Read Transcription: Applying Mindfulness to Sex Addiction
Speaker 1 [00:00:02] Hey, guys, this is Heather Shannon’s sex and relationship therapist and today to talk to you about sex addiction or out of control sexual behavior. So a lot of times clients will come in and there’s this real sense of shame and self judgment about, oh, I’m masturbating excessively or I think I’m addicted to porn or I’m paying cam girls. I feel really guilty about it. And so there’s this sense of judgment and shame and sort of this punitive lens on it that a lot of people bring with them into therapy when they’re trying to start addressing this issue. And so one thing that I want to tell you, if this is something you’re struggling with or if you know someone who is struggling with this, that like any habit we’re trying to change, for example, let’s take exercise. That’s what a lot of people can relate to. So if you’re trying to exercise more, you could come from the place of what’s wrong with me. I don’t exercise. You know, I need to run and I need to burn all these calories, energy like wind myself into shape. So it’s really coming from this punitive angle. Right. And so sometimes people might start running program or something and they’re like running and, you know, they just feel like this is what I’m supposed to do. If you’re supposed to exercise and, you know, I should be losing weight and I should be burning calories and I should just get myself into shape, or you could come from the lens of, hey, this would be a really kind thing to do for myself. This would be a kind thing to do for my body. This would be good for my mental health. You know what it should be. So I really enjoy and maybe you enjoy walking or maybe you enjoy dancing. So maybe that’s what the lenses of. I’m going to give myself that gift every day of doing something I enjoy.
I’m going to walk outside and and have some time in nature. I’m going to get some sunshine or I’m going to listen to my favorite music. I’m going to have a dance party in my kitchen, or I’m going to start taking dance lessons and get out of the house more so you can see the energy of those who approaches are so different. And the same thing applies to out of control sexual behavior. So if you’re coming at it from this place of, you know, I’m terrible, this is bad, this is shameful, I need to get myself in shape, that that’s going to be difficult, very difficult to work with. And it’s harder for those changes to last. You might have some short term success, but when you’re not really in alignment with yourself there because you’re coming from this negative place, then I think it makes your chances more difficult for success. However, if you’re coming from this place of, you know, hey, when I’m watching porn, when I’m masturbating, or if it’s happening multiple times a day, I don’t like how it takes away from other things in my life that’s not feeling right for me.
I don’t feel like I’m truly enjoying it in the moment. Or maybe I do very briefly. And then I feel awful most of the day or hey, this doesn’t align with my values on some level. And this is not at all a judgment call on porn or masturbation. But if it doesn’t align for you, I think that’s that’s the important piece there. And so being able to look at that can require taking away that judgment piece and letting go of the shame feelings and bringing a sense of curiosity and showing up for yourself in a kind of a compassionate way. So just like the exercise or who decides, hey, I’m going to walk or dance, I like those. It could be really a process of tuning into yourself and noticing what’s working for me, what’s not working for me. Can I bring sort of neutral, almost like a scientist perspective to it where you just kind of notice you feel the feelings in each of those becomes a data point. And so eventually that information they gathering is going to help lead you to the right solution for yourself. A lot of times when we have a judgment coming up, we just want to shove those those feelings of guilt, shame, judgment aside, and just not look at it like, oh, let’s just not look at that area. That’s that’s too scary to look at. But when we remove the judgment, it allows us to kind of get in there and figure out what is going on. So if you are sold on the mindfulness perspective where you’re you’re not judging, you’re practicing acceptance, you’re being compassionate to yourself, then start practicing meditation. Check out the inside timer app.
There’s thirty thousand free meditations on there. They also have some membership stuff. And I’m not getting paid to say this, but you can get yearly memberships, you can pay for one of their little ten day courses. There’s probably lots of meditation area centers in your area. A lot of them have free services for the public. So just starting to learn a. About that and get those reminders, because right now you might be like, oh yeah, I’m sold on this perspective of being nicer to myself, but when our default has been otherwise for so many years, it’s really hard to keep that change without reminders and without support. And so having a community or having a meditation app or having a therapist or a coach is a great way to just kind of flood yourself with those positive messages and reminders to support you on this journey. So I hope that helps. And if you like this, give us the thumbs up and stay tuned for more videos to come. Thanks, guys.