Today at church they had a special presentation to inform us about the Addiction and Recovery program in our area. The church has 3 different groups that meet. One is for addiction of all kind. One group focuses on codependency (usually women). The other group is for Pornography and Sex addiction (men only attend this).
The church uses the same 12 step program that is used by Alcoholics Anonymous, but has centered it around Christian beliefs; specifically, LDS beliefs. Frankly, I don't think those beliefs will differ from any other Christian religion, but I mention it because our church is the one that made the adaptation.
Some people might question how this program could really work in a person's life. I can't say that I have gone through the 12 steps myself, but I have close friends who have, who have told me about it. The remarkable thing about this program is that it actually helps people to examine their lives and make changes. The whole program is geared around teaching people how to have healthy views of life, and how to change their life so that it is happier. While this program is designed for addicts, I do believe that all people could benefit from these same principles.
The other aspect of this program that is so beneficial is the support group that exists among the people that attend the meetings. There is strength in meeting other people who struggle with similar issues. There is strength in meeting with people who have gone through similar trials. There is strength in meeting people who have overcome those same issues and trials. I think a very important part of change is taking upon ourselves accountability for our actions. If we don't have to report back about our progress, it becomes easier not to progress. When we know that we will have to account for our actions, we think more carefully about our decisions.
One last benefit of these meetings is found in the codependency group. This group is for those who are victims of someone with addictive behavior. I believe that when someone lives with an addict long term, they can't help but develop codependent behavior. Codependency is defined by Merriam Webster as: "a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition (as an addiction to alcohol or heroin)" This definition mentions alcohol and heroin, but I believe should also include sexual addiction or abuse.
I was so impressed by this presentation, and went online to read more about it. If you are interested, you can download the manual they use, or search for a group that meets near you. The website is: http://www.providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,6629-1-3414-1,00.html
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