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  • Robert Davies

Fighting Porn Addiction: Part 4 - Using the Interpersonal Downward Arrow Technique




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.


Fighting Porn Addiction (Part 4)

Rick, we are going to use the INTERPERSONAL DOWNWARD ARROW TECHNIQUE

What is that?

Well, we will take a negative thought and examine it more closely. You'll see once we get going. Just choose a negtive thought that you'd like to examine more closely.

How about "My wife will never trust me again."

Excellent! And add a downward facing arrow under it.

Rick wrote it down.

My Wife Will Never Trust Me Again.


Great, Rick. Now I will ask you the followng question:

If this were true why would it be so upsetting to me? What would it mean about other people? What would it say about other people? If this were true why would it be so upsetting to me? What would it mean about others.


Then you write that down. Plus, how true it seems in percentage.

Rick wrote down: It would mean that once a person breaks the trust of a loved one, then that person will never trust you again.

Great, Rick, so far we have ...


My Wife Will Never Trust Me Again. 100% True

It would mean that once a person breaks the trust of a loved one, then that person will never trust you again. 100% True



Now I will ask you the followng question:

If this were true why would it be so upsetting to me? What would it mean about other people? What would it say about other people? If this were true why would it be so upsetting to me? What would it mean about others. Then you write that down.

Rick wrote: This would mean that I would never be able to earn back that trust from my wife or other loved ones. 100% True

So, Rick, this is what we have so far...


My Wife Will Never Trust Me Again. 100% True

It would mean that once a person breaks the trust of a loved one, then that person will never trust you again. 100% True

This would mean that I would never be able to earn back that trust from my wife or other loved ones. 100% True

Great, Rick. Now I will ask you the same question:

If this were true why would it be so upsetting to me? What would it mean about other people? What would it say about other people? If this were true why would it be so upsetting to me? What would it mean about others. Then you write that down.

Rick wrote: It would mean that no one would really trust anyone again. It would mean that others would not be able to forgive me or move on or repair the damage done or vice versa. People would NOT be able to expect anyone to forgive them for harm done. 60% True


So, Rick, this is what we have so far.


My Wife Will Never Trust Me Again. 100% True

It would mean that once a person breaks the trust of a loved one, then that person will never trust you again. 100% True

This would mean that I would never be able to earn back that trust from my wife or other loved ones. 100% True

It would mean that no one would really trust anyone again. It would mean that others would not be able to forgive me or move on or repair the damage done or vice versa. People would NOT be able to expect anyone to forgive them for harm done. 60% True

Great, Rick. Now I will ask you the followng question again:

We repeat the same question, Rick.


If this were true why would it be so upsetting to me? What would it mean about other people? What would it say about other people? If this were true why would it be so upsetting to me? What would it mean about others. Then you write that down.

Basically, it would mean that once trust is broken, it cannot be repaired. It would mean that people would be unable to heal their wounds.

That's the end, Bob.


Thank you, Rick. Here is what we have altogether...


My Wife Will Never Trust Me Again. 100% True

It would mean that once a person breaks the trust of a loved one, then that person will never trust you again. 100% True

This would mean that I would never be able to earn back that trust from my wife or other loved ones. 100% True

It would mean that no one would really trust anyone again. It would mean that others would not be able to forgive me or move on or repair the damage done or vice versa. People would NOT be able to expect anyone to forgive them for harm done. 60% Tru

It would mean that once trust is broken, it cannot be repaired. It would mean that people would be unable to heal their wounds.

Next Steps in the Interpersonal Downward Arrow

Okay, let's look at the next steps.


1. Let's put down the adjectives that would describe you role in this type of relationship.

2. Then put down the adjectives that would describe the role of the other person.

3. What would your emotions be if you were in such a relationship as described.

4. What are the rules that might govern a relationship as described above.

Let's describe your role, Rick. Write down the adjectives that describe you in this relationship, Rick.


Well, I'd be a victim. I'd be powerless. I'd be secluded. I'd be shunned.


Thanks, Rick.. Now write down the adjectives that would describe your wife.


Well, she'd be unforgiven. She'd be powerful. She'd be in control. She'd be very mean, nasty and revengeful.


Good, work, Rick. Now tell me how it would feel to be in a relationship like this?


Well, I'd be in a terrible way. I would have married a orgre! I'd feel helpless, hopeless. I'd feel as if I had no human rights. I'd feel terrible.


Okay, now what are the rules that govern this relationship that you are describing.


Well, Bob, in terms of life being a not-so-pleasant baseball game ...


RULE ONE would be one strike and you're out!

RULE TWO would mean 'game over!'

RULE THREE would be that you'd never be able to play again.

RULE FOUR is that the person who does this is the baseball umpire from hell.

RULE FIVE is that I'd have no recourse to go to. I'd be unable to correct the situation.


Now, Rick, look at what you have written down. Check for cognitive distortions. How true is it really? Is this true of your wife and your family. Is your wife the umpire from hell? What experience do you have with 'forgiveness' over the years you have been married.?What beautiful memories do you have together? What have you built over the years? Are these really the rules that you see happening in your home?


No, Bob. I guess I am catastrophizing.


My Wife Will Never Trust Me Again is not true at all and neither would those other thoughts.


Neither is: It would mean that once a person breaks the trust of a loved one, then that person will never trust you again.

Nor would: This would mean that I would never be able to earn back that trust from my wife or other loved ones.

And neither would: It would mean that no one would really trust anyone again. It would mean that others would not be able to forgive me or move on or repair the damage done or vice versa.

Nor would: People would NOT be able to expect anyone to forgive them for harm done.

Finally, it wouldn't be true that: It would mean that once trust is broken, it cannot be repaired. It would mean that people would be unable to heal their wounds.


So, what kind of person is your wife actually like?


Well, Bob, I am committed to change. I can change. I have a lovely wife and family. They are all worth the effort. My wife is cheering for me! She is supporting me. I can turn away from the selffishness of ME, Myself and I towards my wife who is my true love, and my children. I can get help for my trauma that might be driving my addiction. I can do this. I can begin now.


Batter up!


The End.

















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