Elizabeth Smart Speaks About Pornography’s Role In Her Abduction (Video)


sunset woman

A week ago, our friends at Fight the New Drug released a newsworthy article and video (below) about Elizabeth Smart. In the video, Elizabeth shared her story, recalling how pornography made her “living hell worse”. I share this with our readers for 2 reasons. First, to show another real-life example of the negative impact of pornography. Second, to share the hope that shines out of a dark story. Elizabeth shared, “I have gone on to become an advocate for abuse prevention and an advocate against pornography.” Elizabeth is a brave example on how a person can turn their pain into purpose.

May we all do the same.

*Please note, the following video has some disturbing content

-By Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

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Female Sexual Addiction Groups (Online Tonight & Local Therapy Groups)


woman computer screen

Rob Weiss, LCSW is hosting an online discussion group on the topic of “Women & Sexual Addiction” tonight at 6pm (PST) at InTheRooms.com, an online recovery group site. Sharing his view on this topic he writes:

“Sometimes people think sex addiction is a males-only issue. However, that is not the case. Women are just as susceptible as men to the escapist neurochemical rush created by compulsive sexual fantasies and behaviors. Unfortunately, female sex addicts are much less likely to self-identify as being sexually addicted and to seek treatment for the disorder.

Most likely, this reticence is caused by socio-cultural attitudes toward gender and sexuality. Essentially, men with out of control sex lives are often viewed by their peers as studs, ladies men, and players. Meanwhile, women engaging in the same behaviors may be called whores, sluts, homewreckers, and all sorts of other not very nice names. Thus, male sex addicts tend to be less ashamed about and more willing to discuss their sexual compulsivity. Sometimes they’re actually quite proud of their sexual adventuring, despite the repeated and continually escalating negative consequences they’ve experienced. Conversely, female sex addicts tend to downplay their sexual behaviors. If pressed, they’ll typically talk about how they’re having relationship problems.”

These online groups are not therapy groups but can be helpful resources for those seeking information and support. Also, I cannot vouch for the content or language of any individual meeting.

For females seeking help in this area, we at LifeSTAR of the Central Valley provide specialized treatment to both female and male sexual addicts of all ages (in separate programs). We have an adult treatment program for female sexual addicts and are soon starting a YouthSTAR program for sexually addicted teenage girls. Both groups are led by Karen Huckaby, a therapist who is passionate about helping women struggling in these areas. Please contact us for more information. There is hope.

-By Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

 

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“Instructions for a Bad Day” -A Call to Hope and Perseverance


solitude storm man

Need inspiration and hope today? Take 5.5 minutes to watch this video. Be encouraged. Then share this with someone else who needs it.

-By Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

 

 

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Out of Our Pain Comes Our Purpose


looking-up hope face
Over a decade ago I checked into a treatment program hoping to heal from a serious sexual addiction. A transformed life was Plan A. Plan B was a secret plot to escape to Las Vegas and drown myself in addictive self-destruction. My contingency plan never materialized because Plan A became my life’s mission. Ironically, my recovery path led me back to Las Vegas last weekend. I was not there to indulge an addiction but to train therapists to treat those who do. This is one of many mind-blowing miracles I’ve savored in my recovery. Out of my past pain has come my present purpose. This is the hope of healing.

When we are deep in addiction and trauma, we are blind to future hope. We cannot imagine living in the light when we feel lost in the night. It takes a bold imagination to take steps forward in recovery when we can’t predict where that path will take us.

I cannot tell you where your recovery path will take you but I can promise you one thing: Out of your pain will come your purpose. Healing is about far more than just managing triggers, but about stepping into a meaningful life. When we are no longer handcuffed by our impulses, we are free to love and live fully. This is my experience. I believe it can be yours as well.

Are you willing to do the deep and difficult work of recovery today, holding tightly to the belief that you will benefit tomorrow?  

Are you willing to postpone present pleasure and persevere through present pain for the promise of future satisfaction? 

If you answer “yes” then I welcome you to a courageous journey of faith. Here we begin to believe in the unseen. We imagine a different future while persistently pursuing it. When our purposeful future find us, we will truly see that we’ve sacrificed nothing and gained everything. We wrestled for our recovery and it was worth it. We were healed for a purpose.

-By Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

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A Lesson from the Olympics: Don’t Give Up


rio olympics

As the world prepares for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, we anticipate many memorable moments. We look back on past records broken and heroic stories, wondering what we will soon witness.

One historic story that brings me to tears is that of Derek Redmond in the 1992 Olympics. I won’t spoil it for you. Watch the video.

When you’re done, I urge you to think about your own life. What life challenge are you facing right now where you need a reminder to keep walking forward? What are you trying to do by yourself that can only be accomplished with the support of others?

Sounds like the recovery journey, doesn’t it?

Regardless of our personal struggles and setbacks, may we all find the support we need to keep moving forward toward our personal finish line. Together, we can make it….if we don’t give up.

-By Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

 

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Love, Sex, Porn, & Addiction Discussion Group (Online & Free)


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I recently became of aware of some online resources for sexual addicts. First, the website called InTheRooms.com provides many free online 12-Step meetings such as Sexaholics Anonymous, Sex Addicts Anonymous, Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics/Dysfunctional Families, etc. There are online meetings available daily and at many times.

Another online opportunity for growth and learning is a new group on that same website called the “Love, Sex, Porn, & Addiction Discussion Group” led by leading sexual addiction expert Robert Weiss LCSW, CSAT-S. This group is held on Fridays at 6pm PST. Tonight I checked out the show for myself and found it to be helpful for both sexual addicts and partners.

I encourage those seeking additional support throughout the week to check out these resources. Please note that many people struggling with sexual addiction or partner betrayal trauma require treatment with a therapist who specializes in these areas (such as myself or others in the LifeSTAR network). These online groups are not therapy groups but can still be very helpful resources for those who cannot afford treatment or need additional support. Also, I cannot vouch for the content or language of any individual meeting.

-By Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

 

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What’s Your Recovery Anthem?


Hand music fight anthem

What’s your recovery anthem? You know, “your” song that inspires you to rise higher and fight harder?

A recovery anthem is highly personal. The song that speaks to you may not speak to me. Some songs stir us more deeply than others, based on our beliefs and backgrounds. Oftentimes, our anthem finds us when we are most desperate for reassurance and strength.

For me, a song worthy to be hailed as a “recovery anthem” must be one that courses through my veins, stirs up emotion, calls me to action, increases my passion, and raises my intention to both battle and heal. I have created playlists of such songs in the past.

Yesterday, I found my newest recovery anthem. How did I know this was MY song? One hint was that it repeatedly brought me to tears. It also gave me a wider perspective and increased the intensity of my commitment.

I would like to share my anthem with you. Maybe it will profoundly speak to you. Maybe not. Regardless, my hope is that it will inspire you to find your own recovery anthem.

My Recovery Anthem

My new recovery anthem is Switchfoot’s recent song “If the House Burns Down Tonight.” The lyrics resonate deeply with me, as I think about the prospect of fighting for love and letting everything else burn away. In it, Jon Foreman writes:

“Ashes from the flames
The truth is what remains
The truth is what you save
From the fire
And you fight for what you love
Don’t matter if it hurts
You find out what it’s worth
And you let the rest burn”

To me, this means passionately pursuing  my relationship with my Higher Power. This means deepening my loyal love for my bride. This means daily communicating my affection to my kids. This means prioritizing the love of my family and friends. This means holding onto love while letting all of the distractions, addictions, and meaningless attempts to impress anyone or prove anything burn away [TWEET THIS]. This means loving like that and letting others love me in the same way.

In real recovery we find the commitment and courage to fiercely hold onto those things we value the most, abandoning everything that competes for life’s most precious virtue -love.

I invite you to invest a few minutes in listening to the above song. Imagine the love you want to pursue and what you’re willing to give up to get it.

Find Your Anthem

Then, start looking for your personal recovery anthem. Our recovery anthem sparks strength in us when we feel depleted and ignites hope within when we feel defeated [TWEET THIS]. We can listen to them daily and in times of urgent need.

The recovery anthem is a powerful tool for those seeking recovery from anything.

What’s your recovery anthem? I would love to hear it.

(Please comment below with the title of your recovery anthem and share this post with others)

 

 

-By Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Posted in Addiction, Change, Inspiration, Partner of Sexual Addict, Recovery, Sexual Addiction | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments