Can you give us any more suggestions? In recovery as we discussed earlier, a phone call may be their only link to reality. In a moment, the addiction can sweep them off their feet and have them swirling in thoughts, pictures, devices and an entire host of feelings.
It is as if they have fallen off a boat and it is moving away leaving them in a storm. Somehow they need to connect to the boat so someone, anyone, can throw them a life preserver. In the case of the sex addiction storm, you can tell them to pull out a phone card, call someone possibly you and be pulled safely to the shore of recovery from the waters of sexual addiction. If they were left to themselves, they may have drowned this time.
Simply put, tell them to keep phone numbers in their wallet, car, home and office so at any place and anytime they can call someone when they feel the storm coming or while it may be in full swing so they don't have to experience a relapse that day. Remember they can not recover by themselves. It is much better to call first than to relapse and call later.
The calling card is one tool that can save them so encourage them to make one as soon as possible. Why can't the addict's recovery be confined to an isolated experience at the altar? Why the need to involve them and others in the recovery? There are some sins that are so crippling that the victim needs the help of others to be delivered.
Lets look at 2 Kings 5: In 2 Kings 5: Naaman did and he was healed. The man did this behavior and he was healed. These are a couple illustrations of how God will involve the person needing healing in the process. Many addicts want a "quick" fix but many will have to be involved in the process of their healing from sexual addiction. A combination of individual and group therapy was most often suggested. Strategies most often recommended for treatment of sexual addiction included cognitive restructuring, defining behavioral boundaries, empathy, positive self-talk, and recognizing and avoiding high-risk situations.
How can we as pastors help recovering addicts maintain their recovery between sessions? In The addict's active sexually addicted life-style, he rarely thinks of the pain he is causing himself or anyone else. In recovery from sex addiction, when the addiction "talks to you" it will try to sell you as to how "A little bit won't hurt," or "Who will know?
This addiction is very crafty! A tool that has helped recovering addicts maintain recovery is having a negative experience locked in, almost memorized that maximizes the pain and minimizes the pleasure to act out. For some sex addicts this picture could possibly be getting picked up by the police. For others, their worst picture is getting kicked out of the house for good, seeing their child's faces when they leave, seeing their spouse cry, hearing a judge say "no visitation privileges," the loss of a job, risking AIDS or even abortions.
These are only a few experiences. You may have one or more painful moments. You may want to write out down these experiences to remind yourself. Have them write down these experiences, picture it in their mind as vividly as they can and feel the feelings. Tell them to practice this picture in a public place they will be as likely to act out 2 to 3 times a day for three days. Rehearsing this image and feeling will make them ready to beat the addiction when it starts talking to you.
Here is an example The days I practiced this painful experience were: Why is it so important for pastors to know how to minister to the sex addict?
Unfortunately the facts suggest that pastors are totally unprepared to deal with one of societies fastest growing social problems. We just finished a clergy survey of 1, members from 6 denominations through the Internet. Those we surveyed had an average of 14 years of experience in ministry. The results showed that: If any of the ministers on this conference are struggling with these issues how can they get help?
You can call 24 hours a day and get help anonymously without charge. Also, there's the National Prayer Center. If you're struggling with an addiction, break the cycle when it starts and call our number for prayer at that moment.
Next, you will receive our toll free appointment line to call in at the time of your set appointment. Your calls are totally confidential. You will be speaking directly to me. You will receive an accepting ear because I have been there myself. I have over nine years of successful recovery from sexual addiction as well as helping thousands of people become successful in their recovery, both by phone and in my office in Fort Worth, TX.
If you are struggling, your recovery can also be successful. What are some common characteristics of sex addicts? Many times we find that it is a learned behavior.
David stopped doing what he was told by God. This is what started his preoccupation with Bathsheba but David stayed in Jerusalem. David's impulsive act did have sexual consequences in his family, especially in Solomon. It is common for sex addicts to have a family history of indiscretion. If you ask, it is not uncommon for Dad to have had affairs or a pornography collection. This will not always be the case, but it does commonly exist. This knowledge can help the addict better understand his behavior although he is solely responsible for his adult choices.
A national survey of recovering sex addicts by Dr. Carnes from Out of the Shadows would also support this trend. His research revealed the following about sex addicts. How does a person's addictive drive take them hostage and hijack their sense of self-control and moral judgement? As a sex addict, their brain has been conditioned neurologically to their acting-out behaviors. Every time the addict ejaculated, he sent a rush of chemicals to his brain called endorphins and enkephalins.
The brain, as an organ of the body, has no morality. It just knows that when it gets a rush of what I call "brain cookies," or chemicals it feels good. The rush could be from heroin, sky diving, sex or cocaine, but whatever has caused the rush, the brain as an organ would not have a moral dilemma on how it got this rush.
After frequent ejaculations brought on by acting-out, the sexual addict begins to develop neurological pathways in the brain while acting out sexually. The brain as an organ, adjusts to getting it's neurological need met by the cycle of going into a fantasy state and 20 to 30 minutes later sending the brain a rush of "brain cookies" through ejaculation.
How can we help them overcome the power of these destructive forces? To recover from sexual addiction, you must retrain your brain to not connect the fantasy world with these so called "brain cookies. Place a rubber band on either wrist and when you start to objectify, fantasize, or have sexually inappropriate thoughts, snap the rubber band on the inside of your wrist. You can memorize and quote appropriate scriptures to strengthen your spirit, but use the rubberband to recondition your brain.
This is a great exercise to truly "take your thoughts captive. One of the most terrible things about this kind of addiction is that it entraps the addict into seeing others through a demonic and demeaning way instead of the way Jesus would see others. How do you deal with this? When a sex addict looks at someone in a sexual way, they are objectifying him or her. They need to begin to see this person as a someone who has feelings.
They may have been badly hurt by someone in the past. They are not cars that they can look at and compare shapes and proportions in order to determine their value. Nor some picture to be scanned into their "video" world so that they can manipulate them into your sexual fantasy world.
As pastors you should encourage the addict to pray for others and ask God to protect them, their spouse and children. This will help the addict put others in a relational context instead of an object context.
This prayer may help them break up the fantasy otherwise known as the "bubble" of addiction before it fully forms around them. It may actually give their mind the freedom to get back to healthier thinking.
They must be brought to understand that the individuals that they objectify are persons God created, and He thinks highly of them. Ask the addict how he would feel as a father if he saw someone looking at his precious child in a lude or sexual manner? Would they not feel sick and then angry? They must understand that God is the father of the individual they are looking at, and no matter how old or attractive that person is, God has feelings also about that person.
The addict should be taught to pray for them so they will be on the right side of God.