Posted by: Arden Compton | December 28, 2009

Dismantling triggers that take you by surprise…

t is very common for a person struggling with pornography to have certain situations that trigger him to look at pornography even when he hasn’t been craving it. Certain situations will trigger him to go to pornography almost automatically without thinking about it.

Recently a gentleman I have been working with was triggered when left alone with a friends Ipod Touch. He was sitting alone in a room, people were in other areas of the home on the computer and t.v., porn wasn’t available there. His friend had gone to run some errands and left the ipod Touch with him so he could listen to some music. He wasn’t initially aware that the ipod Touch had internet access, but as he played around with it a little bit, he discovered he could go online. Upon this realization, he immediately wanted to look at pornography where moments before it hadn’t even been on his mind. So, he looked up some porn, viewed for about ten minutes, and then kicked himself for being so stupid.

As I visited with him a few days later, I told them this was a typical example of being triggered, similar to be triggered when you enter a restroom to suddenly need to relieve your bladder… even if you just went in to wash your hands. To help dismantle this trigger so this didn’t happen again, I had him take my iphone, which looks a lot like an ipod Touch, and visualize himself in that room realizing he had unrestricted internet access while he looked at my iphone. As he did so, he reported that the desire for porn kicked up to about a 4 or 5 on a scale of 0-10. (The rest of this post assumes you have some knoweldge of EFT, if you don’t, take a look at the tabs on the top of the blog to introduce you to the basic process, that way the rest of this will make sense to you.) So, I had him set the iphone on a table where he could focus on it as we tapped. I coached him through a round of tapping that went something like this:

Side of hand: Even though I want to view pornography on this ipod, I still love and accept myself, even though this ipod triggered a desire for pornography, I still love and accept myself, even though porn is available, I have unrestricted internet access, no one is here, no one will know, and I can just go and enjoy it with no negative consequences, I still love and forgive myself.
Top of head: This trigger
Eyebrow: everything in this scenario that triggered the pleasure center of my brain
Side of eye:This trigger… having unrestricted internet access
Under eye: This trigger… no one will know
Under nose: This trigger… it is available right now right here in front of me
Chin: This trigger… I can’t resist this opportunity
Collar bone: This trigger… I wonder what I will get to see
Under arm: This trigger… if I don’t look I will regret it and always wonder what I missed
Below breast: This trigger… porn is just a few taps away and there is nothing standing in the way
Positive reframes
Side of hand: I choose to delete this trigger
Top of head: I delete all the triggers in this scenario
Eyebrow: I delete the trigger of unrestricted internet access with nothing standing in the way
Side of eye: I delete the triggers in the pleasure center of my brain
Under eye: I see myself staying in control
Under nose: I see myself remembering the true consequences of porn
Chin: A part of me thinks I’ll regret not looking, I’ll wonder what I missed
Collar bone: But the truth is I will really regret it if I look, and I already know what I will see. I won’t see anything new – it will be the same old stuff that poisons me and fills me with shame and guilt.
Under arm: I delete these triggers from every part of my being. I ask my body to respond to the truth
Below breast: I see myself easily turning away, not even wanting to touch the filth. Why would I go to something that is so dark… that just fills my soul with darkness.

I then had him refocus on the iphone, picturing himself looking at the ipod Touch sitting in that room. He now said the desire to look was down to a 2. I asked him to finish the phrase: “The main reason I still want to look is because…” he finished with, “I’m curious about what I will see.” So we tapped,

Side of hand: Even though I am still curious about what I will see, I still love and accept myself.
Top of head: This curiosity
Eyebrow: I wonder if I will see a really good looking girl
Side of eye: Some really good looking girls with no clothes on are waiting for me
Under eye: These girls are going to be excited to see me
Under nose: I don’t want to keep them waiting
Collar bone: They all want to have sex with me, and I can’t wait to have sex with them
Under arm: But the truth is there are no girls there
Below breast: The truth is those girls don’t care about me
Top of Head: I dismiss this curiosity, I know that what I see will end up hurting me
Eye brow: It is like a shiny lure on a fish hook – and Satan wants me to bite so he can yank my soul down to hell
Side of eye: I don’t need to be curious about that shiny lure – I’ve taken the bait before, I choose to remember the consequences of guilt, shame, regret, depression, loss of self-worth
Under eye: Why should I be curious about something that does that to me
Under nose: No matter how good looking the girls will be, they are not worth
Chin: I don’t need to see what they look like, I’m better of not looking
Collar bone: I’m better off staying clean, free of guilt, and feeling good about myself.

After this round of tapping, his curiosity was a zero, he felt no arousal as he looked at my iphone and pictured himself in that room. I then had him open the internet browser on my phone, and type in a search term. He typed in, “sexy girls,” but did not start the search. I asked him if typing in “sexy girls” triggered him in any way. He said he felt arousal and excitement at about a 3 or 4. So, we tapped through this trigger:
Side of hand: Even though typing in “Sexy Girls” triggers me with excitement and arousal, I still love and accept myself – (repeat 3 times)
We then went through the other points with the reminder phrase “typing in sexy girls” and ended with statements like: “I choose to delete this trigger, no matter how sexy those girls are, they are poison. They are like chocolate covered manure – they seem good but are really disgusting.”

We continued to identify other triggers in this scenario – I don’t have time to retype the whole session. The point is that with thorough detective work, the triggers can all be identified and cleared so that the triggers really are dismantled, and the next time the person is in that situation, the triggers simply are not there. In clearing this addiction, one of the keys is identifying all the triggers and eliminating them. If a person still has cravings, or has a relapse, then there is more detective work to be done. Don’t give up until there simply is no more desire for pornography. With consistent effort, most of the time this can be done in 2 or 3 months, sometimes even sooner – everyone is unique.

If you have any comments or questions, feel free to reply or contact me.

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