By Floyd Godfrey, LPC, CSAT candidate
Clients often arrive for their appointments with me feeling discouraged by the number of “slips” which have occurred during the week. They describe using the tools and pushing themselves to stop the behavior, but to no avail. It will always be important to develop grit and push yourself, but you might be causing slips without even recognizing it.
If you are in counseling for sexual addiction and spend the majority of your time talking about slips, you are creating an imagery of the behavior you are trying to stop. The gallery of images you develop in your mind generates an energy that encourages the very behaviors you are trying to stop. It’s almost as though you will attract the slips. The images will usually precede slips.
You will definitely need to discuss any slips and find ways to correct your behavior. However, you also need to begin filling your mind with images that portray your goals. In other words, can you see yourself turning away from temptation? Can you imagine your positive response in moments of stress? Can you create a gallery of images that reflect strength in the face of crisis? Can you see yourself effectively utilizing tools for sobriety?
If you have trouble using your imagination to create these images… then you will have a more difficult time. Sit down and write mini-stories in your journal about the moments you were strong and turned away from your additive behaviors. If you haven’t had any of these moments, then make them up! Use your imagination to make the stories vivid and crystal clear inside your head. Review these stories regularly. Ponder them. Think about them throughout the day. When you do this, you will be generating an energy that begins to overtake the slips. It will require persistence over time. You will have to conscientiously apply yourself. Don’t forget every day to memorize the images and stories.
Don’t get hung up on slips or problems. Keep the images going no matter how dark your days become. The power of your imagination will have a strong impact on your recovery – either for good or bad. The more quickly you can generate habitual images of success… the more quickly and smoothly your sobriety will be achieved.
If you need help with these sensitive issues, please call us for a free 15-minute private consultation. We have specialty programs for pornography and sexual addiction in Mesa Arizona. (480) 668-8301.