December 5, 2012
Questions to ask when qualifying a therapist.
- Question. What do you believe are the effects of the use of pornography?
Answer. Pornography use is destructive to the individual and all relationships of the user.
The advent of the internet has changed the world as it applies to pornography distribution and its related effects.
- Question. Do you believe that pornography use can be classified as an addiction?
Answer. Yes. Current research demonstrates that the measurable changes in the brain are very similar in "chemical addictions" (drugs, alcohol) and 'natural addictions' (pornography, gambling, and food).
- Question. Do you believe that recovery is possible?
Answer. Yes. It takes time and must be maintained.
- Question. If so, in your estimation, what elements are required for recovery?
Answer. SA Lifeline Foundation believes all of the following are essential:
- Come Out of Hiding -Given the nature of addiction, it will be impossible to actually quit the behavior without the assistance of others. In secrecy, you may think you can overcome the addiction by willpower alone and may go for extended periods of abstinence. At some point, however when the stress is right, isolation returns, and old patterns are rekindled and acting out in the addiction is inevitable. The addiction may lie dormant for months in some cases depending on the resistance, but it will return if the person is not in full recovery. He Restoreth My Soul Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD
- Safe Environment-Recovery is a lifestyle change. Activities, relationships or environments that expose a person seeking recovery to "triggering" circumstances greatly increase the chances for "slips" and relapse. Every effort must be made to "stay safe" by avoiding entertainment with sexual content as well as all known sexually triggering environments. Appropriate measures must be taken to insure safe use of the internet. SA Lifeline Foundation Steven Croshaw
- Education -"The great aim of education is not knowledge but action." Herbert Spencer
"We give them a lot of reading to do in the sex addiction area ...filled with successful recovery biographies, ... We want them to be "world experts" on the nature of sex addiction, its genesis, its course, and helpful treatment procedures." Dr Victor Cline
- Counseling - "Sex and porn addictions require therapists with special training in these areas for patients to have a good chance of recovery. Anyone now seeking professional help will need to check very carefully the background experience of any therapists that they might chose to treat them. What you are looking for is a "sex addiction therapist" from any of the mental health healing disciplines who has a good track record in treating this problem and personal values that are reasonably congruent with the patient's values." Dr Victor Cline
- Involve ecclesiastical leader(s) "By this shall ye know if a man repenteth of his sins; behold, he will confess them and forsake them." Doctrine and Covenants 58:43
"Confession is a prerequisite to forsaking and helps others know of their sincere repentance." He Restoreth My Soul Donald L. Hilton Jr., MD
- Take refuge in God "We admitted we were powerless over lust, and our lives had become unmanageable." (Step1) "Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him" (Step 3) White Book Sexaholics Anonymous "Step Three calls for affirmative action for it is only by action that we can cut away the self-will which has always blocked the entry of God ... into our lives." - Twelve and Twelve, pp. 34-35
- 12 Step -"Rarely Have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path." "No one seems able to stay sober and progress in recovery without participating in the fellowship of recovery" White Book, Sexaholics Anynomous
"In addition to having a competent qualified sex addiction therapist the patient will also need to attend regularly-(90% of the time) for two years or longer-weekly meetings of Sexaholics Anonymous (or other similar 12-Step support group)". Dr Victor Cline
8. "When we receive the truth we will be saved by it. We will not be saved merely because someone taught it to us, but because we received and acted upon it." Joseph F. Smith
9. There is an attractive healing atmosphere in confidential, anonymous 12-step meetings when someone is transparent and self-revealing at depth. Vulnerable and like a child, we take the supreme risk of exposing the truth about ourselves, dark as it may be. We speak of our weakness because that's where we're hurting, and THIS becomes the point of our identification with each other, the point of true union. Once this single ray of truth and light shines in a meeting, it finds ready reception and response in the others present. Honesty is catching; we're learning to walk in the light." White Book, Sexaholics Anonymous
10. Breaking the chains of sexual addiction requires complete honesty, giving ones heart to the effort and a lot of hard work.
11. Ultimately breaking the chains of addiction comes through the power God (Higher Power). 12 Step reinforces that reality.
12. A therapist who recognizes God (Higher Power) as the source of power in helping the addicted achieve true recovery is most in line with the position of SA Lifeline Foundation.
o Question. What does recovery look like?
Answer. Sobriety...defined by SA International is no sex with self or anyone else except for spouse of opposite sex in marital relationship.
Answer. Recovery...Is a change of heart with a desire to continuously seek "progressive victory over lust" for one's entire life. The person seeking recovery must have a fundamental desire to change the behavior. Hard work is a requirement and those who are not committed to recovery will likely not be willing to do the hard things required.
o Question. How do you measure your success in treating pornography use/ sexual addiction?
Answer. A clients desire to continue in efforts of recovery. Honesty, transparency, continued involvement in 12 step programs which help to maintain sobriety and recovery. Demonstrating evidence of humility and becoming more involved with developing healthy relationships...moving out of isolation physically and emotionally
o Question. Do you believe a spiritual component is necessary for recovery?
Answer. Recovery involves both a physical and spiritual change. 12 step fellowships compliment this reality...CONNECTING WITH a Higher Power.
o Question. Do you feel that recovery is necessary for a spouse?
Answer. Yes. The spouse, and close family members are all affected by the use of pornography. Recovery for the spouse is independent and separate from the users' recovery.
o Question.. What kind of training and experience do you have for treating this addiction?
Answer. Only consider a therapist who has direct experience with treating sexual addiction.
o Question. Rate your skill in treating sexual addiction?
Answer. A therapist who is successful counseling those with sexual addiction does not have to be a certified sexual addiction counselor. However, he or she needs to have an clear understanding of and extensive experience in treating sexual addiction. Choose a therapist who has experience and confidence in their ability to assist those seeking recovery from sexual addiction.
This information is written and is the opinion of SA Lifeline Foundation.