By Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate
When I first started working as a counselor fifteen years ago, there were many counselors who did some fantastic counseling for general issues. Issues ranging from self-esteem, parenting, couples communication, addiction, to anxiety or depression. In most cases, these counselors were generally effective. But the constant science and research in psychology has caused a rise in “specialty” counselors. These are counselors who have studied a specific problem and also the most effective interventions to address it.
The United States hosts the largest number of pornographic sites in the world. The onslaught of free images on the web, and it’s easy access by both adults and children, has generated an epidemic problem. It has changed social and sexual norms within our society. Many people are not using pornography as a leisure activity, but rather as a way of coping with life – similar to alcoholism or drug dependency. Some become hopelessly hooked on the use of pornography.
Finding a counselor who specializes in pornography addiction in Mesa AZ will be important. Just because a counselor is licensed or within your insurance network, does not mean that he or she understands how best to help. Likewise, just because a counselor belongs to your religion, does not mean they will understand the complexity of the problem.
The licensing body of iitap provides certification (CSAT – Certified Sexual Addiction Therapist) for counselors who seek expertise in the area of sexual addiction. This would be a good place to start your search. You may also be able to find within their list of providers, someone who in fact belongs to your religion. Other organizations such as LifeSTAR provide a nationally recognized program for systemic intervention, and includes providers throughout the United States and Canda. There may be others out there, but finding a counselor who affiliates with these kinds of organizations will help assure you that he or she has both the education and experience to help you. Typically, this also means that your counselor associates regularly with others in this specialty for consultation and review of new research.
I suggest to all my clients that they call and speak with any potential therapist. Most will allow for this five-minute call. The following are good questions to give you some assurance of their ability:
1. How many years have you been licensed?
2. Do you have any affiliation with a professional sexual addiction organization?
3. How many clients have you seen with pornography or sexual addictions?
4. What has been your success in working with those who struggle?
5. Do you have personal moral beliefs about this particular problem?
Choosing a counselor is an important decision because you want to find someone who can help you. You will be working with this person over the course of time, so you need to feel safe with whoever you chosen. Call them. Ask some questions. Then set up your first appointment.
Don’t hesitate to call us if you would like a free 15-minute consultation with a therapist who specializes in pornography addiction in Mesa Arizona: (480) 668-8301.