To heal from sex addiction the therapist must guide the client to an understanding of his or her arousal template.
According to Patrick Carnes, Ph.D., author of Facing the Shadow: Starting Sexual and Relationship Recovery, an arousal template consists of “the total constellation of thoughts, images, behaviors, sounds, smells, sights, fantasies, and objects that arouse us sexually.” This constellation encompasses vast categories of stimuli that come from our early experiences with family, friends, religious affiliations, media, and teachers.”
So, arousal templates carry lots of different types of information and are generally written in our early years. Some people “prefer” a certain color hair, etc. These templates are not static however, and they can also carry emotions, behaviors, thoughts, images, sights, sounds and smells that were never intended to be sexualized.
Thus, we have sexually addictive templates with shame, anger, rage, bondage, rape wired into the arousal system. Visual arousal, which encompasses porn addiction and other visual templates, and corresponded eroticized anger or rage is but one example of of this phenomenon.
The sex addict develops particular behaviors, rituals, and thinking driven from a distorted core belief system. “I am basically a bad and unworthy person” coupled with “If anyone really knew me they wouldn’t love me or leave me” conspire to drive sexualized anger, shame and fear and fuel the cycle of destructive sexual behavior.
Healing from sex addiction and understanding and rewiring arousal begins with a phone call and your first meeting. We know now that the arousal system is not fixed and whatever “fires together wires together” in the human brain. Porn addiction shows us we can alter arousal as adults. Recovery shows we can heal arousal as well. Of course, people who do certain things arrive at this outcome.
Make a call today and begin to heal and understand this complex yet treatable disease.