E-Mail Subject: 12 Steps for SSA?!
 
 
  Breaking Free Chizuk #1917  
 
 
In Today's Issue
   
Image of the Day: Change your thoughts to change your mind
Chizuk: Do Thoughts Really Count?
Daily Dose of Dov: Can the 12-Step program help someone deal with SSA (same-sex attraction)?
 
 
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Image of the Day
 
Change your thoughts to change your mind
 
Change your thoughts to change your mind
Chizuk
 
Do Thoughts Really Count?
 
What exactly is the Torah's point of view on thoughts?
 
By Feuerman, Rabbi Simcha, LCSW-R

Therapists have been known to comfort clients who experience anxiety-provoking and obsessive thoughts, by telling them, “There is no need to feel fear or shame about the thoughts that run through your head. Thoughts do not really mean anything and don’t hurt anyone.” While this is an important step in reducing anxiety and breaking a pattern of excessive pre-occupation and over-valuation of thoughts, a religious person may have difficulty accepting this, as it seems that the Torah has many prohibitions regarding sinful thoughts. It is useless and disrespectful to offer false psychological comfort to a religious person whose tradition tells him he should be believe otherwise. In this article, we will look at some of these sources and compare them to psychological ideas about the role of thoughts in human and social functioning, to see how a religious person can develop a healthy approach to thoughts that are considered forbidden.

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Daily Dose of Dov
 
Can the 12-Step program help someone deal with SSA (same-sex attraction)?
 
By Dov

Dov writes:

Sometimes guys write to me about SSA. I responded to a couple of them with this (below) as a start to the right conversation:

As far as myself, I do not see any similarity that homosexuality bears to addiction. Do you? It seems like a separate issue and therefor needs to be accepted completely and then dealt with just as any illness. But why call it an addiction if it isn't?

Perhaps you are referring to sexually acting out with other men and you are seeking recovery from your sexual addiction. If that's so, then I see no difference whether the acting out is with same or other sex ... do you? Based on what you wrote above, it sounds like the attraction to the same sex is your concern here. Correct me please.

Would it be different in any way if your desires were with members of the opposite sex? Would you be here asking me this question? Please be patient with me and clarify.

GYE Responds:

What Dov says above makes sense. But - many guys see SSA sort of like "porn." It's something that is just "wrong" for a frum yid and they will seek help for it, even when they are slipping up occasionally, i.e. a frum person will "hit bottom" much quicker (with porn or SSA) than a non-frum/non-Jew would, because the "double-life" aspect is more painful for him. It means that his life will become unmanageable much faster with SSA or porn than another person's. Which means that the 12-Steps can help him, where it would normally not help a non-Jew yet at that stage. In other words, a frum Jew has a much higher "bottom" than other people with these things.

Dov responds:

But then, why is it that actually more of the frum who I meet in recovery meetings have used prostitutes (many times more) than the goyim I meet in recovery have?

I hear what you are saying as a 'bottom.' But that is mainly for GYE, which only involves opening up to a fake person, for reaching out for some chizzuk but not for actual help changing their lives or doing anything really uncomfortable - for real recovery. I do not consider that 'hitting bottom'. I call that being ready to anonymously whine.

Do you think you may have a porn addiction?
 

Do you have a problem with obsessive and compulsive porn use? Have you seriously tried the tools on GYE and feel that you are not getting better? Maybe it’s time to consider joining a 12-Step program.

Porn Anonymous (PA)
If you’re compulsively acting-out with pornography and masturbation we suggest you explore joining Porn Anonymous (PA). If you need help deciding whether to join PA, call Michael at 347-699-2368, or email help@pornanonymous.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit pornanonymous.org (Hebrew: p-a.org.il / Yiddish: pa-yid.org).

Sexaholics Anonymous (SA)
If your compulsive acting-out has progressed beyond the screen (with other people, paid sexual services, etc.) we suggest you explore joining Sexaholics Anonymous (SA). To figure out if SA is for you, call Dov at 917-414-8205, or email Dov at dov@guardyoureyes.org to schedule a time to talk. For more information visit www.sa.org.

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