Monday, 19 December 2011

The TaPHSiC Method Made Simple

Part 1/3 (to see other parts of the article, click on the pages at the bottom)

Click here to listen to a 10 minute recording explaining the TaPHSiC method and how it works.

There are two main stumbling blocks that cause an addict to relapse:

1) Compulsiveness: When under an attack of lust, we feel we need it NOW – and the lust makes us act compulsively. In such moments, it is important to realize that lust comes in waves, and after the initial peak the intensity subsides - sometimes even within minutes. If we could somehow distract ourselves with something else, we will often find that the attack will pass and our sanity and composure will return.

2) Obscured Consequences: When under an attack of lust, the neuro-chemical dopamine is released in the brain. Dopamine narrowly focuses our attention and energy on the object of our desire. Any thoughts of spouse, family, beliefs, values, consequences, future goals, etc., are ignored and blocked out. (See more about the chemicals released in the brain this fascinating article). Despite this phenomenon, if we could somehow make the consequences of acting out much more REAL and IMMEDIATE to us - to the extent that they are impossible to ignore, we would find it feasible to hold back.

To help us overcome these stumbling blocks, the "Double Fence TaPHSiC" method is the perfect solution. TaPHSiC stands for "The Physical & Spiritual Combo" and it also means "Stop!" in Hebrew. It involves making a very special type of shvuah. By utilizing this amazing method - which has helped some of the worst cases, we can effectively deal with these two challenges.

Firstly, when properly applied, the TaPHSiC method makes acting-out compulsively not even an option anymore. Our Yetzer Hara himself will agree with us that it is simply not worth it to act-out NOW, but rather to distract ourselves and wait before acting-out. Secondly, the TaPHSiC method makes the consequences of acting out immediate, real and painful. After all, we all know that once the lust has passed (after the fall) we will not be throwing out our Yiddishkeit. Just like we won't throw away Shabbos and Kashrus, we know that we will have to keep our shvuah! Knowing the consequences of our fall in advance, is often enough to shake us out of the lust-stupor and back into reality.

Although making Shvuos is usually frowned on by Chazal, we find in many places that when it comes to girding oneself from sexual temptations, making shavuos is praised by our sages (see the Ohr Hachaim in Parshas Matos). And although making Shvuos "not to act-out" very rarely works in the case of addiction, the TaPHSiC method is a 'smart way' of making shavuos that has been found to work wonderfully in many cases.

To make it easier for everyone to prepare a TaPHSiC shvuah, we present here a generic Nusach that can be adapted and used by anyone. All you have to do is fill in the blanks! See the next page to get started.