Never before in my ministry have I felt so ineffective in helping the innumerable persons who ask for help in overcoming a pornography addiction. It’s so frustrating! Help me help them…
Combating Pornography- Replacing Darkness with Light
Help and Support for Leaders
Preventing a problem with pornography is easier than trying to recover from an addiction. Help those you lead understand the importance of avoiding the use of pornography.
Does someone you know suffer from an addiction to pornography? Know the signs of pornography addiction and how you can help.
Overcoming an addiction to pornography will require self-discipline and hard work, but you can help users recover.
Friends, family, and religious leaders can play an important role in a person’s recovery process. Learn what resources are available to help.
Information for Especially For Church Leaders- http://salifeline.org/help-i-need-info/clergy-ecclesiastical-leaders/
What Can I Do?
Many resources exist to help leaders as they assist others who are impacted by pornography. As leaders educate themselves and are prepared with resources, they will better be able to assist others. There is a free download of the manual, Information About Pornography and Sexual Addiction: A Resource for LDS Parents and Leaders, on this website, which has more in depth information, than will be contained here. Additionally, leaders frequently have opportunities to provide education and training for those in their sphere of influence. By providing general training and presentations on the topic of pornography, much can be done to help those currently struggling with this addiction and also to prevent future problems.
- Select and train an individual(s) to serve as a specialist(s), coordinating training to educate others about pornography
- Make presentations in ward councils, leadership meetings, Relief Society, Priesthood, Young Women’s and Young Men’s groups
- Regularly meet with those struggling with pornography and their spouses to promote consistent accountability and provide encouragement
- Make available brochures, books and other educational resources relating to pornography
- Compile a list of effective 12-Step meetings, therapists and other local resources and help establish additional 12-Step support group meetings, where needed
- Read He Restoreth My Soul by Don Hilton and What’s the Big Deal About Pornography by Jill Manning, so that you will be prepared with solid information and answers, in order to serve those in your stewardship.
- Educate and provide training to those within your sphere of influence
As a leader, your ability to help others is largely dependent on your awareness and understanding of pornography addiction and the recovery process. Start by educating yourself. Some basic concepts that are important to understand are:
- Pornography is addictive. Exposure to pornography can motivate a person to actively and repeatedly seek out porn and this consumption is addictive. There are studies which show actual brain function changes in someone who is addicted – and the changes are the same whether for addiction to alcohol, drugs, or pornography. Once these physical changes occur, willpower and spiritual motivation alone are not generally enough to achieve lasting recovery. See Addictive Nature of Pornography.
- “Abstinence” does not necessarily equate to “recovery.” Individuals may experience periods of time where they are able to refrain from using pornography and then relapse later, frequently at a more intense level. See What Is Recovery.
- Recovery from pornography addiction for most addicts almost always requires participation in a 12-step program which helps the individual work the 12-steps of recovery, find a sponsor, establish definite boundaries of behavior and gain support and encouragement from those who have successfully recovered. See Find a 12-Step Program.
- Pornography affects not just the addict, but also those closely associated with those viewing pornography. This is especially true for the spouse of an addict. It is often as important that the spouse of an addict receive help and work their own recovery program as it is for the addict themselves. See Recovery for Spouses.
What are the Stages of Pornography Addiction?
- Early exposure. Initial exposure to pictures or provocative material. The exposure is frequently accidental or may result from general curiosity. The problem begins when the person deliberately begins viewing pornography.
- Addiction. The person keeps returning to pornography. They recognize their activity as inappropriate, but regardless of what they resolve to do, it becomes a regular part of their life. The user begins to depend on pornography as their main source of ‘feeling good.’ The time spent viewing material continues to increase despite the consequences. Periods of abstinence may be followed by periods of binging.
- Escalation. The person starts to look for more graphic material. The images they now view might have disgusted them initially. They spend even more time looking at pornography and thinking about it becomes consuming. They may want their spouse to “act out” things that they have seen in pornography in their sexual relationship
- Desensitization. Eventually, the person becomes numbed to the effects of the pornography. They are in denial about their addiction and begin to see pornography and the sexual acts depicted as “normal” and acceptable. Even the most graphic, degrading pornography doesn’t excite them anymore. They become desperate to feel the same thrill again but can’t find it.
- Acting out. At this point, addicts make a dangerous jump and start acting out sexually with other people. Rather than limiting their exposure to images and experiences on the internet, they begin to act out the sexual fantasies they have seen. Their acting out may take the form of exhibitionism, voyeurism, promiscuity, strip clubs, sex with minors, soliciting prostitutes, or rape.
http://www.safefamilies.org/pastorsporn.php Pastors and Pornography- Special Consideration
Why Do Pastors Get Stuck?
- Shame “I can’t bring myself to admit it”
- Pedestal Principle “It’ll ruin others’ faith”
- Isolation/Lack of Authentic Friendships “No one will understand”
- Fear of Confidentiality Breach “It’s too risky to get help”
- Professional/Financial Consequences “But what about my ministry/family?”
- Denial “I can fix it myself by ____”
Why Pastors Must Stop/Not Start.
- Spiritual fruit of corruption (Gal. 6:8)
- Judged more harshly (James 3:1)
- Risk of sin escalating (Bathsheba principle)
- Compromised performance (Heb. 12:1)
- Can’t give what I don’t have (Luke 6:42
- Desecration of God’s property (Ezek. 5:11)
- Risk to church’s reputation (Matt. 5:16)
Priestly Healing: We offer assistance in developing marital and families seminars and resources for helping couples come to a deeper understanding of how marital conflicts can be alleviated. We also offer conferences to clergy to assist in their ministry to addressing the serious emotional and personality conflicts in marriages and children. We have given many conferences to clergy in dioceses on the origins of stress and emotional or personality conflicts in priestly ministry. We have given presentations to formation teams of seminaries and to seminarians on growth in affective maturity on self-giving.
Resources : This page addresses a number of important issues in priestly life including, accusations against priests, ministry to those with pornography conflicts, loneliness, conflicts in priestly relationships, ministry to those with sexual conflicts, the crisis in the Church and affective maturity in seminarians.
- Loneliness in Priestly Ministry
- Accusations Against Priests
- Ministry for Pornography Conflicts
- Crisis in the Church
- Same Sex Attractions
- Growth in Affective Maturity in Seminarians
- Ongoing Educational Conferences
- Gender Identity Disorder, Cross-Dressing And Transsexual Conflicts
- The benefits of Courage participation for those with same sex attractions
- Dangers of Cohabitation to Adults and Children
- Habits for a Happy Marriage
- Premarital Self-Knowledge and Healing
- Priestly Ministry in the Narcissistic Culture
- Webinar on same sex attractions in youth and their right to informed consent
- Same Sex Adoption is not a Game
The King’s Men’s
Under Christ the King’s universal call to serve, we as men, pledge to unite and build up other men in the mold of leader, protector, and provider through education, formation and action. http://thekingsmen.org/
www.IntegrityRestored.com: On this site, one can learn about the addictiveness of porn, and how porn affects men, women, children and teens. It also discusses the recovery process and how Catholic spirituality is a crucial part of the process.
Below is a Powerpoint Presentation by Fr. Michael Champagne which may also be of help.
If you or someone you know is addicted to pornography, reach out now to get started on the path to recovery.