Questions to Ask A New Counselor

by Jeff Fisher on December 29, 2014

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The  Purifying Grace Blog had an interesting post on questions to ask a counselor. When you’re looking for someone to help you with your sexual addiction, here are some lists of questions to consider.

 
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL POST

 

CB047262QUESTIONS FROM DEBRA LAASER (From her book Shattered Vows)

  1. Have you worked with other couples dealing with sexual purity issues? Sexual addiction? If so, how many?
  2. Do you typically advise them to stay together? (added via email: How do you work with couples?)
  3. Do you recommend individual counseling as well as couples counseling?
  4. Are you familiar with any of these authors who write about sexual purity: Dr. Patrick Carnes, Dr. Mark Laaser, Dr. Dave Carder, Dr. Harry Schaumburg?
  5. Do you address family-of-origin issues?
  6. Do you endorse 12-step programs or support groups of any kind?

 

QUESTIONS FROM BETHSADA WORKSHOPS
(see Purifying Grace Blog)


counseling3THOUGHTS FROM JEFF
Start talking to someone immediately – If you’re life has blow apart, you need to find someone to start talking to immediately! Most counselors can help with crisis management, and that’s more of what you are. Don’t wait months trying to find the “right” counselor.

Some experience vs specialized – Many counselors have experience talking about sexual issues (because it’s so prevalent). But fewer have specialized training on sexual addiction and sexual recovery. This is what you want to try to investigate.

Go Christian if you can – Since so much of addiction recovery involves a heart change, you need to work with someone who believes that your heart can be changed and can help you connect with God to do it. This is the spiritual healing aspect that must happen in recovery.

 

WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Q: What questions would you add?

Q: Have you been to a counselor to talk about sexual recovery and had a bad experience? What was that like?

Leave a blog comment or email us privately at porntopurity@gmail.com

How Trust is Built and Rebuilt

by Jeff Fisher on December 28, 2014

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How is trust built?  How does a couple rebuild trust?

Dave Carder in pp.159-161 of his book Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage gives us a quick look at trust.

Trust is built and nurtured around 4 basic concepts:

  1. Structure – agreed-upon rules; “I know exactly what is going to happen.”
  2. Safety – freedom from pain; “I can relax in the other person’s presence.”
  3. Nonsexual touch – “I won’t be taken advantage of.”
  4. Speech tone and content – “I can listen without fear of being demeaned.”

This is the trust-building process in an infant’s development.  It is the process for any serious dating relationship.

I can see this in my marital relationship.  My wife craves these things.  I crave these things.

I can also see that my marital relationship was rough when one or more of these concepts was broken.

What Can I Do When Trust is Injured?

No surprises – This pulls a relationship back to structure and safety.

Informing prior to the fact – Good communication.  Forward-thinking.  Making calls when plans change.

Keep your word – Go where you say you will go.  Be where you say you will be.  Make deadlines.  Be responsible.  Be on time.

Don’t keep secrets – Don’t hide.  Stop being defensive.  Voice tone needs to be honest and upbeat, and content needs to be an open book.

1.0Jeff’s book review of Close Calls

2.0How to Know if You’re High Risk For an Affair

3.03 Components of Every Affair (and Every Good Marriage)

4.0The 4 Phases of an Affair (or Close Call)

5.04 Classes of Affairs

6.0How Trust is Built and Rebuilt

jeff@porntopurity.com

@porntopurity on Twitter

4 Classes of Affairs

by Jeff Fisher on December 27, 2014

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Not all affairs are the same.

Dave Carder in pp.96-107 of his book Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage shares about the four different classes of affairs:

CLASS 1:  One-Night Stand

  • Unplanned, immediate
  • Intense, lustful, passionate
  • Little or no long-term emotion
  • There is usually immediate remorse
  • Recovery in a marriage doesn’t take as long as other classes of affairs

 

CLASS 2:  Entangled Affair

  • Addictive relationship
  • Develops gradually
  • Intense emotionally
  • Sexual activity develops much later in the relationship
  • Emotional deficit creates vulnerability
  • Recovery takes a long time

 

CLASS 3:  SEXUAL ADDICTION

  • Multiple partners, impulsive
  • Roots go back to childhood or early adolescence with inappropriate sexual exposure
  • Sex only experience, never satisfying, increasingly distorted sexual activity
  • Sex becomes a way to medicate pain
  • Sobriety first for recovery, then individual help, then later marital help
  • Recovery usually requires professional therapy

 

CLASS 4:  ADD-ON AFFAIR

  • Satisfies a specific void.  Emotional deficit in individual’s life or in marriage.
  • “Spouse shares an emotionally satisfying experience with an acquaintance because the other spouse has no interest in participating in this activity.” (104)
  • Develops gradually
  • Recovery takes a long time with marital therapy

(Adapted from pp. 96-107)

1.0Jeff’s book review of Close Calls

2.0How to Know if You’re High Risk For an Affair

3.03 Components of Every Affair (and Every Good Marriage)

4.0The 4 Phases of an Affair (or Close Call)

5.04 Classes of Affairs

6.0How Trust is Built and Rebuilt

jeff@porntopurity.com

@porntopurity on Twitter

4 Phases of an Affair (or Close Call)

by Jeff Fisher on December 26, 2014

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How do most affairs develop?  They usually go through four distinct phases.

Dave Carder in pp.93-96 of his book Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage shares the four phases of an affair.

PHASE 1:  A Growing Mutual Attraction
Attractions are natural, when a relationship moves into the “beyond a friend” zone, it has entered the first phase of an affair.  Denial can be present.  It makes the attraction worse because a person takes their feelings underground.  There is a conscious and unconscious reaching out toward the other person

PHASE 2:  Entanglement
This is the infactuation phase.  Friends share their feelings of attraction to with one another.  Contact increases.  Friends may fantasize about one another.  Meetings become supercharged with emotion.

PHASE 3:  Destabilization of the Relationship
The friends have on-again / off-again periods of withdrawal.  They will try to refocus on the demands of life but keep coming back to each other.  More and more, they rely on each other for comfort, security, and partnership.  The long-term relationship becomes intense.

PHASE 4:  Termination and Resolution
“Without commitment, sexual passion creates an artificial sense of closeness.  It is the sexual tension in a dating relationship that provides the energy for the couple to work through the differences in their backgrounds, their goals and values…these same couples, after marriage, don’t continue creating the passion that an affair provides.  They had it once and they let it die.”

1.0Jeff’s book review of Close Calls

2.0How to Know if You’re High Risk For an Affair

3.03 Components of Every Affair (and Every Good Marriage)

4.0The 4 Phases of an Affair (or Close Call)

5.04 Classes of Affairs

6.0How Trust is Built and Rebuilt

jeff@porntopurity.com

@porntopurity on Twitter

Every affair contains three key components.  But, every good marriage also has these three components.

Dave Carder in his book Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage shares a wonderful marital insight.  The things we are chasing after in an affair can be the same things that can breathe life into our marriages.  (pp.82-85 of his book)

The author’s breakdown is fantastic…

Childhood Magic – He describes this as “freedom from responsibility”.  It’s the carefree attitude.  We can do whatever we want.  Relaxation and fun.  In unhealthy marriages we probably have a deficit of this.  An affair partner takes us back to the childhood magic.  Very dangerous!

Adolescent Sexuality – “chaotic, unplanned, spontaneous and oblivious to the circumstances.  It is lustful, passionate, and totally caught up in the moment.” (83)  We felt this on our Honeymoon and in the early years of marriage, but it often fades away as careers progress, kids come, and our marriages hit bumps.  This is the spice that belongs only in marriage.  The affair partner fans this flame and it’s easy for an illicit relationship to get out of control.

Adult Mobility – Traveling together.  Spending time together.  Going out of your way to meet the other person.  This happened when we have good romance and dating.  We remember it in our own dating and courtship years.  As married individuals drift apart in their relationship it’s easy for an affair partner to fill the void.

When our marriage has no childhood magic, no adolescent sexuality, and no adult mobility it creates gaps of vulnerability.

Then the author flips it…

He encourages married couples to fan the flame of their relationship by reintroducing these three elements back into their marriage.  This is an affair-proofing technique.  It’s a way we can pour into our marriage and build it back up again.

Blazing insight from a great book!

1.0Jeff’s book review of Close Calls

2.0How to Know if You’re High Risk For an Affair

3.03 Components of Every Affair (and Every Good Marriage)

4.0The 4 Phases of an Affair (or Close Call)

5.04 Classes of Affairs

6.0How Trust is Built and Rebuilt

jeff@porntopurity.com

@porntopurity on Twitter

How to Know You’re High Risk For an Affair

December 24, 2014

Some of us are at higher risk of having affairs.  Our family history, personal history, stressful incidents in life, and our risky behaviors cause us to be more vulnerable. Dave Carder in chapters 2, 3 & 4 of his book Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage share several areas […]

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Book Review – Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know About Protecting Your Marriage

December 23, 2014

Would you like to know how you can protect your marriage and yourself from an affair? It would be smart to talk with people who have committed adultery and learn from their mistakes.  It would also be wise to talk with a counselor whose ministry is focused on affair prevention and affair recovery. Dave Carder […]

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A Purity Survival Guide to the Holidays – Triggers

November 26, 2014

Sexual strugglers can have a rough time during the holidays. Most of us look forward to the holidays.  We anticipate time off from work and school.  We look forward to an extended vacation where we travel, visit family, reflect on God’s goodness, shop and watch sporting events.  We dedicate a lot of energy to planning […]

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Big Question: When Will My Life Get Back to Normal?

November 11, 2014

CLICK HERE TO HEAR THE PODCAST OF THIS BLOG Click here to download or listen to the show If you are recovering from a sexual addiction, there is probably no question more popular than this one. A guy’s sexual behaviors get found out, his life blows apart, others are hurt around him, he begins his […]

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6 Types of Erosion the Sexual Addict Can’t See

November 10, 2014

Our sexual sin affects many things we cannot see, yet. Erosion brings a hidden, slow devestation.  Erosion to soil can cause a house to sink into the ground.  Erosion of the nuts and bolts in your car cause parts to go bad.  Beach erosion causes houses and lighthouses to have to be moved. When we […]

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Do You Really Believe You Can Be Free?

November 9, 2014

Hear Jeff Fisher podcast this blog on his Top Tips For Sexual Purity Podcast:  CLICK HERE I want you to be honest about what you’re about to read. These Scriptures speak to your sexual sin, and any other areas of your life that God wants to touch.  Read them slowly. Galatians 5:1 “It is for […]

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