Addiction across the board is extremely difficult and the spectrum of addiction has a great deal of similarities. When breaching the subject of Pornography it is important to share that this subject alone is daunting and overwhelming. I am here to simply share some entry-level awareness exercises around Pornography Addiction that will help bring awareness to the relationship one has not only with sexuality also Pornography.
When a client comes in to my office to explore their relationship with Pornography Addiction. The first thing I say is: “What is your experience with mountains?” With a direct follow up question no matter what the response to my question is. “What is the toughest thing you have every done, finished and accomplished?” The purpose of these questions is to start to share with the client the immense challenge it will be to relinquish this relationship to something so over consuming. If you imagine the idea of climbing Mount Everest, it is important to vision not only goals but to also engage in the understanding of acclimating to the pressure of climbing the mountain. It is also a great way to understand that individuals need to study, learn and build awareness around what they are trying to tackle. Just like Mount Everest, conquering Pornography is possible and it does happen.
The following are exercises of awareness as you begin to learn about your relationship to Pornography.
You Must Ask Yourself: What Is My Motive?
You must do the work in turn you will reap the benefits, many clients will feel like they are able to concur the world after overcoming just 14 days without Pornography. When you have a significant reason why, one may find a fluid answer in how they can solve their problem. I am refraining from using the classic addiction model that suggests we have a series of cyclical benchmarks like pre-contemplation to maintenance or relapse. I understand that diagram and idea has a great deal of truth. I admit to believing in it, yet I find it important to get to the dirt of the matter and find what motives you for change. For example, are you looking at porn at all hours of the night? Are you looking at porn instead of working? Could you have a consequence to this behavior? Simply ask yourself what is my motive for change?
Examine and Explore Your Behavior: Inventory
I encourage clients to take an inventory of many simple things that sound simple yet when we do these exercises we can feel new emotions. First, take an inventory of the when, where, how you are engaged with Pornography and start to catalog these behaviors. It is at this point not only are you starting to do the work you are also increasing your accountability towards your healing. Ultimately, your inventory of when, where, and how is an exploration of motive.
What is Obvious Issue: Understanding What We Already Know
In times of struggles many come in and sit with me and feel the pressure and start sharing their story. As this is happening and they continue to share, it becomes apparent for both of us that some of the issues are obvious and others are not. My intention is to focus on the possibility of change. With that positive frame of reference we can then move closure to challenging the tougher obstacles along the way. Look at the things you already know and lets examine them a little more.
This is one part of a series of ideas and coping skills that address the relationship with Pornography. If you know someone, are someone or are thinking any of this information will help someone, please pass it on.
Dr. Ryan Westrum is a Sex Therapist that specializes in working with the relationship of Pornography and Pornography Addiction. Please contact Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-261-5269.