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Reach Out or Act Out

By: Jeffrey J. Ford, MS, LMFT

Recovery from sexual addiction is a complex process that begins with accepting the invitation to start a journey without knowing who we can reach to along the way.  The first obstacle that seems almost insurmountable is facing the fear of disappointing people, especially our loved ones, when we tell them our story. We are absolutely convinced that if we tell our stories the weight of it will be so heavy that it will push people away. We fear that we will be totally defined by our addiction.  The feelings we experience that disconnect us from others and ultimately keep us in hiding exemplify shame.

Managing shame is key to addiction recovery because it stops us from telling our story and experiencing real relationships. Sexual addiction is defined by replacing real relationships with false ones. Reaching to false relationships when we are in pain quickly becomes the dominant pattern in our lives, locking out the real...

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What do teenagers affected by pornography have to say?

This video produced by Enough is Enough has some startling confessions by teenagers, both boys and girls, who have been affected by their use of pornography. One young man says that because the girls he gets with won’t act like porn stars, it makes him feel less manly, as if he was doing something wrong to not get them to act that way. This is why I am so adamant in spreading the word that pornography is not sex education. It’s sex MIS-education.


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New Year's Resolutions, Like Recovery, Take Commitment!

By Sandi Burningham, LCP, CSAC
LifeSTAR Therapist

It is once again that unique time of year in which we have the opportunity to both review and reflect on the year past as well as to ponder and prepare for the year to come. In the focal point of this transition, many choose to set goals or resolutions for the year to come. In fact, for many of you, recovery may have even started in a fashion similar to this. While some see New Year’s resolutions as a set-up for failure or just some fly-by-night, fanciful thinking, others structure and utilize resolutions effectively to achieve the desires of their hearts. When structured and utilized effectively, resolutions have the potential to result in great and long-lasting rewards. Yet, as with so many other things in life, the level of reward and satisfaction associated with achieving resolutions is directly correlated to the level of commitment and effort invested.

Therefore, it might be helpful at this time to...

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Assessing Risk of Relapse

Assessing Risk of Relapse
By: Jessica Hedgepeth, BS

Relapse. It’s an unpleasant word for most sexual addicts—one that conjures up thoughts of pain, disappointment, and defeat. Wide sweeping in its description, a relapse could constitute a wave or a full blown tsunami in the course of one’s recovery. Anxiety swells concerning this undesired event— can we predict it? Or does it sneak upon us like a thief in the night waiting to take away all we worked for?

Good news. You can forecast your susceptibility of relapse—as Dr. Stanton Peele wisely says, “Relapse is not an unfortunate event that happens to you; it is a series of bad choices that you make. “ By looking at your current patterns of behavior, the power to prevent relapse lies in your hands.

In Dr. Kevin Skinner’s book, “Treating Pornography Addiction” he discusses the common characteristic profile of an individual most prone to relapse. Just as...

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Creating a Safe Place to Talk About Dangerous Things

November 22, 2010

Creating a Safe Place to Talk About Dangerous Things Video

By Jeffrey J. Ford, MS, LMFT
Program Director – YouthSTAR of St. George, UT

Talking about sex and pornography has quickly become a top priority for parents and their children to discuss in recent years, and with research indicating that adolescents today appear to be using pornography much more than any other age group (Arnett, 2006) parents need to know how to talk about pornography and how to recognize signs that their child may be already struggling with pornography. In a study conducted at BYU Jason Carroll (2008) and others found that 9 out of 10 boys and one third of girls use pornography. Research like this can be sobering and overwhelming for parents that are trying to raise their kids today. Talking about pornography and sex is particularly difficult for parents that didn’t have that type of talk with their parents when they were kids. Some parents are unsure or confused about when to...

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What Exactly Does the Word "Recovery" Mean?

Let’s start with a few definitions found in the dictionary. The website Dictionary.com defines recovery the following three ways:

1) The regaining of or possibility of regaining something lost or taken away.

2) Restoration or return to health from sickness.

3) Restoration or return to any former and better state or condition.

When I watch someone going through the recovery process, I’m always interested in understanding whether or not they want to get well. There is an understanding that something isn’t right and they desire to make it right. This may sound basic and over-simplistic. However, I find that answering this question of “do you want to get well” is harder than you think, especially when things get difficult.

To “recover” is to put back in order that which is out of order. For most individuals struggling with addiction, they have turned away from their most important priorities. They need to restore those...

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Pornography Is A Tsunami

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Recovery Is Possible

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Pornography Grips You With Claws

Here is a great article in today’s Deseret News on the impact of pornography.

I love the quote from Naomi Wolf where she says, “[Women] can’t compete, and they know it. For how can a real women — with pores and her own breasts and even sexual needs of her own … — possibly compete with a cybervision of perfection, downloadable and extinguishable at will, who (is) utterly submissive and tailored to the customer’s least specification?”

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Looking For Love?

I was recently reading the first section of the new book “Pornland: How Porn has Highjacked Our Sexuality“and ran across this tagline the author found on a pornography site.  It said, “Don’t Come Here Looking for Love.”

Now, that’s probably the only honest thing one would find on a porn site.

Love is about mutual respect.  It’s about fidelity.  It’s about sacrifice.  It’s about giving (not taking).  They’re right…. there is no love in pornography.  As a matter of fact, pornography is the opposite of love.  It’s about exploitation.  It exploits and uses those who make it.  It exploits and robs those who view it.  And, sadly, it traumatizes the romantic partners of those who view it.

I wish that tagline would say a little more.  Perhaps there could be a warning label like on a cigarette package.  As a matter of fact, Wendy Maltz has...

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