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The Road to Recovery from Your Sex/Porn Addiction Goes Through Your Childhood

I’m not sure how many times I have heard a new patient say, “I have tried everything to stop and nothing works.” You can feel the intensity of the frustration and hopelessness these individuals are suffering as they wage an endless battle against their sexual and pornography addiction.

What makes it so difficult to overcome this addiction that shames individuals and destroys relationships and careers? I believe the issue is those struggling with these addictions have not dug deep enough to answer important questions when it comes to recovery. And those are the why questions.

Why have sex and pornography overtaken my life? Why do I gravitate to compulsive actions when I know I will hate myself later? Why am I hardwired this way?

Through my years of clinical practice as a sex addiction specialist, I have come to realize answering the why questions are the gateway to recovery. And sitting at the gate to assist in this process is a very unlikely source – the inner child.

“Really? The inner child impacts an individual’s sex/porn addiction?” Yes, it does.

Repressed Childhood Pain Points

But let’s take a step back for a moment. Sex/porn addiction has nothing to do with sex. That is a concept with which nearly all leaders in the field agree. The addiction is fueled by individuals’ inability to recognize and process emotional distress, which leads them to escape through compulsive sexual behaviors.

I have taken this theory one-step further. I believe individuals struggling with a sex/porn addiction are subconsciously triggered by negative events that correlate with repressed childhood pain points. And here enters the inner child.

The kid is a storage unit of repressed emotional trauma and neglects suffered as a child, adolescent and teenager. When a negative event – minor or major – occurs in the daily life of an addict, his inner child immediately searches the storage unit to determine if the current event correlates with a past emotional wound. And if he finds a match – the addiction cascade is set in motion.

Why? Because the inner child is trapped in a time warp surrounded by frightening memories and when one of those pain points are erupted, the kid desires to seek one thing and one thing only – comfort. And sex and porn are remarkable comfort mechanisms.

Introducing the Inner Child Recovery Process

The inner child runs the show when it comes to sex and porn addiction. And the road to recovery goes through an addict’s childhood.

To assist in this process, I have developed the Inner Child Recovery Process for Sexual/Pornography Addictions, which is a new and cutting-edge therapy for treating the disorder and has been proven successful with a vast majority of individuals in my private counseling practice. It also has been endorsed by many leaders in the sexual addiction field.

This unique and interactive treatment approach empowers individuals by helping them understand “why” they engage in these addictive behaviors. This knowledge allows them to stay one step ahead of their addiction by identifying and being mindful of core emotional triggers that activate the inner child.

The 9 Inner Children

To assist clients in identifying their core emotional triggers, I have uncovered nine inner child who impact an individual’s sex/porn addiction. These include: the unnoticed child, the unaffirmed child, the need for control child, the stressed child, and the emotionally voided child.

Each kid has their own core emotional triggers based on the pain points they faced growing up. During therapy, clients identify the children they resonate with most, which leads them to complying their unique list of core emotional triggers.

It is not unusual for a client to associate with three or more of the nine children. Let’s take a closer look at one of these unique inner children.

The Emotionally Voided Child

This kid who was raised in an environment where emotions were shunned like the Asian flu.  Sure, there were expressions of anger, sadness, happiness, and fear, but deep-rooted feelings were off-limits, a no-no.

These kids grow up with no model of what it is like to emotionally bond in a healthy way with other people. No one shows them how to identify, process, and share their feelings in a healthy manner. Instead, they are left on their own to figure out how to deal with the emotional pain of scarring events. Along the way, they received the message that feelings were not important – and perhaps dangerous.

Now as adults, they find themselves unable to emotionally bond in a healthy way with others. They also may find it uncomfortable to be in social or family settings and tend to keep themselves busy or withdraw to reduce their anxiety in those situations. These folks use sex and physical intimacy as a substitute for emotional intimacy. And while they believe they are emotionally attached, the only attachment they have formed is through physical intimacy. In many cases this leaves their partners feeling used.

Among the core emotional triggers that would activate this inner child are: I feel empty, I’m a Disappointment, I’m Different in a Bad Way, I’m left out, and I’m Overwhelmed.

Aware and in Control

Once clients complied their core emotional triggers, they are trained to be mindful when these triggers are activated by a current negative event. Now aware a trigger has been activated, clients are taught to sit and process the pain point.

Previous, clients would not be fully aware a pain point had triggered them, but instead would have compulsively escaped any discomfort they felt through destructive sexual behaviors. Now, they have the tools and mindset necessary to empower themselves and manage their addiction.

What’s so exciting about the Inner Child Recovery Process is that it goes far beyond helping individuals manage their sex/porn addiction by:

·        strengthening their emotional IQ

·        promoting continuous self-reflection

·        reducing compulsive behaviors

·        teaching mindfulness

·        promoting healthy curiosity

·        encouraging individuals to become outwardly focused

Sex and pornography addictions have dramatically increased with the growing presence of Internet porn and with that will come a need for more research and discussion regarding new potential treatment methods that can assist individuals in managing the disorder.

Eddie Capparucci is a licensed professional counselor and is certified in the treatment of sexual and pornography addiction. He and his wife, Teri, have a private practice working with men struggling with sexual and pornography addictions, as well as their wives who are dealing with betrayal.

Eddie has worked with professional athletes including NFL and MLB players and television personalities and serves as the clinical director for the National Decency Coalition. He is the administrator of the websites www.MenAgainstPorn.org and www.SexuallyPureMen.com.

 

The Road to Recovery from Your Sex/Porn Addiction Goes Through Your Childhood


 

APA Reference
Capparrucci,, E. (2020). The Road to Recovery from Your Sex/Porn Addiction Goes Through Your Childhood. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 4, 2020, from https://pro.psychcentral.com/the-road-to-recovery-from-your-sex-porn-addiction-goes-through-your-childhood/

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 13 Mar 2020
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Mar 2020
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.