Utah Coalition Against Pornography (UCAP) Annual Conference Presentation

I’m excited to share the presentation I gave this year at the UCAP conference! The title is “Eight Things Couples Need in Recovery and Why Your Goals Are Causing You to Fail” and it’s mainly for couples in which one or both partners are struggling with an addiction to sexual behaviors or pornography. Couples who start recovery work can really struggle to get traction, especially in the beginning. Most couples tend to set goals, usually revolving around the addict’s sobriety. In the presentation, I share the latest research on motivation, goal setting, and ways in which the way you manage goals may actually undermine your recovery efforts. Even though the presentation is focused on couples, much of what is said is applicable to individuals struggling with compulsive pornography use as well. You’ll have to watch the whole presentation to really get into the things I believe are crucial for couples to have going for them in addiction recovery, but here are the eight items: engage in recovery dailies facilitate a curiosity-focused approach to healing highlight relationship patterns see couple conflict as diagnostic seek personal serenity replace fairness with acceptance create recovery narratives give yourself permission to breathe I hope you enjoy it. If you find it helpful, please share the video with others!...

Online classes and webinars now available!

I’m incredibly excited to announce two new developments in my offerings for those seeking recovery from pornography and sexual addiction. First, Saturday, January 16 at 10:00 AM (Mountain Standard Time) I will be hosting my first in a series of webinars on recovery topics. This webinar will be FREE, but limited to the first 100 attendees who register. If you are interested in learning more about this and future webinars, please go to the home page of this website and sign up for the email newsletter. YOU CAN SIGN UP TO ATTEND THE WEBINAR BY CLICKING HERE If you are unable to attend the webinar for any reason, I will also have it available to view on my website for a small fee. Second, starting on Saturday, February 6 at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM (Mountain Standard Time), I will be hosting two weekly online classes on addiction recovery. One group will be for recovering addicts and the other will be for partners of addicts. Each set of classes will run for 12 weeks and will cost $35 per class (each month paid in advance). Please sign up for the newsletter for updates. Again, I’m very excited to offer these options to help those who don’t live close enough to see me in person or for those who want additional help and support. Whether you’re looking for a recovery booster or need more personalized, in-depth help, I have solutions for you. The best part is that you can participate from your own home or from a internet-enabled mobile device anywhere in the...

FAQ – Defining Safety in Recovery

What is safety in recovery? Safety refers to being protected from or unlikely to experience danger, harm, or injury. In recovery, safety typically refers to emotional or relational safety, although it can also be physical safety. You have a right to be safe from: Emotional manipulation Lies or deceit Control or unhealthy use of power Threats of any kind (harm, relapse, abandonment) Safety is more than this. Safety means working toward dealing with and confronting fears Safety means freedom to be emotionally vulnerable Safety means freedom to work toward trust CAUTION: be careful not to overuse the word safety—meaning, be careful not to apply it to things that aren’t really about safety. Overuse of a word makes it lose meaning and power. Examples of overuse: I don’t feel safe because you didn’t do the dishes when I asked I don’t feel safe because you aren’t helping with bed time for the kids I don’t feel safe when you don’t agree with me It’s possible that the behaviors listed above are signs that the addict is in resentment and addict mode—which may create a sense of lack of safety. But the behaviors themselves don’t generally make a person feel unsafe. Learn to distinguish between the frustrating behavior (or lack of behavior) and the underlying reason you would not feel safe. Safety is not freedom to always get whatever you want or need, immediately Safety is not having people agree with everything you believe Safety is not an absence of any fears or distress in your life Safety is as much a process as it is an outcome—it’s creating mutual understanding...

FAQ – How Do I Share My Triggers With My Spouse or Partner?

Many recovering sex addicts I work with have concerns about sharing their triggers with a spouse or partner. If you don’t know, a trigger is something you see, hear, remember, or otherwise experience that has the power to send you into the preoccupation stage of the addiction cycle. Triggers can put you in danger of relapse if you don’t address them well. People give a lot of advice about whether or not you should share your triggers with a spouse or partner, and how much information to divulge. Let me share some of what I have seen work most effectively for the couples I work with. First principle Let the affected partner decide how much they want to know, in terms of level of detail. Some may want to know exactly when the trigger happened, where, and the nature of the trigger. That is a right they have to help them feel safe about the seriousness of your recovery. Addicts tend to avoid sharing information about themselves with others. When you are willing to share, you look like a person who is taking recovery seriously. Your partner may not want to know anything about your triggers. It may be too much to handle at this point in their recovery. Respect that. But most spouses and partners of pornography or sex addicts tend to want at least some level of detail. The reason this is valuable is that it demonstrates what we call a “recovery narrative.” Sharing triggers in a healthy way helps tell the story of your recovery to your partner. This narrative is a key part of rebuilding...