Posts Tagged ‘masturbation’


This survey is for either the addict or spouse who have experienced a therapist-facilitated clinical disclosure.  Please click on the link below to access the survey.

Dear Community,

One more time… We need your help!  Please pass along this survey to anyone you know that has experienced a facilitated disclosure.  As of right now, we only have 35 respondents – we could use many more!  We are hoping to finish data collection soon.  Here’s some information about the survey:

We all know how critical the disclosure process is, yet we have a huge shortage in research that evaluates what makes a facilitated disclosure process successful.  I, along with my co-investigators, Justin and Heidi Monuteaux, are currently conducting a study that will help inform clinicians on how to conduct disclosure sessions that are as least traumatic as possible and can lead to a foundation from which a couple can begin to heal from sex addiction.   Given this is an area with an extreme shortage of research, every person’s input could make a big difference on how clinicians are taught and trained on best practices on how to handle disclosures.  We will be asking questions about things such as how participants were prepared, how the disclosure was facilitated, the relationship with the therapist, and their thoughts and feedback on the process.

I am attaching an informational flier that you can pass out about the study that contains information about the project and the link to the survey. Anyone who has experienced a facilitated disclosure process is eligible to take the survey.  If you have experienced a disclosure yourself, we would be grateful if you (and your partner, if applicable) would participate.
Please pass the survey along to others such as friends in recovery.  We are hoping for the largest distribution possible. This study was approved by the IRB at Northwest University.

Here is the survey link…. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/disclosure-study

Thank you very much for your time and consideration. Kind Regards,

*Stefanie Carnes, PhD, LMFT, CSAT-S*
*President* *IITAP, LLC*
*Phone: 480-488-0150*
*E-Mail: stefanie@iitap.com <stefanie@iitap.com>*
*www.iitap.com*
*www.sexhelp.com*
*www.gentlepath.com*


Originally posted at: http://prevailingwordministries.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/stop-playing-with-yourself-worshipping-at-the-altar-of-lust/
by prevailing word ministries

Growing up as a kid, you hear things that made you think.

Statements like “go play with yourself” had that sexual overtone that everyone knew what it’s about. However, after a while, you find yourself doing masturbation more often than you realize. Until it becomes second nature. The muscle memory and the false pleasure of having sex with someone that isn’t there became more than just “playing with yourself.”

It turned from pleasure habit into a bondage that is no different than nicotine, cocaine, or alcohol dependency.

It’s addictive. Voyeurism and other obsessive forms of sexual immorality is not that far off. That’s because with self sexual foreplay, people that are not in control will engage anywhere.

The false pros of masturbation is no relationship with another person. No STDs. No pregnancies.

You schedule your day around it.

In 1 John 2:15-17, John, the beloved apostle of the Lamb said, “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away and the lust thereof, but he that does the will of the Father abides forever.”

Lust is the law in the flesh of fallen man (male and female).

The law of lust is what’s behind masturbation.

The law of sin and death (see Romans 8:1-2) demands that lust be fulfilled, but we all know that lust is never fulfilled. It remains dissatisfied forever. Anything that is not ordained by the Lord is of the devil. The devil’s desires will always remain insatiable. Hence, the fallen state of man, these desires, unless put to death, will remain insatiable.

The corruption of flesh demands satisfaction.

The flesh demands to recharge to re-satisfy itself.

In the normal concept of sex, the reset to do it all over again is to be tempered or self controlled.

Lust is never controlled. It must be put to death.

In the last 6 years, masturbation was the most difficult thing to break. After 33 years from 1975 to 2008, a week wouldn’t go by unless I engaged in masturbation. At first, it seemed normal and innocent. Afterwards, I was hooked and developed a list of reasons to keep doing what I wanted to do. Even after marriage, I found myself engaging.

Lust after women “enhanced” this pursuit of sexual satisfaction. But satisfaction was never achieved. Even with introducing pornography in 1998, the satisfaction was never achieved.

Little did I realized that not only was I breaking God’s command about the sanctity of marriage according to Genesis 2:24, far worse, I idolized my desire to have self or solo sex.

It became my god.

The Lord God said to Moses in Exodus 20:3-6,

“You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image —any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them.

For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.”

To put it as bluntly as allowed, getting off was worshipped.

At this altar of sexual immorality, I paid homage to the god of lust. The second god or idol was my sexual organ. What kept me worshipping at this altar was the dopamine. The drug of fulfillment and satisfaction.

This infatuation of getting this drug in my blood stream had me coming back for more and more every time.

All it took to get me started was touching myself sexually. Or a combination of things. Lusting after the flesh. The sexual objectification of a woman’s anatomy. At the end of the day, there’s no question what was going to happen. From 2008 to 2011, the grace of God enabled me to completely abstain from masturbation.

It was a great 3.5 years of learning how to control myself.

Dr. Mark Lasser really taught the lesson on self control. He asked the greatest question I’ve ever heard.

Can you do without sex with your wife and masturbation?

The answer is yes.

Hence, the definition of addiction recovery.

“To control, manage, or stop using a particular substance, thing, or activity.”

There are many advocates that encourage masturbation as a healthy sexual practice. This would fall under the category of “control or manage.”

However, if it is being worshipped, it must stop because God has no rivals. If God is enthroned on your heart, there can be no other gods.

In reading many books that reason with making seemingly viable excuses to continue masturbation, many men will accept these arguments and stand their ground when they are challenged.

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

James 1:14-15 says, “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full- grown, brings forth death.”

So the end is always death. What kind of death? Death in your relationship with the Lord. Broken fellowship with God.

It seems right to justify sin but it always end in death. You are tempted, you fall into temptation, you yield to temptation. The desire has conceived (egg – sperm unites). Sin is birthed. Death is the result.

In Matthew 26:41, Jesus said, “Watch and pray, lest you fall into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak.”

Even with watching and praying, lust was lurking within me that I feared greatly.

The urge to touch myself sexually got stronger and stronger.

Mind you, I was praying. I had an accountability partner. I was teaching the men how to overcome.

Then the moment of truth came. After a setback at an event, discouragement zapped me so bad that I fell into the trap of touching myself sexually.

From 2011 to early spring of 2014, I found myself back into “playing with myself.”

To even try to deflect how I got back into masturbation or to attempt to minimize the fall is the worst thing in the world you could do. That’s because to falsely justify sexual immorality is a deception not worth going to hell over. Even to count how many times I masturbated to give a minimal number to minimize the blow is folly.

I also found out that you can’t preach effectively to sinners if you are in sin yourself. You are disqualified.

Since returning to the streets to preach, the reason that kept me from preaching in the streets was directly tied to sexual immorality running rampant in my life. There is no anointing in sin. God never anoints what He never appoints. Sin and holiness can never mingle. God’s temple cannot be full of idols. Jesus and satan can never have communion, fellowship, or unity. Darkness cannot co-mingle with light.

Ineffective living always leads to ineffective preaching. If you cannot live to obey the commands of Jesus, you can’t win a soul to Jesus. The crucified life demands denying yourself, taking up your cross, and following the Lord. Many desire to follow the Lord, but they never deny themselves (see Mark 8:34).

You deliberately cheat or defraud yourself from achieving a false pleasure to gain the highest pleasure.

Pleasing God.

You can’t talk about taking up your cross unless you deny yourself.

In other words, you stop playing with yourself.

Most ministers are ineffective because of the refusal to deny themselves.

Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27“But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

Jesus said this in Matthew 5:28-30, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.

And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

This is not a stretch of revelation but you and I both know that the Lord covered masturbation because it takes an eye to lust and the hand to play. There is no question about it and to fool ourselves into thinking that the Lord wasn’t talking about self sex is foolishness and deliberate deception.

As Mike Cleveland of Setting Captives Free said, this is “radical amputation.”

If you refuse to cut off anything that is leading you to masturbate, notice what Jesus said….

“…for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.”

Will a person go to hell over masturbation?

Are you willing to let masturbation rule you like a god? And are you will to risk it?

Remember what Revelation 21:8 says.

Remember also Hebrews 12:4.

“You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.”

And NO. I am not telling you that you need to butcher yourself to stop sinning.

What is it that you are willing to do to stop sinning?

How far will you go?

Are you willing to pull out the TV?

Are you willing to give up your mobile device you use to spy out flesh to masturbate off of?

Are you willing to give up your passcode to your computer to an accountability partner and or your wife?

Are you willing to get off of FB or all social media?

Are you willing to walk across the street when a hot looking woman is within your periphery?

Are you willing to look in another direction when she is trying to get your attention at the magazine stand?

Are you willing to change channels if you keep your TV?

Are you willing to get up out of bed, pray and seek God when you are sexually aroused at night?

Are you willing to call your accountability partner to get prayer in your hour of temptation?

Are you willing to pick up the phone when your accountability partner calls on you to check up on you?

Are you willing to stop being evasive when asked the tough questions?

So let’s sum this up.

1. Lust must be destroyed. In fact, lust was destroyed on the cross of Christ according to 1 John 3:8.

But is lust destroyed in you? Colossians 3:5 is the answer.

2. God has no rivals. Exodus 20-3-6.

3. Excuses seems right but frivolous justification always lead to death. Proverbs 14:12, James 1:14-15.

4. Watch and pray. Matthew 26:41.

5. Discipline yourself. 1 Corinthians 9:27.

 


Okay, so here is the scene. I am at my counselor’s office. He is in the same practice as my wife’s counselor.  My wife is there with her counselor as well.  Its about three weeks since I was found out.  Since what the experts in recovery call “discovery.”  This is our first joint counseling session.  My counselor wants to share with my wife’s counselor where we are in the counseling process.  He told me that they want to talk about our “situation” together in front of us, you know, to make sure we are all “on the same page.”

This is a potentially dangerous to my own well being situation.  My wife’s counselor originally told my wife the first time I was found out that there was more I wasn’t telling her.  That that isn’t all there was to it.  That I was not being forthcoming, you know……lying.  My wife didn’t want to hear it or deal with it.  I avoided disclosure and was able to convince everyone that was it and I was okay.  Or so I thought.

Here we are now three weeks after my wife finding out again, after that text message.  I am in real trouble.  My counselor knows things about me that I have never told anyone else.  He knows there is more to it than my wife or her counselor know.  I am sure this is going to be him telling them both the extent of my depravity.

That isn’t what is happening.  This is the most surreal experience of my life.  My counselor is laying bare the roots of my addiction.  He is stating that my issues aren’t just about sex addiction.  He believes there are love and fantasy issues along with abandonment and loneliness.  Probably even depression as well.  Who exactly is he talking about?  He hasn’t told me any of this.  How dare he say all of this without discussing with me.  He works for me!

My wife, her counselor, and my counselor are discussing treatment options, talking about next steps.  Her counselor is stating that disclosure with a polygraph is the only way my wife will consider staying married to me.  She is asking if my counselor agrees, which he does.  I want to raise my hand and say, “HELLO, I AM RIGHT HERE!”  According to the behavior of everyone in the room, I am not here.  They are all talking around me.  What is going on??

My counselor then says to my wife and her counselor that my case is very complex.  That my recovery is not an easy one.  I will require lots of therapy and psychological counseling.  At least two to three years….wait, what?  Did he just say that?  Two to three years?  Is he joking?  He hasn’t said this to me! Again, does he not know he works for ME?!

I just realized something….I am broken.  Oh God, I am broken.  God, how did you let this happen to me?  I am broken. Can I ever be whole again?  I just got it.  I just had a realization:  I am not ok. 


Nate Larkin is the founder of the “Samson Society” and the author of “Samson and the Pirate Monks” (www.natelarkin.com and www.samsonsociety.com)

He shares his powerful story as well as his involvement with the “I am Second” movement. His video testimony has taken his story to countless men that struggle in similar ways. 

He is dedicated to establishing real community for men to be able to find help.

He discusses how sex wasn’t his problem, but it was the solution that he chose for his real problem. We, as addicts, need to find ways to stop our medication choices, but more importantly, find the roots of our problems.

He suggested the use of the “R Tribe” app (http://www.rtribe.org/) for those in recovery from any condition, and he seeks to be a man that has a story of God’s radical change. That radical change is possible in all of us.

For more information, please email us at the puritypodcast@castimonia.org


making-amends


This video of Nate Larkin is for the I Am Second movement.  I am Second is a movement meant to inspire people of all kinds to live for God and for others. Actors. Athletes. Musicians. Business leaders. Drug addicts. Your next-door neighbor. People like you. The authentic stories on iamsecond.com provide insight into dealing with typical struggles of everyday living. These are stories that give hope to the lonely and the hurting, help from destructive lifestyles, and inspiration to the unfulfilled. You’ll discover people who’ve tried to go it alone and have failed. Find the hope, peace, and fulfillment they found. Be Second.

Nate Larkin’s reputation was everything, so there were great lengths he’d go to protect it.

Addicted to hard-core pornography yet serving in ministry, he lived a double life and constantly feared being caught – ruining his reputation. Even though his frequent rendezvous with women and videos left him emptier every time, he still went back for more searching for a fulfillment that would never come. Losing the trust of his wife forced him to move out of the shadows and into liberation.

Please visit the website http://www.iamsecond.com/seconds/nate-larkin/ to get more information.


Originally posted at: http://applyingmybeliefs.wordpress.com/2014/10/30/rewiring-the-brain-part-two/
by applyingmybeliefs

This is the second part of the Merimnao (the ministry I run) educational advisory on this subject.  Yesterday’s post covered the introduction and first four brain rewiring activities we can get involved in.  This post covers the last three activities and has a summary.

5. Gratitude

Have you ever been around ungrateful people?  We all have, and we all know that ungratefulness is a highly negative attitude that can breed other negative attitudes like unforgiveness, resentment and bitterness.  Even though we may never consciously think this, we all instinctively know that ungrateful people have some measure of what we call in our culture “mental illness.”

God prescribes gratefulness.  Here we see it in the form of a command:

Col 3:15 – And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.  ESV

Being thankful instead of the opposite helps to rewire our brains away from the negativeness that can so easily creep in from the world.  Let’s look at an example.

There is a modern trend in our culture to put down fathers within families, this is found in so many sit-coms.  The devaluing of fatherhood in this way is a sign of non-appreciation of the role of a father, which leads to not being grateful for even having one in a family.  The wives who watch this, and the children who see it develop some negative attitudes toward their actual husbands and fathers, ungratefulness being one of them.

Within Merimnao we recognize that one of the signs of a person who has been healed to any extent is the outward demonstration of gratefulness.  We see this in those that talk about what God has done, those that appreciate what the group leaders do, those that serve, those that give back and those that support the ministry in some way.  These are people whose brains have been rewired.

6. Service

Voluntarily serving people rewires a person’s brain.  Involuntary service does not.

If you are not serving then your mindset is all about “me”, or put another way, all you do is for yourself.  Even when you are forced, as a teenager might be made to do chores, or an employee in a job, it is still for your own sake.  The brain wiring we have when we’re born and continue to develop as we grow is such that we are auto-programmed for selfishness.  This is not healthy for any person; in fact self-centeredness leads one to the place where we are the god of our lives.  We are effectively our own idol.  This is mental illness, and it is why God says this very clearly:

1 Cor 6:19-20 – Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.  ESV

Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.  ESV

Gal 5:13 – For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.  ESV

God says that we are not our own (we are His), that He came to serve as our model on how to do life and that service is a great way to avoid being “fleshly”, meaning in this context, that we operate for our own self-oriented purposes.

These scriptures are all encouragements for us to serve as a way to rewire our brains, and service to others from our own hearts has to be voluntary, meaning we choose to do it ourselves, for it to be effective in rewiring.

As an aside here – it is possible to rewire in a negative sense if we are forced to serve others on an involuntary basis.  This is because we internally respond or react with resentment or something similar to being commanded to do something against our will, something that we haven’t chosen to do.

7. Music

Music seems to have a supernatural ability to change our mood.  We can probably all relate to the idea that music can rewire the brain because we know it can affect how we feel.  In scripture we see music play an integral part of many things:

  • (2 Chron 29:25)
  • Celebrating Triumph over enemies. (Ex 15:20)
  • The battle for Jericho. (Josh 6:4)
  • Lifting Saul’s depression. (I Sam 18:10)
  • Prophetic inspiration. (2 Kings 3:15)
  • (2 Chron 35:25)
  • In the Psalms. (Ps 47:6)

All of these applications of music can be thought of in the context of brain rewiring.  In the New Testament we see perhaps the clearest instruction of all about using music to rewire our brains.

Eph 5:19 – Address one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.  ESV

This is, of course, a very narrow instruction when we consider the massive breadth of music-related sound we can let into our personal world.  And therein lies the problem.

As every parent knows, it matters what a child is listening to.  I doubt if any parent who loves their children doesn’t worry about this issue.  Some parents have guidelines or rules for their kids on this matter.  Now, translate that to God being our heavenly parent.  While none of us can speak for God, it seems obvious to me from how He worded Ephesians 5:19 that He is very concerned about the music we listen to.

Let’s define music to help us finish this last of the seven activities we can engage in to rewire our brains.  Music is anything with a melody.  This is not of course the classic definition of music but it is a good definition in our context because it gets at the issue of rhythm.  Here is a list of the most common types of communication that fits our definition:

  • Most “classical music.”
  • Most modern music, such as country, rock, rap etc.
  • Words without instrumentation such as poetry and acapella singing.

In looking at this list, which is tremendously broad, we can see that there is likely to be much out there that doesn’t fit the Ephesians 5:19 description.  So here is a way to do a “quick and dirty” evaluation of what we ought to allow into our soul for the purpose of rewiring the brain and for better mental health.

  • If the music glorifies God it is probably okay. (Such as hymns and modern praise and worship songs.)
  • If it glorifies anything other than God, for example an alternative god, it is not. (Such as most modern love songs.)
  • If it celebrates God’s creation without glorifying it, it is most likely acceptable. (Songs about the majesty of the earth, the stars, the heavens etc, these indirectly glorify God.)
  • If it denigrates God’s creation it is not. (Things like modern rap music that puts down other people.)

Mostly we must use our common sense on what we ought to listen to if we want a positive rewiring of the brain.  If in doubt, ask some godly people to read the poetry or listen to the music before your do, and take their advice.

Music in the church is often contentious, but this aspect, brain-rewiring, ought not to be.  How a person treats this subject is very important.  If we are closed to inappropriate music and open to God-glorifying music it can aid our recovery or our spiritual maturing processes.

Even though some of us might enjoy some hard rock, some country, some hip-hop or rap or even the more edgy things like punk rock, grunge or gangsta rap, these are not always good for us.

Within Merimnao we have a significant group who are engaged in good recovery practices such as listening to music.  While we don’t know what each individual listens to, we do know that they at least occasionally listen to songs that relate to subjects such as drugs, alcohol, sex, abuse and emotional pain.  For the most part these are healthy to listen to as they deal with the truth of addictions and recovering from them.  We would therefore consider them acceptable as they celebrate God’s creation with glorifying it (as in III above).  This is true because even though God didn’t create the trouble, that was the result of the fall, He did create the processes that we go through to get out of our compulsions and addiction.  These are all designed to point us back to Him.  So, in an obtuse way, the songs glorify God.  What we do like about some of these songs is that they remind us of where we have come from, what we’ve been through and that we don’t want to go back there.

There is a small caveat to this acceptance of recovery songs.  That is that some songs might seem to be acceptable but when we look at the lyrics and hear how they are presented we notice that they glorify some form of worldly culture.  An example of this would be the songs lauding the use of hallucinogenic drugs from the late 60s and 70s.  The simple rule for us here is to know what we are listening to.  Use common sense.

Final Things

The physical brain is a complex part of the body that God designed for humans, the only creature that is made in God’s image, to use while they inhabit the earth.  It is only been in the last 20 or so years that we have started to really understand this.  The rewiring of the brain, even up to the moment of death, is now an undisputable fact.  For those that are recovering from something this is a very encouraging truth; it provides hope.

We tend to think of brain rewiring as a physical process, but this cannot be true, as it comes after we have done some psychological work.  The body and the soul work together in this.  As our soul works to gain knowledge, understanding, wisdom, beliefs, values and attitudes the brain rewires.  We start to think, feel, choose and then behave in new ways.  This is the basis for all recovery, for all counseling and for all the preaching we ever listen to.

If our brain could not rewire, we could never change.  BUT, since the brain can rewire, all of us can change!  As Christians we ought to celebrate brain rewiring, for it is a gift to us from God.

In Summary

Brain rewiring, Neuroplasticity, is a healing mechanism that is available to all individuals.  However, it is not automatic, we must work at it.

For victims of accidents, or those with certain medical issues, brain rewiring may involve both physical and psychological therapy.

For those that are grieving losses, psychological therapy or support groups may be helpful along with the seven activities listed to help with brain rewiring.

Those that are struggling with life, the seven activities and support groups might help with brain rewiring.

For those in recovery, brain rewiring can be speeded up if they work on their programs and fill their lives with the seven activities.

The results of brain rewiring can be astounding, here are a few examples:

  • Emotional pain can be diminished.
  • New thought patterns develop.
  • Depression and anxiety can be lessened.
  • Dysfunctional behaviors can be stopped.

So, let us pay attention to this subject and speak of it when it is relevant and appropriate.

Suggested Resource

Dr. Caroline Leaf is a Christian Cognitive Neuroscientist from South Africa.  She specializes in this field of rewiring the brain.  She even has a “Statement of Faith” on her website.  If any person reading this MEA wants to learn more, her works might be helpful.  Her site address is:

http://drleaf.com/

©Merimnao 2014 – not to be used without permission.