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How to Escape Porn Addiction: Tips from a Christian Counselor

Posted June 30th, 2015 in Featured, Individual Counseling, Pornography Addiction, Sexual Addiction

Escaping Porn Addiction is All About the Brain

CHRISC-Sunny-field_pippalouAn addiction is formed when a brain is trained to see a certain activity as more pleasurable than any other activity, and begins to pursue it above anything else. To escape the control of an addiction you must give your brain time to distance itself from the power of pleasure, as Craig Goss and Steven Luff explain in their book “Pure Eyes.”

Training the Brain

The brain is a “plastic” organ. When scientists say this, what they mean is that the brain is moldable. Like plastic when it is heated, you can shape the brain through practice. That is how the brain develops an addiction in the first place. For those who use Internet porn and masturbation as a coping mechanism, the dependency goes beyond simple pleasure. It became how you dealt with sadness or anger or stress, which means you now have to go through the difficult work of finding healthy ways that actually help you solve your problems.
There is no instant cure. That is why the Alcoholic’s Anonymous slogan is, “One day at a time.” Getting away from an addiction takes time.

You must endure the daily grind of resisting temptation. It takes time to rewire your brain. And it’s uncomfortable. Your brain doesn’t enjoy self-denial. Porn was fun, and now you can’t have it anymore. That stinks.

But anything worth having takes time and effort. That is why not everyone climbs mountains or writes books or leads social movements. That is why Jesus said this to his disciples, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:62 NKJV) You must put your whole self into the endeavor of escaping addiction, never once stopping to think about giving in.

However, just as the Lord demands diligence from his people, he also promises to bless their efforts– “Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established.” (Prov. 16:3 NKJV)

Methods for Overcoming Addiction

CHRISC-DSCN2934Overcoming an addiction often necessitates changing certain aspects of your lifestyle. You may need to drive home a different way, in order to avoid an adult video store. Or you may need to move your computer into a more public room of the house, or get rid of it altogether temporarily. If you used porn and masturbation to cope with unpleasant feelings, you’ll need to do the hard work of learning how to actually deal with those feeling. One option may be seeking out a professional Christian counselor who can guide you through the process.

But, if you can keep it up long enough, sobriety gets less miserable. The authors use an interview for their chapter explaining porn addiction. During the conversation, Alexandra Katehakis, a certified sex addiction therapist, says she begins to notice a visible change in her patients after 30 days, and the change is even more significant after a few months.

Christian Counseling for Porn Addiction

It is hard to keep on the straight and narrow just as it is hard to keep up any good habit. It helps in the beginning that you’re gung-ho about a new endeavor, but eventually life starts creeping back into the picture. It becomes harder and harder not to be distracted, or fall back into old habits of coping through porn. It helps to have accountability, and the help of someone more experienced. A Christian counselor will use biblical principles and therapeutic techniques to help you understand your unique situation as an addict, and how to overcome it.

 

Photos“Sunshine,” by pippalou from Morguefile, http://mrg.bz/J9hC2n; “Sunny field,” by pippalou from Morguefile, http://mrg.bz/J9hC2n

Author Info

Chris Chandler
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