The 4 components of recovery from porn – Part 1: Behavior


You heard me say before that pornography is not the problem, but a symptom. As such, true recovery from porn is not typically as simple as stopping a habit. It goes much deeper. In my recovery of over 30 years as a sex addict, (not just porn but massage parlors affairs prostitution etc)., God has blessed me with awesome people, a faithful wife, counselors and most of all His grace and guidance which involved the call to share my story and experience to help others to be educated as well as healed.

The first of four critical components for recovery of porn addiction is BEHAVIOR.

For this component, we are referring to the things we do and controlled triggers. This means activities that we have some control over, such as our ability to change as well as alter our lifestyles to help limit access or prevent triggers from happening.

In most phases of recovery, working on behavior is the first step as well as the most tangible or easily actionable steps, meaning these are a list of actions or steps that you can actually do. 

It is common for a person beginning recovery, when taking these steps to begin to experience a sense of loss, feelings of fear, and even panic when they realize that some of their comforting behaviors or coping mechanisms are going to be stripped away.  It is common for people to “binge” on their favorite activity before they get started. Just like “pigging out” the day before your diet starts. They say to themselves “this is my last chance”. 

So what does addressing the behavior component look like? 

Addressing the behavior phase involves modifying actual behavior choices, implementing alternate coping mechanisms or exit strategies, having an accountability partner and the early stages of setting boundaries. 

Let’s take a look at each of these steps

Modifying Choices

Here we must start making different choices on what we consume on a day to day basis. Part of this involves putting filters on electronic devices as well as putting content blocks on the TV, Cable, and movie channels. Maybe even canceling certain pay channels like Cinemax, HBO, etc because they often have movies with strong sexual content. If you don’t have access, you can’t talk yourself into watching them. – plain and simple.  This should also include gathering all magazines, DVD’s and anything of that nature and burning them. Do NOT throw them in the trash. Two reasons for this. First, putting in the trash leaves an opportunity, either the trash can or at the dump, for another person to run across them and get into sin themselves. And two, burning them prevents this but is also symbolic of a decisive end to an era of behavior. Plus, you can’t change your mind tomorrow and dig them out of the trash. 

Alternate Coping Mechanisms or Exit Strategies

There will always be times when unforeseen circumstances present themselves and you find yourself in the midst of battle. For this, we need alternative coping mechanisms or what I like to call them: Exit Strategies. This category can be rather extensive, so what I will do here is provide a link to our website where we list dozens of ideas and more concepts behind these strategies. You can explore more about Exit Strategies by clicking here. 

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is a good way to reduce triggers and often eliminate the “near occasion of sin”. When I work with clients, I teach the concept of primary and secondary boundaries. This concept is extremely effective and also is fairly extensive. Again, we have an extensive description and write-up on the Road to Purity website. You can learn more about setting boundaries by clicking here. 

Be on the lookout for H.A.L.T.

You may have heard of the acronym H.A.L.T. which stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired. Let’s add on the conditions Bored and Stressed (B.S.). H.A.L.T. B.S. can be significant factors in reducing one’s ability to battle temptation. While experiencing these conditions are not themselves a secondary boundary, we like to suggest that becoming aware of one or more of these conditions and then NOT taking action in response to this experience IS a secondary boundary violation. For example, You know that you are bored and have nothing to do. This leaves open the easy choice to look at porn for something to do. Instead, recognize that you are bored, know that looking at porn can commonly follow, so then intentionally choose some activity to prevent yourself from staying bored.  

For many, these steps will get you going towards sobriety. But often, it’s not enough. So check back in about a week where we will reveal to you what the second of four parts to recovery from porn is. 

Taking the first steps – Restoring God’s Foundation Program

I do need to fill you in on one more tip here. Road to Purity has a porn and sex addiction program called Restoring God’s Foundation that successfully addresses all 4 parts that I spoke about above. What’s more, It’s free! (so you see I’m not trying to sell you something!). God has blessed us with benefactors and supporters that allow us to offer this program free (we’re always looking for more though). So if you know someone who could use a little help stopping their porn habit here is the link to sign up. https://courses.roadtopurity.com/

If you would like to be one of our supporters and sponsor the cost of someone to do this program, click here. (By the way, the actual cost for us to offer this program is $84 per person. We offer sponsorship as low as $7/mo to sponsor a person through the program)

2 thoughts on “The 4 components of recovery from porn – Part 1: Behavior”

  • Paul Carbonneau says:

    I’m fairly new to this program and I have two questions: How do I access the Road to Purity Facebook group? How do I contact other group members especially if I’m having problems with my quest to attain purity? Thank you!

    • Paul, we don’t have a Facebook group, they are subject so social media rules and not secure. I recommend you join Road to Purity’s exclusive community. If you like you can also make a short personal phone appointment with me for some directions or questions or help. the links to both are below.

      Our accountability and support community
      The Simon Community
      (It’s brand new, just launched! – help us get it going!)
      https://www.thesimoncommunity.com/

      Make a consultation appointment personally with Dann
      https://calendly.com/dann-aungst/15min

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