Posted by: Arden Compton | October 7, 2009

Pornography Addiction: Fine tuning the recovery process

I have written a number of articles addressing factors that drive the craving for pornography, and how to address them. But what is life like for the former addict? What is it like to completely free from this addiction.  I believe it is possible to be completely free and live a normal life without any pull for pornography. Take for example someone who smokes cigarettes. Can they get to a point where they no longer have smoking even cross their mind? Certainly. For some reason pornography addicts seem to have a hard time imagining that becoming their reality.

I was recently working with a former addict who hasn’t had any trigger or desire for pornography in about 2 months now. That is different from two months of abstinence. He has successfully gone without viewing, but more than that, he hasn’t even wanted to. However, he mentioned to me that he would occasionally be in situations that reminded him of the problem he used to have. These situations previously would have triggered a desire for porn, or might have been locations where he previously would have viewed. Now they were just reminders. Kind of like the smell of Christmas trees brings back memories of the Christmas season. But he doesn’t want any reminders of the pornography season of his life. He mentioned a public restroom that reminded him of being in a hotel where he had binged on pornography. He mentioned driving by the airport triggering a memory of a business trip where pornography had been a problem. He mentioned a resort town he went to, and a grocery store where he had some problems in the past..  He wants to be so free of it that he can be in these places without the memory of his former mistakes coming up.

To do this, we went through the memories that each of these places triggered.  Even though these memories were no longer triggering a desire for pornography, they were interrupting his peace in the present. Once we identified the memories, we tapped on them until there was no remaining guilt or intensity of any kind. Then we specifically tapped on the trigger that brought the memory up (the airport, or the public restroom, or the grocery store, or an add for the resort) until he could focus on these trigger locations without any response.

After thoroughly going through this process, his response to these places really did change. Now he can go about his day, be in these places without being reminded of his former life. Now is even more free to move his life in a positive direction without any reminders of where he was to keep him from where he is going.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment on this or any other post.


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