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The role of values in the beginning sex addiction therapy


If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth may save you.—Gospel of Thomas

Think of your sex addiction as a powerful, sometimes overpowering involvement to which you turn for security and gratification when you fail to find better gratifications in the rest of your life. The more you turn to the addiction, the more primary it becomes.  Yet the more you rely on it, the more negative experiences it produces in your life and the more you need to return to the sex addiction.

If you turn to sex for solace to the exclusion of meaningful involvements in the rest of your life, you are captured.

Do not despair.  Sex Addiction can be beaten — people do it all the time!  This blog will, among other things, teach you about therapies, techniques and exercises that work on the needed skills and attitudes that can help get you to where you want to be.  Hopefully, it will help you get attached to life in as many ways as possible.

I believe that before an individual even forms a sobriety“game plan”,  it is necessary to build a strong foundation of knowledge of what values you hold most dear and establish motivational aims.  These will strengthen you on your journey to sexual recovery.

If you at the cross-roads in your life where you feel that change must occur, it’s time to do a little soul-searching.  Go within and ferret out values that you’ve had but have betrayed. What’s been important to you in your heart-of-hearts.  Family? Health? Spiritual beliefs?  Or being a good person?

Then consider cultivating some new values that might give your life new purpose.  When you can truly experience how the sex addiction is damaging what is most important to you, the steps out of your addiction often fall into place. You can use your own values as a tool to fight your addiction.

Why do Values Even Matter?

While pursuing sexual highs to the exclusion of attachment to others and productive work, your values are on display.  You are signaling either that you see little wrong in it or that the other values in your life are less important than the temporary  pleasure you get from sex addiction.  Think for a moment about the difference between being motivated by a hunger for pleasure and being motivated by your essential values.  Quite a different picture, no?

Stanton Peele, in “7 Tools to Beat Addiction” lists values that help combat sex/porn addiction.

  • Achievement – accomplishing constructive and socially values goals, such as participating in athletics, running for office, getting an education, succeeding at work, or providing for your family.
  • Consciousness – being alert, awake, and aware of your surroundings; using you mind to make sense out of your life and experience
  • Activity – being energetic and engaged in the world around you.
  • Health –eating well, exercising, choosing an overall healthy lifestyle
  • Responsibility – fulfilling you commitments.  Understand the spiritual aspects of “duty”
  • Self-respect —  caring for yourself and, be extension, all people
  • Community – being involved in the world around you and contributing to the welfare of the communities in which you are involved.
How do Values Fight Sex/Porn Addiction?

People drop addictions all the time when using interferes with their parenting skills. They value the well-being of their children more than the pleasure they get from addiction.  If you have kids, satisfying work and basic self-respect, the rationalizations that keep sex addiction in place are harder to defend.

People who value clear thinking shy away from the “Erotic Haze” which is really like regular intoxication.  Rational decisions cannot be made when you’re trapped in your addiction cycle.

People who hold achievement as a core value wouldn’t waste hours and hours looking at Internet porn; they’d be involved in productive, creative activities that help them to achieve their goals.

During this soul-searching time, you may need to learn how to do things in a way that is consistent with your values, or to value new ways of looking at the world. Take some time to really SEE how your sex addiction is in conflict with the basic values your hold.

Embrace and relish what you think is important and right – or in cases where you recognize that your values are wrong or harmful to yourself and other work on changing them.  Publicize you values as primary indicators of who you are.  And harness and use your values as fuel for your sex addiction treatment NY.



Dorothy Hayden, LCSW has 20 years of experience treating sex and porn addicts, love addiction, codependency, fetishes, sadomasochism, "kink friendly", crossdressers and their wives, partners of sex addicts. She has been interviewed on "HBO", "20/20" and Anderson Cooper 360. Ms. Hayden has authored the book "Total Sex Addiction Recovery - A Guide to Therapy"

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