encompass any single or multiple type of sexual behavior. In the assessment and defining sexual addiction, its important to start by discussing the sexual behaviors that are out of control. (more…)
Sexual Addiction Spiritual Emptiness
A man struggles with pornography addiction because his soul is empty and is what I call sexual addiction spiritual emptiness. Being alone scares him. Feeling empty is worse. Watching porn is a way of numbing and escaping that feeling of loneliness. It isn’t the loneliness that he fears but rather the pain of being empty. The man has a eternal hole in his sole that only God can fill and that is why porn never works to fill the emptiness. (more…)
Sexual Addiction Program: Getting Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things you can do in your sexual addiction program. The average adult needs approximately 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Children and some adults need slightly more. If you’re getting enough sleep, it can negatively affect your ability to stay sober and you probably are feeling sluggish, tired most of the day and your thinking is slower and with less clarity. It’s no wonder that a lack of sleep is often the cause of many auto accidents and reduced ability to make quick decisions. Lack of sleep can lead to feeling depressed and anxious. Both moods are often warning signs for a sex addict. (more…)
Step One: Admitting Powerlessness & Unmanageability
Step One of the twelve step program states, “We admitted that we were powerless over lust, that our lives had become unmanageable.” Many of the men that schedule their first counseling appointment with me have not yet fully embraced the first step of recovery or surrender. (more…)
Sexual Addiction Recovery Step 4
In sexual addiction recovery, step 4 requires making “a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” Sexual issues, for the person struggling with sexual addiction, is not the main issue that needs to be faced and resolved in recovery but rather a symptom of a deeper issue. (more…)
Powerful Habits Can Be Changed
Every day, every human being, performs routine behaviors that our brains have wired as Powerful Habits. Habits are rituals and behaviors that we accomplish automatically. These are activities that we do without giving much effort or thought such as brushing our teeth, using a spoon or fork to eat, getting dressed in the morning, and driving the same route to work every day. Habits free up the brain’s resources to carry out more complex tasks such as problems solving or focusing on what to cook for (more…)