By Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate
My simple definition of an “injunction” would be a ban, embargo, prohibition or restriction. When an addict feels the urge to start obsessing about sexual thoughts, using injunctions can be helpful. The trick is to interrupt the preoccupation before it escalates. Once sexual thoughts and feelings escalate, and the brain releases biochemicals into the body, it becomes increasingly difficult to stop the addiction cycle. Learn to stop it earlier and temptations won’t intensify so often.
Injunctions could be mental images that you place within your mind. For example, imagine a big red stop sign or roadblock. Visualize the picture as clearly as possible. Other images might include changing the channel in your mind, as though it was a television. Perhaps you could imagine a barbed-wire fence surrounding any sexual cues that arise during your day. Another idea would be to imagine a “Do Not Enter” sign or police roadblock that bars your way toward certain sexual temptations.
Injunctions could also be physical blocks you place in your way to make it more difficult to cross your bottom lines. For example, you might remove your Internet cable every night and place it in your briefcase after work. Perhaps you make a small sign that you place on the screen of your computer that says: “Out to Lunch.” You could use a kitchen timer to limit the amount of time in the shower.
Although simplistic, injunctions can be powerful small reminders that make a lasting impact on your behavior. Small items will add up. Use injunctions to encourage new and healthy recovery behaviors.