The third step I want to suggest is professional counseling. If you have missed reading my other two articles in this five part series, you may read part 1 here and part 2 here.
Sometimes the struggle for purity needs professional help, and there are plenty of good Christian counselors out there who are willing and waiting to give it.
Sometimes people—men especially—can think that admitting they need counseling is something to be ashamed about. It is not. What would be shameful is realizing at the end of your life how much you and your loved ones suffered because you were too proud to seek healing.
Often counseling is needed to get to the root cause of pornography use. Peter Kleponis, a psychotherapist who specializes in counseling those with a pornography addiction, says “often issues like shame, loneliness, anger, childhood abuse and abandonment, and pure selfishness are the root causes of pornography use.” “These emotional conflicts,” he says, “need to be resolved for recovery to be lasting. Without this, any sobriety will be a “white knuckle” sobriety, and there will always be a struggle with strong temptations to use pornography. Counseling is also needed to ensure that all other points of the recovery plan are in place and working properly. For married men, marital counseling is needed to heal the deep wounds to their marriage caused by porn use. Wives may also need counseling to help them recover from the trauma caused by their husband’s pornography use.”
How do you know if you may need counseling? Here are five questions to ask yourself. Answering yes to any of them could mean that you would benefit from professional counseling:
1. Do you have a preoccupation with pornography?
2. Have you had repeated unsuccessful attempts to control or stop viewing pornography?
3. Do you use pornography as a reward for hard work, and/or a way to escape problems or negative emotions?
4. Are you risking the loss of a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of the use of pornography?
5. Have you been thinking that you might need counseling because of your pornography use?
For more information, visit Integrity Restored, run by clinical psychotherapist Peter Kleponis. Dr. Kleponis is a Catholic who specializes in helping those struggling to be free of pornography, and can conduct counseling sessions via Skype.
In my next article we will look at why it is important to educate oneself on the negative effects of pornography. If more aware we are of those effects, the more motivated we will be to live porn free.
Read Step 4 Now!