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Chained: Fighting Porn Addiction Part 2

Updated: 2 days ago





ABOUT THESE STORIES


Most people like stories, and therapy is all about stories. Telling stories about powerful techniques used in TEAM CBT therapy demystify this therapy one story at a time.

Yet, confidentiality is a cornerstone of all counselling. Without confidentiality, clients wouldn’t feel safe going to therapy to divulge the most painful areas of their lives. To safeguard clients while illustrating TEAM CBT techniques, confidentiality is kept by either having the client’s consent or by distorting the facts, making the client unrecognizable . These stories are excellent for homework where the client gets to understand how TEAM CBT therapy works and perhaps how other clients with similar challenges experienced the wonderful and sudden changes that such therapy can bring.



Chained: Porn Addiction Part 2 (C) 2022 Robert James Davies


Okay, Rick, now for the next step. We will write about an incident that you'd like to talk about relating to your habit of watching pornography.


Sure, Bob. Let me see ... I guess I want to talk about my wife finding out about my addiction to porn.


Sure, Rick. Let's use another technique to examine that moment when your wife found out.


Sounds good.


So, Rick, let's use the David Burns Mood Log. You will find it on my website under FORMS. It is Form 1.


Okay, I'll find it on my computer since we are on zoom. Yep! Found it. I am there, Bob.


Now click on Form 1 and print it out, Rick. Or look at it while you use a pad of paper. Remember writing stuff down is part of the therapy. It gets stuff out of our heads and down on paper where we can think about it more.


Done!


Okay, where it says 'Situation', write in the situation.


Rick wrote down: My Wife Found Out About My Watching Porn


So, what happened again, Rick?


Well, Bob, in a nutshell, as I explained last session, my wife just happened to notice an image come up on my phone while I was on it. She asked me about it, and I told her the truth. She was very upset. In the end, I explained my situation, and we had a good talk. I agreed to get counselling to deal with the problem. Here I am.


When was that Rick?


Oh, about a couple of weeks ago. It was on a Friday evening.


Was anyone else around at the time?


No, the kids were out playing in the backyard.


Thank you, Rick. Okay so, let’s look how you remember feeling at the time. So circle or underline any negative feelings that you had at the time. How strong they were under

% before and how low you'd like to lower those emotions so you can manage better.


Rick underlined all the emotions relating to the incident as well as how low he'd like to lower them which was % 0 goal.


Rick wrote in their relative strength and what his goal was to lower them. He chose % 0 for his goal as he wanted all the emotions that he'd chosen to go to zero. In short, because he felt very uncomfortable feeling those negative emotions, he wanted them to be as low as possible.



Rick finished choosing the negative emotions and then Bob, the counsellor, continued ...


“Well, Rick. When you were feeling 100% sad what might you have been thinking or saying to yourself at the time or even what image that you might have been seeing in your head?”


Bob continued asking about what Rick might have been thinking or saying to himself for each of the negative emotions that Rick identified. Both Rick and Bob wrote down the negative thoughts on their respective Mood Logs.



Next, Rick and Bob, the counsellor, each wrote down Rick’s negative thoughts.


Now, Rick, together we will use another technique and finish the mood log as a next step. So, let's do some “positive reframing”. That means that all those negative emotions as well as thoughts say something positive about you.


Bob, you have to be kidding.


No, Rick. Your pain comes from a good place. So, Rick, take a piece of paper or your notepad and write the following at the top:


WHAT MY NEGATIVE THOUGHTS/EMOTIONS SAY IS BEAUTIFUL AND AWESOME ABOUT ME.


All done, Bob. What next.


Let’s look at those negative emotions and thoughts and see the positive side of them. For example, with the fact that your wife discovered your addiction and you have agreed to get help with your addiction what would your sad, depressed, down, unhappy and blue emotions at 100% say is beautiful and awesome about you.


Write down: Depressed. Now Rick what does being depressed say that is beautiful and awesome about you.


Well, I guess I feel a sense of loss at my phoney image. Certainly, any thought of Honest Rick doesn’t hold water. That would mean I grieve the loss of innocence or that good reputation I had with my wife. That would mean that I am motivated to honour my wife, to respect her. In short, I value and hold my wife in esteem, and I feel depressed in failing her in that way.


Rick wrote down…


Depressed: I value respect. I value my wife. I grieve the loss of the trust in our relationship.


Great, Rick, now let’s look at all those anxious, worried, panicky, nervous emotions.


Well, Bob I know that anxiety can keep me vigilant. Anxiety can protect me from danger and it can also motivate me. I feel threatened by the bad habit and want to protect myself, my marriage and my children. So, I guess I can say it means I care, and want to protect which means I am responsible. Also, it shows that I do have high standards, and I am disappointed in not lving up to them.


Rick wrote down. Anxious: I am motivated and care about my family. I care about my wife and children. I am responsible. I have high standards for myself.


How about feeling hopeless, Rick. How is that a beautiful and awesome quality about you?


Well, Bob, I am disappointed in my inability to kick the porn habit. I guess it shows I am honest. I am facing the facts that I have failed. It shows that I have some sort of integrity in that I know I lack wholeness. In short, I guess I am courageous in being able to look at my negative side. It also shows an intelligent side where I question my self and the situation I find myself in.


Then Rick wrote down:


Hopeless: I am honest in facing the truth about myself. I am courageous in doing that because it takes guts to face one’s weaknesses. Also, I am intelligently appraising my success so far which is so far is a failure to succeed as a father, a husband, and as a whole person. I am facing my lack of integrity.


How about feeling guilty, Rick? You are feeling remorseful for your mistake and ashamed about your behaviour, your bad habit.


Well, Bob. I do believe people should be upright and honest which I haven’t been. Feeling guilty is having me examine my behaviour and to make a commitment to do things differently next time. I am to blame. It is my fault. So, in a nutshell, my guilt and my feeling remorseful show I do have a strong moral sense. I have a conscience, a well-formed one. I will hold myself accountable instead of blaming my wife or my work stress for my addiction. I also don’t want to let my kids down. They look up to me and of course, I’d like my wife to be proud of me. And who doesn’t mind having others respect me for showing the best that I can be.


Rick wrote down:


Guilt: I have a moral compass. I am committed to perfecting myself. I am responsible in owning up to my weakness and in showing a better me to the kids, a less secretive me (because of my porn addiction). I am ambitious by wanting to do better for my personal well-being and that of others.


And feeling mad and upset, too, Rick?


Yes, Bob, I am mad at the addiction and mad at my own foolishness. I believed I could keep it a secret. I believed it was all about me. I stupidly didn't see the damage it causes to relationships. and to women in general. I am also angry at an industry that sucks people in such as myself and also for forcing or luring young women into becoming 'objects' and sacrificing their self-worth for a one dimensional, surface only value that makes them objects to be thrown out after their attractiveness fades or their usefulness wanes. It is an outrage to society and I was responsible for a part of that. I am angry.


Rick wrote down:


Anger: I am motivated to change. It helps me take action against my addiction if I stop believing the lies that I am telling myself, or example, that I am not hurting anyone. That is a laugh. I am supporting an industry that violates, demeans, traumatizes women. I am creating an addiction for myself that makes me a weak person, I don't like that! Yes, I am angry!


Great work, Rick. We'll look at your negative thoughts next and how they say or show what is beautiful and awesome about you.


To continue the sessions with Rick, go to:

Chained: Fighting Porn Addiction 3


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