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Start Helping Others With Their Porn Problem

October 20, 2009
large_goatee_mustache.jpg image by samc425

Tom looks kind of like this.

Tom, a friend of mine,  has worked with guys dealing with sexual addiction for many years.  He has led sexual recovery groups, and meets with several guys each week.  I was curious when a guy in recovery is ready to start helping others.


1.  When are guys who are recovering from porn addiction ready to help others?
It varies with each person, but essentially they are ready to help others as soon as they begin their healing. I would say that it helps us as much as it does the person we are helping. It is always easier to see issues in others than in ourselves, but it helps to reveal our own deep issues when we see it in others.

 
2.  What are some things a guy needs to have progress on, in order to start helping others?
 They should be out of the “crisis” stage before reaching out to help anyone else. If a guy has been having in an ongoing affair he should end the affair before reaching out to anyone else. Or if he has been masturbating a couple of times a day,  that should diminish considerably prior to helping another person. They should also be in some recovery program prior to helping someone else.

 
3.  What are the key components to helping others?
Mainly to talk about their own struggles. I have found that the biggest issue addicts deal with is the belief that they are the only one doing this, or the only one doing it to that degree. The shame involved is immense and fuels the addiction, so hearing from another person that they struggle in a similar way helps to break down that false belief. It also opens the door to sharing their own issues more easily. Any success they have had will also encourage the person they are helping.
 

4.  Why are groups so helpful to helping others?
One of the biggest benefits is hearing that others struggle in the same areas. Groups also give you eyes/ears/experiences to help you see things that you cannot.  Accountability helps,  but it is only as good as the person leading the group. The more transparent the leader, the more open the group members will be.
 

band_of_brother5.  How do you do accountability when you’re helping other guys?
Accountability is modeled by the leader or leaders. Even if there isn’t a designated leader someone will always fill that role and it is important that they are transparent and humble. I have found that it was more valuable to the group that I confessed when I slipped than if I didn’t say anything about it. I thought that it would hinder their recovery if they knew that the group leader still slipped at times but I was completely wrong.

Jesus is our standard.  The group leader needs to be an example of honesty and openness. I try to confess anything I am struggling with even if it has nothing to do with sexual addiction. Marriage, kids, job, my walk with Christ, anger, overeating, laziness, etc. Wherever I am struggling it is important that I share that, and of course if I am struggling with temptation that would be a very good thing to share.
 

6.  How do you know a guy is serious about getting better?
 
If they are willing to come to the meetings regularly and share what they are struggling with it is a good sign. If not, then they are probably not serious about getting healthy, and are just looking to check off that they went to a group.

They also need to be reading books on sexual addiction recovery and contacting other guys throughout the week.

Counseling is something I HIGHLY recommend for every addict and co-addict, in addition to being in a group.

I use the analogy of a gym membership. You can join a club, even show up regularly, but it you don’t use the equipment or work out then you aren’t serious about getting in shape.

 

Thanks, Tom for the good advice!

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