Using the Updated Understanding Pornography Manual: Recovery and Healing

Many of you are aware that SA Lifeline Foundation recently published the Updated Understanding Pornography & Betrayal Trauma Manual.  This publication is one of SA Lifeline’s proudest accomplishments.

The manual includes clear guidance from top experts in the field, and straight-forward explanations that bring clarity to complicated issues.  It is also unique in that it offers counsel from a diversity of perspectives: top qualified sexual addiction therapists, scientists who have spent years devoting their research to the subject, spiritual leaders who have offered guidance, and individuals who are working recovery and understand from their own experience what it takes to recover.

This manual can serve as an invaluable resource for families, individuals, and anyone who finds themselves in a position working with those who are struggling with sexual behaviors or betrayal trauma.

Once a month, we would like to share a short excerpt from the manual here on our Women’s Blog and open it up for discussion.  We hope you will find this helpful for your own information as well as another resource to educate others in your life who may need help understanding your situation.

If you have wondered if your loved one is really ready for recovery, or is in recovery, you might find this information helpful.  These questions, applied to yourself, can also help you assess where YOU are at in your process of recovery and healing.

Recovery and Healing

p.15-17 of the Updated Understanding Pornography and Betrayal Trauma Manual

What Does Recovery Involve?

  • Honestly admitting to others the magnitude of the problem
  • A desire to recover
  • Becoming educated about the nature of sexual addiction and the recovery process
  • Creating a safe environment where triggers and temptations are less likely to occur
  • Continued participation in a 12-Step Recovery Program
  • Seeking qualified professional counseling. This usually includes a mixture of individual counseling, couples therapy, and group counseling (18 months is recommended, to begin with)
  • Seeking spiritual guidance. Both the recovering addict as well as his or her traumatized spouse should seek individual spiritual guidance in all aspects of their own recovery journey. Spiritual guidance is guidance from the Holy Ghost, and is complemented by guidance from ecclesiastical authorities.
  • Accepting and experiencing God’s grace through the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Abstinence is not the same as recovery. Abstinence involves going a period of time without “acting out,” such as not viewing pornography or engaging in sex with self for a time. Recovery, however, requires not only abstinence, but also a lifestyle change, and involves relearning healthy sexuality, resetting unhealthy expectations, and establishing positive patterns of interaction with others. Recovering individuals must learn to better manage emotions, stress, relationships, and other factors that underlie their addictive behaviors. They must learn to differentiate between lust and healthy intimacy.

Just as an alcoholic can never consider himself or herself to be cured, those who are addicted to pornography are always susceptible to relapse, and should take proactive measures to stay in recovery for the rest of their lives. With time and continuing the work of recovery, remaining in recovery becomes easier.


We would love to hear your thoughts on the information above.  We’d also encourage you to read the linked articles, which can give you more insight and details about some of these recovery principles.  Please leave your comments, your questions, your strength, hope, and experience in the comments below!


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