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The TaPHSiC Method Made Simple

GYE Corp. Monday, 19 December 2011

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.

Getting Started

Before we can use the generic TaPHSiC shvuah Nusach (on page 3) by simply filling in the blanks, we have to first decide for ourselves 4 things:

1) Until when are we making the Shvuah? (In general we don't suggest making the shvuah for more than a month at first, so we can adjust it if necessary).

2) What distractions will we impose upon ourselves before we allow ourselves to fall? (See below for some examples of "Distractions". You can choose one or more of the suggestions, or make up your own).

3) What "Normal Knas" will we give ourselves if we fall AFTER doing the distraction/s that we imposed upon ourselves? (See below for some examples of "Normal Knas").

4) What "Heavy Knas" will we give ourselves if we fall WITHOUT doing the distractions that we set for ourselves? (See below for some examples of "Heavy Knas")

Once we have decided these 4 things, we can jump straight to page 3 and simply fill in the blanks!

Examples for Distractions Before Falling:

1. I listened to a Shmiras Ainayim phone conference. (There are over 200 recorded shiurim on our system. Each one is about 20 minutes. Call 209-647-1999 any time and enter the PIN: 616701#. Then put in any number between 1 and 200 to listen to a shiur).

2. I went for a 20 minute walk

3. I called my partner, sponsor, or a fellow GYE member who knows me, and I told him that I feel I want to fall, and I stayed on the phone with him for at least 5 minutes.

4. I did exercise for 15 minutes (sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc).

5. I spoke with people who know me, by phone or in person, for at least 10 minutes

6. I scrubbed the toilets at home/work and picked up the garbage around the home/office for 15 minutes.

7. I put away sefarim in the beis-medrash/shul for 15 minutes.

8. I said Tehilim for half an hour.

9. I learned Gemara for 20 minutes.

10. I was Mavir Sedra for half an hour.

Examples for 'Normal Knas':

1. I will donate $50/100 to Tzedaka (GYE)

2. I will take a cold shower with no warm water at all.

3. I will go for an hour walk.

4. I will take a bus to the kever of the Tzadik/Kotel and stay there for at least an hour.

5. I will clean the floors of my home, scrub the toilets, and put away clean laundry.

6. I will fast from dawn until nightfall (in the coming 3 days).

7. I will say the entire sefer Tehillim.

Examples for 'Heavy Knas'

(Warning: It must be something you are 100% sure you CAN and WILL do if you have a fall c"v)

1. I will donate $1000/2000 to Tzedaka (GYE).

2. I will take a bus to the kever of a Tzadik/Kotel and stay there for at least 6 hours.

3. I will fast from dawn until nightfall for two days in a row (within the coming 7 days).

4. I will tell my Rav/wife that I had a fall.

Generic Nusach for the Double-Fenced TaPHSiC Method

Ani Nishba (I swear), beshaim Ad---- (in the name of G-d) that until ____________________ [Fill in the end date we decided above]

If I have a fall, which is defined by one of the following things:

(a) I intentionally motzi zera livatala (masturbate) while fully awake (and while not touching my wife)
(b) I intentionally obtain in any way adult sexual material of any sort, digital or printed (including magazines, DVDs, etc.)
(c) I intentionally go to any websites or web pages, pictures, videos, chats or forums, for the purpose of viewing adult sexual content (including any type of adult oriented images, drawings, videos, audio, or erotic reading material) and I actually viewed or listened to inappropriate content
(d) if I initiate contact with - or respond positively to - any woman other than my wife for a sexually related purpose (including by e-mail, chat, webcams, etc.)
(e) if I partake of any illicit sexually oriented services of any kind (including calls to adult phone lines, massages)

Then, if ________________________ [Fill in Distraction 1 that we decided above]

Or/And ________________________ [Fill in Distraction 2 that we decided above. This is optional]

Or/And ________________________ [Fill in Distraction 3 that we decided above. This is optional]

within the 90 minutes preceding my fall, then
within the next 36 hours (or other time frame) I will ________________________ [Fill in 'Normal Knas' that we decided above].
for each day (or 3 hour period) in which I fall.

If I did not do any (or all) of these things in the 90 minutes preceding my fall, then
within the next 36 hours (or other time frame) I will ________________________ [Fill in 'Heavy Knas' that we decided above].

Some disclaimers to say immediately after making the shvuah (Toch Kidai Dibur) :

  • I will only have to do a knas if, at the time of the fall, I remember that I made this shvuah and I realize that the situation I am in will require me to do a knas, and I intentionally decide to fall anyway.
  • If I am honestly not sure that I had a fall, or I honestly forgot completely about this shvuah at the time of my fall, I will not have any KNAS.
  • If I had to do [‘Normal Knas'] 3 times, the shvuah should no longer be binding on me.
  • If I had to do [‘Heavy Knas'] even once, the shvuah should no longer be binding on me.

You may also want to add something like this at the end:

If I do not renew this shvuah before it ends, I will keep this very same shvuah for another month. However, if I do renew this shvuah before it ends, I can adjust the time-frame, knasos and conditions of the shvuah to suit my situation better, according to my understanding. The new conditions will apply only from when this current Shavuah ends (obviously). Each time I renew the shvuah for another month, I will be able to make adjustments to the shvuah for the following month. And any time I do NOT renew the shvuah, it will automatically continue with the conditions of the previous month. This cycle should continue for 3(?) months from now, at which point I can decide whether or not to renew the shvuah again at all.

Advanced Tip: If you find a specific situation to be a major stumbling block (for example, if you found a loop-hole in your filter which is tempting you to fall more than anything else) you can use the TaPHSiC shavuah to help you make this particular loop-hole not even an option in your mind, by adding the following words in bold (at the end of the Shavuah above):

If I did not do any (or all) of these things in the 90 minutes preceding my fall,
[Or if I use ‘a given loop-hole’ to fall],
then within the next 36 hours (or other time frame) I will ____________ [Fill in 'Heavy Knas']

By making the consequences of your particular stumbling block into a ‘heavy knas’ regardless of what you did before falling, it makes this particular method of falling no longer an option in your mind.

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