First Things First

Resources for Dealing with Porn Addiction

Perhaps you believe that you or someone you love is addicted to pornography. While the temptation may be great to keep it quiet, there are resources available to help with recovery.

In her book, An Affair of the Mind, Laurie Hall says that, from her experience and research, there is no easy answer. As the spouse of a porn addict, she learned she had to disengage from trying to fix him and, instead, take care of herself.

“You have to build your own personal foundations under you – boundaries, standards, tolerations and requirements,” says Hall. “It was not an option to tolerate this in my home. I learned that one of the first steps toward recovery, whether you are the person addicted or the spouse is to seek help from a trained counselor.”

Hall learned that some counselors empower those dealing wih the difficulty of having a spouse who is a sex addict, while others simply don’t understand the nature of sexual addiction.

“Working with a counselor who doesn’t get it can leave you feeling shredded,” Hall says. “I have hundreds of letters that bear out this point.”

When looking for a counselor, Hall suggests asking these questions:

After the session, ask yourself:

If you suspect a problem, but aren’t sure, there is a sex addiction screening test developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes, an expert on sexual addiction and recovery. You can take the quiz online at faithfulandtrue.com under the self-assessment tab.

If you know you are addicted to porn, Dr. Mark Laaser, author of The Pornography Trap and Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction, suggests you begin by admitting the problem. Talk with an accountability partner and seek help. Put blocks on your computer and put the computer in a public place. Be straightforward about what would tempt you. Porn is in the mind of the beholder; there are certain things that are universally considered porn and other things like catalogs and magazines that could be considered pornographic in the mind of an addict.

“With help from a trained counselor, we are seeing evidence that people can successfully recalibrate their brain,” says Laaser. “By demonstrating sexually pure behavior, you can rewire your brain to be satisfied with sexual purity in your marriage. Though it is not an easy process, there are people who have been successful.”

Additional resources can be found on these websites:

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