Overcoming any addiction, after you've acknowledged that you're addicted, begins with your approach to the addictive desire. Positive Realism succeeds first because of how it teaches you to deal with:
There are three approaches to sexual addiction besides Positive Realism. They are:
-12 Step Programs
Each of these approaches have failed in successfully addressing addictive desire, here's why:
Twelve step programs promise that your desire will go away if you follow their doctrine. In fact, they are promising that sexually addictive desires can be repressed. Millions of people have tried it and the program has failed them. Most people who attend 12-step meetings today are not in control of their sexual addiction. Instead they use the meetings as a social event to talk about their uncontrolled sexual behavior.
Religious counseling and psychotherapy have failed to help people because their approaches are also based on repressing the desire. Religious counseling relies on prayer and moral threats to hopefully repress the desire. Psychotherapy relies on behavior modifications, such as cold showers, diverting your attention, etc. to supposedly repress the desire.
Using any of these approaches, a client can refrain from addictive behavior for a relatively short period of time. But, as you know from your own experience, no matter how good your intentions, no matter how hard you try, sexually addictive desires do not stay repressed. They return. Again, from your own experience you know that when they come back, you return to your addictive behavior because you have no way of coping with the desire.
Positive Realism succeeds because you will not be dependent on repressing desires. You will be able to make a choice to not act on the desire, and feel good about your choice.
To understand the crucial difference between Positive Realism and all other approaches, ask someone who uses any of the other approaches: "How do you try to get rid of your addictive desire?" The person will then tell you his/her methods of attempting to repress desire. You will also notice that they have been trying for years to repress their addiction and they have yet to do it. They are in a continuous state of failure because they are trying to repress sexual urges rather than deal with them.
The reason people spend years in 12-step programs and therapy without overcoming their addiction is that sexual urges get more intense, more frustrating, more compulsive, and more obsessive when you try to repress them.
Most sexually addicted people have tried to overcome their addiction by repression through one of the approaches mentioned above or on their own. When they found that the addictive desires do not stay repressed, they resigned themselves to a life of addiction. Most of those very same people could have overcome their addiction, had they known that repression does not work.
It is not too late for them or you. No matter how many different approaches you've tried, no matter how long you've been addicted, you can overcome your addiction. You start by using this counseling to learn how to accept the desire and make a choice about it rather than repress it.
As discussed in The Addictive Desire, there are three approaches to overcoming addiction besides Positive Realism. They are 1) Twelve Step, 2) Psychotherapy, 3) Religious Counseling.
Psychotherapy and religious counseling will usually refer their clients to a 12 step group as an add-on to their approach, so I will limit this discussion to 12 step programs.
Twelve step programs have an appeal because they offer the addicted person a ready made support network and friends to share the experience with.
Positive Realism does not use group counseling because Positive Realism teaches you to rely on yourself. If you were to ask someone in a 12-Step program, "Who do you call when you feel out of control?" the 12-stepper will tell you a list of people they call. Ask that same question to someone in Positive Realism counseling and they'll reply, "I can depend on myself."
The benefits of self reliance far outweigh the 12 step approach. As a practical matter, if a 12-stepper goes out of control at 4 in the morning, he or she must get on the phone and find someone to talk to. A Positive Realism client doesn't have to call anyone. You learn how to deal with your problem any time, any place, under any circumstances, no support group needed.
Twelve-steppers function under the illusion that only the group can save them from their addiction and they must devote themselves to the group in order to overcome their addiction. Positive Realism clients are not burdened by such illusions. They know they can handle their own problems.
You get the best of both worlds with this approach. You are not thrown into the water and told "Sink or swim." You are helped every step of the way. You go at your own pace. You develop the ability to always handle your addiction on your own. And you overcome your addiction without having to go to endless meetings.
If you want to overcome your addiction and get on with your life, Positive Realism is designed to meet your needs.
Twelve step programs, psychotherapy, and religious counseling depend on getting the client to repress feelings, as discussed in the addictive desire.
The problem is that when the client represses the addictive desire, he or she will also repress healthy desires. This is why the above mentioned approaches will encourage a client to become celibate. You can actually attend 12 step meetings and hear people brag about going without sex for years. Positive Realism considers this to be utter failure and nothing to brag about.
The goal of Positive Realism counseling is to enjoy sex. Another secret of Positive Realism's success is that it enables you to distinguish between your natural sex drive and your addictive drive - and then make a choice about which to act on.
You are able to distinguish between these drives because your desires are not repressed.
Acting on addictive desire leads to frustration, anxiety, guilt, and destroyed relationships. Acting on healthy sexual feelings is profoundly wonderful. By being able to experience both feelings and choose which to act on, you actually increase your sexual enjoyment.
It is difficult for some people addicted to sex to believe that by overcoming their sex addiction they can actually improve their sex life. Their fear is not surprising considering that celibacy and repression of desire are actively encouraged in all other approaches. But with Positive Realism's approach you don't have to repress desire; you don't have to resort to celibacy. You enjoy a happier sex life because you don't encounter the guilt and shame of acting on addictive desires. You can identify your healthy sexual desires, act on them and experience the wonderful pleasures of healthy, meaningful sex.
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