One of the visions I see when I work with any type of addiction, particularly sex or porn addiction is a large mountain, many times I use Mount Everest for this guided analogy of climbing Mount everest in stages. I set up the stage to visualize standing on the summit and then from that starting point we start to create a road map for their "climb". In following that formula I would like to offer the idea of looking at porn addiction and/or sex addiction as climbing Mount Everest.
Mount Everest summit stands at approximately 29,035 feet with a base camp and 4 addition camps along the way to the top. Why is this important? Well, like climbing a mountain, porn addiction and/or sex addiction is not a one-way trip to the top. We follow a cautious acclimatization schedule in getting to the top. In other words, I recommend pacing yourself and understanding what we are dealing with as we work to our goal. As one acclimates to their new surroundings they have the strength to move forward. The following is a rough guide that I use at Healing Souls to end your porn addiction or sex addiction.
Understanding Your Personal Porn Habits - Base Camp (17,500ft)
You’ve made it to the place in your life that you feel ready to climb the mountain. It is at this time we learn more about you. We will prepare, create a game plan and most importantly understand the terrain we are about to embark on. This will be done in a safe environment that will foster growth, strength and groundwork to continue to move forward.
It is here I tell many people the summit is not even visible; however, we can visualize the end result. Through a combination of new tools, language and time we are able to move forward.
Testing Our Strength - Camp 1 (19,685ft)
When you get to Camp 1 it is often thought you can just keep moving on to the next logical camp. This is when people start to talk about the value of acclimatizing. Many times this is when clients say they relapse and continue to talk about having anywhere from 1 day to 6 days “porn free”. I step in and remind them of the acclimatizing process.
Here I share the need to explore the feelings and emotions coming up in their body. Camp 2 roughly sits at another 1,200 feet. In the porn addiction world, I would call that the 14 day marker. Mind you this is different for everyone and yet I consistently see the same practice of trying to go too far too fast. Here we test our strength.
Digging Deeper Into Our Core - Camp 2 (21,000ft)
At this point we are learning that you go up and down and at some points sit and mediate on the patience of this endeavor. In other words, a lot of information both from the external world such as “triggers” start to become all too familiar. It is also when people start to dig deep into their core. We start to explore and remind ourselves of the real motives and intentions.
On Everest, there are headaches and stress. Managing your porn addiction or sex addiction is not too different. I am your guide. You are not doing this trip solo. My services are given in a multi-faceted manner to keep you on track.
Rely On Your Training - Camp 3 (23,625ft)
There is no specific way to relate this metaphor to each person; however, based of experience and working daily with clients. I would say Camp 3 pressure equates to porn addiction similar in that one starts to rely on their innate training. By now a person has built the reserve and has been exposed to the true environment of overcoming their porn addiction or sex addiction.
This could be where the infamous 21 days to create a new habit really takes hold. I truly believe in this, its not just about willpower but working with willpower and creating new rituals.
Walking into the Death Zone - Camp 4 (26,085ft)
I don’t mean to be the grim reaper of porn addiction or sex addiction but the last stretch can be the hardest time for you. I find it synchronistic that Mount Everest has a “death zone” and it is traditionally at this point client’s get to 30 days and think they made it. They feel empowered and they desire to get to that peak.
Remember to Acclimatize. Go slow, rely on your tools and remember this is a journey where you have a multitude of guides.
It’s A Goal - Summit (29,035ft)
Conquering, living with, managing porn addiction and sex addiction is no different then conquering a goal similar to climbing a mountain. Remember it’s all about preparation, building new dreams, laying groundwork and most importantly the motive behind this new life.
Ultimately, you want to survive and thrive, my practice is designed that everyone has the potential to thrive. It has also been created as a support system and place to keep tuned up for the next adventure to summit.
Dr. Ryan Westrum is the visionary of healingsoulsllc.com and makelove-notporn.com . He specializes in helping individuals and couples with porn addiction and sex addiction. Please contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 952-261-5269.