Monday, October 13, 2008

The Importance of Community

Having people in your life to support you in the process of improving your sexual health is important. It is recommended that you have 3-5 people with whom you are transparent. In the process of defining your personal definition of sexual health, it is this group who serves as a counter balance to an individual's desire to do anything you want. Remember that sexual compulsivity has both an internal and external accountability. Developing your support network is a way to increase external accountability.

Four strategies for starting the process of developing a support network include.

1) Start off small. Say "I'm now in therapy. I need someone to support me, but I'm not ready to go into full detail right now."

2) Examine who in your life is already supportive. Expand what you might say to the person that increases your self-disclosure. You might say that I'm working with a therapist in the area of human sexuality.

3) Identify a big name "star" who has "come out" regarding sexual addiction and compulsivity. (David Duchovny is one of the recent stars who disclosed his personal struggles.) This can help you introduce the topic.

4) Without naming the issue, share some of the negative thoughts or feelings that set you up to act out. Share "I'm really stuck on how negative my thoughts are" or, "I struggle with a lot of shame."

These are simple strategies to start the process of disclosure in your recovery process.

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