By Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate
Triggers can be anything that literally triggers sexual thought, preoccupation and behavior. The obvious triggers would be things you can see like websites or magazines. However, there are frequently deeper triggers that you cannot always detect that are equally compelling. This might include things like: certain activities, places, emotions, smells, memories, special occasions, holidays or seasons.
It’s empowering to recognize your own triggers. When you can identify them it’s much easier to plan ahead and prepare for temptations when they arise. You can take control and develop a plan before triggers take a deeper hold.
Most addicts cannot identify all their triggers in the beginning. Be patient with yourself and vigilant to identify them. Remember, you will be watching for anything that sets into motion the cycle of sexual preoccupation or behavior. I would suggest you keep a journal and start writing down the triggers. As you go along you can add to this list and increase your self-awareness over time.
It can be a bit embarrassing to come out of hiding and write down the triggers. Perhaps it makes you feel vulnerable? Push yourself to open up and get specific. It’s healthy to honestly confront the triggers head-on. You will de-mystify them and help to diminish their influence.
Once you’ve identified your triggers, sit down with a therapist or sponsor and create a plan. This plan should directly correlate with the specific triggers. This plan should include specific recovery tools you can use to either avoid or pull away from triggers. For example, if “Loneliness” is a trigger, you might plan a list of phone numbers to dial so you can talk to some friends when triggered. Remember that when the tool directly connects to the trigger it will be more effective. In other words, if I feel lonely as a trigger then my plan should include something that moves me away from loneliness.
If you need counseling services for sexual addiction in Mesa Arizona, then please give us a call. We have specialty programs that address the complex issue of sexual addiction: (480) 668-8301.