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Christian help for sexual addiction: getting started

How to stop porn addiction (and other sexual addictions)

Before we get started, the obvious is assumed. You must have the determination to stop and be willing to do whatever it takes to succeed and reach your goal. Without the passion to succeed, you will fail and most likely soon. This isn’t a game. This is real life, with real people struggling to change their lives. Denial has no room in recovery. Of course it is also assumed that you have a personal relationship with Christ and that is the relationship that is foremost.

There are specific Biblical paths to recovery, that when followed, will bring resolve. However, it’s ultimately up to the individual to make the decision to change, to stop their destructive behavior, and to go down a healthy path of recovery.

So, what would be the first 3 things I would do to get help for a sexual addiction?

1. Find a meeting

  • Celebrate Recovery :  This is my number one referral for my clients. It is free to attend (they might take an offering, but no one is obligated or expected to give).  Go online and locate meetings in your town. They will probably be held at a local church.  Support and guidance are vital in recovery. It is important to understand that people at these meetings are going through similar scenarios, and are there to get help, not to judge.  If you are a Christian, it is important to surround yourself with others who are of like minds and purpose.
  • Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) :  Go online and locate meetings. They have meetings for online and offline, for both men and women. Check out their website and educate yourself. This may be the only option for you if you live in a small town.

No money
In recovery, money shouldn’t be an issue. If you don’t have money for private counseling, you can still get tremendous free help at the meetings mentioned above. The Bible tells us to pray, one for another, so that you will be healed. Fellowship and community are a tremendous support in Christian recovery.

We all have struggles
Go to a local meeting if possible. If online is the only option, then connect there. Ask for help!  Everyone at these meetings understand and are available to help in whatever way they can. They have all struggled and wrestled with these issues and can certainly relate to what you’re going through.

Plug in by surrounding yourself with supportive people
These meetings can be very effective, however, beware that those running the meetings may not allow the name of Christ to be mentioned (They use – your Higher Power or God, as you have come to know him).

I Guarantee
You will find some of the best life relationship are developed at these meetings. There is something warm and caring about having others that are willing to listen and pray for you that seems to create a special bond that endures.

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2. Find a Christian Counselor who has specific training

Be honest with an addiction counselor
Make sure your counselor has addiction training, preferably sex addiction. Remember, you are dealing with your life and future with any addiction issues.  Now is the time to be real and honest with yourself and your counselor. A Christian counselor will facilitate accountability and help you explore the past, which can assist in putting your healing on a fast track.

Worst fears and darkest secrets
A counselor can be your strength and support that can make a huge difference in the first few months of recovery. You can be assured that a supportive counselor understands what you are experiencing and can guide you in the best direction for your specific situation.  You can feel free to share your worst fears and darkest secrets; without feeling judged.

3. Start Now

Don’t put it off. So many people avoid getting help. Realize the longer you put this off, the better chance you will have to either be embarrassed, exposed to disease, or possibly, destroy your closest relationships.

Photo credit: Jim Liestman

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18 Responses to “Christian help for sexual addiction: getting started
Kevin St John
7:30 pm July 28th, 2011

Psalms 23 is the cure for any addiction.

Kaitlynne
2:42 pm May 11th, 2012

I am manic depressive and my doctor told me being bipolar is what makes me have them hypersexual tendencies. She has me taking medication (Xoloft) twice a day but it doesn’t seem to work. Its like when these manic episodes start it makes me feel them sex urges really bad. When a manic episode starts, I try to distract myself with crafts like knitting and my scrapbooks but sometimes the sexual urges are too strong and I have to release but orgasms only give me temporary relief for like maybe 20 to 30 minutes and then them feelings start all over again sometimes even worse sorry. These episodes can last sometimes like only 20 minutes and then other times they can last like 2 or even 3 days. I have no idea what to do anymore.

5:50 pm May 13th, 2012

Hi Kaitlynne. Are you open to trying psychotherapy? Also, are you interested in reading self-help books? Is your preferred approach to working on hypersexuality Christian-only?

Kaitlynne Jenkins
4:22 pm May 14th, 2012

Hi, I am willing to try anythign at this point. I am so overwhelmed by the urges and feelings. It is frustrating to never have any relief.

1:12 pm May 17th, 2012

Hello Kaitlynne. I’d suggest that you check out this professional association of sex therapists and see if there is a certified sex counselor near you.

http://www.sexhelp.com/sex-addiction-help/sex-addiction-therapists

Does this help?

Stacy
10:22 pm June 6th, 2012

My marriages are suffering with the fact I have been raped, incest relations and friends who want to lay with them. I need help have no idea where to go.

8:36 am June 7th, 2012

Hi Stacy. You can call 1.800.656.HOPE to talk with a volunteer from the Rape, Incest, and Abuse National Network (RAINN). This hotline it totally anonymous and can refer you to next steps on getting help. Please let us know if this helps.

Na me
3:37 am August 20th, 2012

I too have suffered from sex and porn addiction my entire life from the age of 9 on. I found magazines under a bridge when I was 9. Now I’m 53 , married to a woman who I promised I would be with even though she had very little to no sexual desire. Stupid hu? but I love her. She takes time to be with me on a schedule and this helps but I have so many images in my head of all the “nice” things we could have been doing that I am never ever satisfied with anything we do. This makes her feel like crap and makes me want more all the time. I am truly …

Lost

11:39 am August 20th, 2012

Hi Na me. I’d suggest that you find a therapist who specializes in compulsive sexual disorders and couples therapy and schedule an appointment! It sounds like you are ready for change and can be responsive to this type of treatment. Begin by searching for a therapist buy finding directories such as this one:

http://www.aasat.org/Therapist.html

kristin
9:00 am September 12th, 2012

I have been masturbating since I was 13, and just a year ago I got into porn. I go through sperts where I do really well for a long time, then I get the urge again. I’m a Christian and I can’t stand myself when I go through these moments in my life. I have tried really hard to stop, I shared it with a friend, and nothing has helped. What to do??? I hate this so much, I’m so ashamed, I’m angry !!

8:03 pm September 12th, 2012

Hi Kristin. It might be time to share these obsessive thoughts with a guidance counselor who has experience with sexual compulsion. Do you know how to locate a certified therapist in your area?

kristin
12:31 am September 13th, 2012

No I don’t know how to locate someone. But the thing is at what cost?? I have no insurance and I am currently unemployed. What do I look up?

1:39 pm September 16th, 2012

Hello kristin. Many therapists can offer sliding scale or reduced fees for people truly in need. You just need to ask.

You can find a list of counselors who specialize in treating compulsive sexual behavior at iitap[dot]com or sash[dot]net. These therapists work with you to address and change your behaviors that lead to sexually compulsive behavior like excessive masturbation.

kristin
6:15 am September 17th, 2012

Thank u so much for your help!!! I have found a counselor willing to help!!! I will begin my sessions at the end of the week!!

7:38 pm September 17th, 2012

Hi again, kristin. I am extremely pleased and excited for you. You are a testament to the power one person has to change their own life…through action! Please let us know how it goes, and may God bless you in your journey to discover the depth of your self.

Charles S
5:32 pm October 20th, 2013

I am 60 and. online Porn has got way bigger then me. HELP ME PLEASE. Here in Western MASS there are no councilers(Christian). I do not want to do it anymore. You pray and pray,but it comes again and again. I need help and don’t know where to go.

James P
6:02 pm March 12th, 2014

To those of you looking for hope and help: like the blog mentioned, find a Celebrate Recovery meeting or SAA meeting. I have been in recovery for many years. I have not looked at porn or indulged in other harmful behaviors for 6 years. I have used counseling, and still consult a marriage counselor and this is helpful. But the main thing I do is go to SAA meetings. I met people there who struggled with the same things I had done, but they weren’t doing them anymore (that gave me hope). Also, the 12 steps are giving me a spiritual house cleaning like no other. It works if you work it. God bless and keep you all.

Judicious
4:23 am June 5th, 2014

I’ve been all over the place with this ‘problem’. I’ve been into this since age 11. It’s been 9 years since then and I’m still struggling with this. I’m going to college soon, but I’m not sure if I should check into a recovery group. I feel as though this may tarnish any reputation I have.

This problem is killing me on the inside. But it makes me feel better for a moment. I feel so lonely. I don’t know how to cope with emotions, and I don’t know how to have relationships with women. I’m isolated inside the house mostly. I struggle with emotional pain and confusion. So, I self-medicate with P and masturbating.

I know God is disappointed when I look, but I try. I try so hard to stay away. I try. I ask God for help all the time, but I don’t know where else to turn.

I wish I had friends.. or a girlfriend at least. It’s very lonely.

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About Dr. Steve Jackson, DCC

Dr. Jackson received his Doctorate in Christian Counseling from Omega Bible Institute and Seminary in 2009. He developed the Christian recovery treatment programs for Calvary Rehab Center and the Genesis Center for Recovery. He has trained and practiced Christian Counseling in all areas of drug/alcohol/gambling/sex and relationship addictions. He currently has his own web based online program called 12 Day Rehab Systems, designed for those who can work on recovery while maintaining career and family obligations. Dr. Jackson has been clean and sober since 1984. Learn more about Recovery with Dr. Steve.

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Help Available 24/7
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