Steps to Break Free
There are many good men and women in the Church that have struggled with pornography, and if you or a loved one have been effected by pornography, you are not alone! In 2014, the Barna Group conducted a survey among a nationally representative sample of 1,000 U.S. adults on pornography use and found that:
- 37% of Christian men and 7% of Christian women viewed pornography several times a week or more
- 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women use pornography once a month or more
- 21% of Christian men either think that they are addicted or are unsure if they are addicted to pornography
- 2014 ProvenMen.org Pornography Addiction Survey – conducted by Barna Group: The survey results are located at: www.provenmen.org/2014pornsurvey/pornography-use-and-addiction
We have written a practical 2-page flyer called 7 Steps to Freedom from Pornography to help people whether they are addicted to pornography or occasionally struggling. We pray that his will help provide many tools and resources to help people, and feel free to print/send this document to friends, family members, and others!
Am I addicted?
There are many good Catholic people whose struggles with pornography have reached an addictive or compulsive level. There are several online tests that can be taken to help determine if there is an addiction or not:
- ISST – Internet Sex Screening Test – This online test is available on Dr. Peter Kleponis’s website – Dr. Kleponis is a Catholic psychologist, and his website is very helpful.
- SAST – Sexual Addiction Screening Test – This secular test was developed by Dr. Patrick Carnes, and it can be helpful in determining if there is an addiction to pornography and/or sexual behavior.
If an addiction is present, people have the best chance at breaking free if they seriously follow these three steps:
- Join a Catholic 12-step group &/or SA – Call 913 647-0378 for groups in the KC metro area and 785-220-0457 for groups in Topeka.
- Men, step up & meet with a counselor. Men sometimes feel uncomfortable with seeking professional counseling, but it is very helpful for freedom from pornography addiction – here is our list of Catholic counselors (Ladies, there are great Catholic counselors for you on the list as well.)
- If you’re married or dating, get support for your relationship – SANON, Retrouvaille & couples counseling are very helpful!
Catholic Recovery Groups and SA
Catholic men who are serious about breaking free from struggles with pornography and/or sexual addiction are invited to join our Catholic 12-step recovery groups. Many men in these groups have been able to break free for years from pornography through focusing on: 1) daily prayer 2) daily phone calls to other men in the group and 3) daily reading of 12-step recovery material or Theology of the Body resources.
These groups help men live with more happiness, discipline and self-confidence, and here is a 1-page group outline. Men in the group can keep track of their progress with this group checklist. Most men in our groups spend about 20 minutes a day with prayer, reading and phone calls, which (let’s be honest) is less time than many men were wasting on lust and fantasy.
There are Catholic 12-step groups that meet each week in the following areas:
- Kansas City, KS on Monday nights
- KCMO on Tuesdays (contact Michael Ciaccio, LPC – 816-786-6063)
- Topeka on Wednesday nights
- Johnson County on Friday mornings
- Topeka Friday mornings
- Johnson County on Saturday mornings
Each new member must agree to the group confidentiality statement before being given the group times and locations. For groups in the KC metro area, call 913-647-0378 and for the Topeka group, call 785-220-0457. It’s very normal to feel nervous about calling and reaching out for help, but you’re not alone! Many men in our groups feel more like men of integrity when they face these problems head on with other men!
Many Catholics have also benefited from SA, and there are great SA groups in the KC metro area and Topeka. SA is a traditional 12-step group which has a similar format to AA. SA can be very helpful for pornography and sexual addiction. For KC metro SA groups, call 913-599-9858. For the Topeka SA group, call 785-220-0457.
There is a list of Catholic counselors / psychotherapists in NE Kansas who have solemnly pledged that they follow the teachings and authority of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The counselors / psychologists on this list have firmly pledged to follow Catholic teachings in their lives, and to encourage their Catholic clients to live these out as well. Several of these counselors work with individuals, couples and families who are healing from the effects of pornography. Counseling often helps people find some of the underlying root causes that are connected to their struggles with pornography. Many couples have benefitted from going to counseling together to help rebuild trust and connection in their marriage after struggles with pornography.
Pornography impacts many good couples in the Church, and if your spouse or loved one has been struggling with pornography, you are not alone! Follow-up groups for Christ Renews His Parish and Cursillo, Theology of the Body resources, 12-step programs such as SANON, honest friendships with other faith-filled women, and spiritual direction can be very helpful.
Pornography and sexual addiction can be very traumatic for spouses and loved ones, and several male and female Catholic counselors on the local Catholic counselor list provide counseling to spouses who are healing from the effects of their love one’s struggles. Many spouses in the Kansas City area and Topeka have found great support through SANON. Information about additional support groups in the Kansas City area is available through the American Family Association of KS & MO.
People in other parts of the country may be able to find spousal support groups in their area or teleconference groups by calling their diocesan office and / or visiting the following sites: SANON and Faithful and True Ministries.
The following books can be very helpful as well:
- Shattered Vows by Debra Laaser
- Pure Womanhood by Crystalina Evert
Support for Women’s Struggles
There are an increasing amount of women who have needed support and accountability to break free from pornography, chat rooms, romance novels, etc, and you are not alone! Theology of the Body resources, women’s accountability groups, spiritual direction, honest friendships with other faith-filled women, professional counseling, 12-step programs such as SA, and follow-up groups for Christ Renews His Parish and Cursillo can be very helpful. There are additional resources and links on female pornography and sexual addiction that are available at American Family Association of KS & MO and many other websites.