So Let’s Try This:
If we made a shvuah in the name of Hashem (and actually pronounce Hashem’s name) that AFTER we act out (on our bottom line behaviors) we will do x,y or z – would we keep this shvuah? Most frum addicts would. After all, it is AFTER the acting out. The desires have already been silenced and we feel bad. We don’t want to throw away the rest of our Yiddishkeit. So would we not keep a shvuah that we made in the name of Hashem? Will we transgress one of the 10 commandments “Lo sisah es Shem Hashem Elokecha lashav – Do not swear in G-d’s name in vain” (and as the pasuk continues, “for Hashem will never cleanse he who swears in His name in vain”)?
That is the “Spiritual” side of the “TaPHSiC method”. Now on the Physical side of the coin, we have to make the shvuah to do something hard and painful. Not too hard that we might come to even break the shvuah in Hashem’s name c”v, but hard enough to make us not want to act out next time. Something we know will hurt, but something we know we can keep.
For example, one guy wrote that he vowed to give $200 to tzedaka after every fall. Within 4 falls, he was free of his addiction. Another person (in Israel) wrote that he succeeded breaking free by making a vow for one year that every time he fell, he would have to take a trip by bus to the Kotel and stay there for 90 minutes. This ultimately helped him to stop completely, because each time he felt that he was about to give in, he would remember what he would have to do and be deterred.
Some other examples might be: “I swear in the name of Ado-nai – for one week, that if I am motzi zerva livatala, then within the following 24 hours, I will:
- tell my Rebbe
- tell a close friend
- fast the following day from “alos hashachar” until nightfall. (If it’s Shabbos or Yom Tov, I will fast the day after.)
At first, these Shvuos should be for short periods of time, as in the example above. If we see that this is working well for us, we can extend the shvuah for longer periods of time. If we see that the deterrent turns out not to be strong enough for us, we might need to find something a little more painful.
Here are examples of two vows that we helped someone set up. After making these Shvuos he testified that he felt a new freedom in his life!
1) I swear for one month that if I am intentionally motzi zera livatala while fully awake, or if I intentionally obtain adult sexual material of any sort, digital or printed (examples; DVDs or Magazines), or if I intentionally go to – or search for – any websites or web pages, pictures, videos, chats or forums, for the purpose of viewing adult sexual content or messages, or facilitations of sexual encounters, or if I initiate contact with – or respond positively to – any woman other than my wife for a sexually related purpose, or if I partake of any illicit sexually oriented services of any kind, then I will donate $500 to GYE and tell _______ (a close friend) what I have done, for each day on which I do any one – or more – of these things. If I forget that I made this Shvuah and do one of these things, I will only donate $100.
2) I swear for one month that if I have any sort of sexual encounter with any person besides my wife, then I will donate $3000 to GYE from my next month's salary and I will tell _______ (a close friend) what I have done, for each day on which I do this sin.