Conventional, licensed therapy will tell you that in order to overcome sexual addiction, you have to remember how horrible your childhood was and figure out what happened to you then that causes you to act sexually addictive now. However, you are not a child, you are an adult; sex addiction is an adult problem
The 12-step program says that you have to go to meetings, maybe for the rest of your life, and turn yourself over to a Higher Power. Twelve-steppers do not believe that they are capable of stopping their addictive behavior on their own. They believe the Higher Power must step in and do it for them.
The fact of the matter is overcoming sex addiction requires two components. You are capable of applying them yourself and you don't need to relive your childhood to apply them.
The first and the most important is motivation. We'll define motivation as "why you want to stop."
The second is method. Method is "how you stop."
The twelve step program develops motivation through group pressure. You are required to stand up in front of the group, confess your addictive past and then promise the group that you're going to stop.
But effective motivation comes from within. If it's properly developed, you don't need a group or a counselor to pressure you into stopping. Everything in The Most Personal Addiction, The Advisories and The Home Page Topics is based on motivation without pressure.
One of the signs of a lousy counselor is s/he tries to pressure you into stopping. Here are a few examples:
"You really should stop."
"How do you think your wife feels?"
"Aren't you disgusted with yourself?"
"When are you going to do something good for yourself?"
"Your family deserves better."
"Let's set up a stop date and I want you to promise me that you will keep it."
"If you really wanted to stop, you would."
"Promise me that you won't do it for a week."
Here's what's wrong with these statements:
They humiliate the client by subtly calling him a disgusting person who doesn't love his wife or family.
They put the counselor into a dominant position by requiring the client to make a promise to stop.
A good counselor never asks the client for a promise to stop. He helps the client develop motivation that is so powerful the client can't wait to get the opportunity to stop. A good counselor doesn't need to or want to pressure a client into stopping.
Motivational problems don't arise just between counselor and client. They can also occur without any outside influence. For instance, the client might feel:
"I've got to stop. The addiction is destroying me."
"I want to be like everyone else."
"I hate myself."
"No one would ever want to be with me if they knew about my problem."
"I'm a freak."
These motivations are ineffective because they are negative.
Overcoming sexual addiction requires positive motivation. For instance:
"I hate myself" is negative. "I want to respect myself" is positive.
The negative statement "I'm weak" is not nearly as effective as "I want to become stronger."
"No one would ever want me if they knew about my problem," should be replaced by, "I have a lot to offer, and if I overcome my problem, I'll have even more to offer."
"I want to be like everyone else" is a big mistake because every person is unique. A better way of putting this is, "I want to fulfill my potential."
"This addiction is destroying me" doesn't provide a reward. "I want to improve my life" offers incentive.
Effective motivation can be summed up in two sentences:
1- Outside pressure is counter-productive.
2- The best motivation is based on a positive outlook and comes from within.
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