Tool 10: Extra Strong Fences - TaPhSiC Method
Part 4: The Double-Fence TaPHSiC Method
An even more powerful form of the TaPHSiC method is to make it into a double fence by using it for both before and after the fall.
For example: Make a list of things to do before falling, such as taking a half hour walk, reaching out by phone to a friend from GYE for help, etc. Then, make the shvuah that if you act out before doing the things on your list, you will have to do something very painful (say, give $500 to Tzedaka). But if you act out AFTER doing the things on your list, you will only have to give $50 to Tzedaka. In this way, you will feel obligated to do the things on your list before giving in, because you know that once you give in and the lust has past, you won’t be able to ignore the shvuah. The genius of this is, that by the time you are finished doing the things on the list, the lust attack will usually have dissipated. And often before giving in, even thinking of the things you will have to do will make you drop the whole idea in the first place. This double-fence TaPHSiC method has been shown to be one of the most powerful ways for frum addicts to break the addiction for the long term.
A member shared on our forum how the double-fence TaPHSiC method works for him:
I made a commitment that if I wanted to look at shmutz online I would first do one of 4 things, (1) talk through how I'm feeling with my wife, (2) go for a 30 min run or exercise, or (3) learn Torah for 30 min, or (4) read about the holocaust for 30 min. Then I made a shvuah that if I did anyone of these 4 actions before looking, then I would only have to give $75 to Tzedakah. But if I did not do any of these 4 actions but just went right ahead and looked, I would have to give $750 to Tzedaka. I am unemployed now (so a lot of time on my hands), and so taking a $750 hit is just not possible for me right now. When the Yetzer Hara gets us in the moment, he makes us forget all consequences. With this method, it’s just much harder to forget the consequences. B”H I haven't looked at any shmutz online since I made this commitment. It helps me a lot and I hope it can help you too.
We can keep making minor adjustments as we go along. That is why it's best to make the vow only for a week at a time at first, and then maybe a month... (We must make sure to renew the shvuah BEFORE it expires. Often the addiction convinces us that we’re doing OK, only to catch us off guard when we suddenly realize that the shvuah has expired!). Once we are confident and comfortable with the vow and see that it really works for us, we may need to make this vow only once a year!
It’s a delicate balance, but with careful thought and siyatta dishmaya, most Frum addicts can find a formula that really works for them, over time. And once we have found it, we will know. There will be a sudden feeling of joy – a tremendous new freedom in our lives. We will feel like we have literally been freed from the self-imposed “prison” that we have been living in for so many years!