Healing sexual shame addiction
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Healing Sexual Shame & Addiction. Dr. Hannibal Silver.

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Healing Sexual Shame & Addiction

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Healing sexual shame addiction

Healing Sexual Shame & Addiction

Dr. Hannibal Silver


Healing sexual shame addiction

“…we are not alone in our loneliness. Others have been here and known grieves we thought our special own, problems that we could not solve, lovers that we could not have, pleasures that we missed by inches… I think you and I say proud that I have been by fate allowed to stand here having the joyful chance to claim my inheritance. For most have died in the day before the opening of that holy door.”

Patrick Kavanaugh


The garden delight

The Garden Delight

The true antidote to addiction is Shalom.

Rest and peace between humanity and God; rest and peace between humanity and humanity, and an internal serenity between one and his/her true self


Crucial role of shame

Crucial Role of Shame

  • Moral Shame (the sense of guilt) is the foundation of morality. Without a sense of shame one cannot form a conscience.

  • Healthy shame is central to one’s sense of identity.

  • Shame can become a signpost to spirituality and the Transcendent.

  • In its fully developed state, it is the sense of awe, reverence, modesty and the sense of being overwhelmed by mystery (see Psalm 8)


How shame forms sex drive

How Shame Forms Sex Drive

  • 4 mo. - 7 mo. Expression of Shame

  • 7 mo. - 3 yrs. Shame as inhibitor of autoerotic excitement.

  • 3 yrs. - 7 yrs. Awareness of Sex Drive - Sexual Fantasy.


Basic sexual identity

Basic Sexual Identity

  • Shame Affect Fully Operative as Modesty

  • Daring to Give Self in Sexual Love without Losing Self

  • Shame as a Signpost

  • Love and Intimacy


Full i thou capacity

Full I/Thou Capacity

  • Sexual Communication as a Nurturing and Caring Experience of the Whole Person

  • Experiencing the Mystery of Pregnancy and Childbirth.


Full sexual expression

Puberty: Full Awakening of Sex Drive

Shame as Dominant Affect: Guilt, Conscience, Awe, Modesty

Shame is the conscience of love

Shame makes sex impossible without love

Sexual Pleasure cannot be achieved by any form of excitation only

Sexual Pleasure is achieved by the affective participation of one’s beloved.

Full Sexual Expression


Sexual identity

Sexual Identity

  • Competent Sexual Identity: Guilt as Moral Shame

  • Integration of the Sacred and Natural

  • Desire for Mutuality - Fidelity and Commitment

  • Sexual Shame as Awe, Reverence and Play


Identity scripts

Identity Scripts

  • False Self

  • Split Self

  • Dissociated Selves

  • Disown Self


Defending scripts

Defending Scripts

  • Perfectionism / Failure

  • Control / Manic

  • Blame / Self Blame

  • Rage / Passive Aggressive

  • Critical Contempt / Self Contempt


Signs of shame trauma

Confusion about how to act and what to do

Feelings of loneliness, alienation and lack of connections

Sadness over unfulfilled expectations and wasted life

Desire for a quick fix

Feelings of exposure and vulnerability

Failure to take care of self

Uncontrollable emotions

Dark thoughts about death, including suicide

Sudden accident-prone behavior

Fear that the pain will not go away

Signs of Shame Trauma


Compulsive user s core beliefs

Compulsive user’s Core Beliefs

  • I am bad, unworthy person

  • No one will love me as I am

  • No one can take care of my needs but me

  • Sex is my most important need


Online sexual community popular and intense

Online sexual community popular and intense?

  • Accessibility

  • Affordability

  • Anonymity

  • Perceived Safety

  • Normalization


Cybersex rationalization

Cybersex / Rationalization

  • It doesn’t hurt me or anyone else

  • It is not the same as sex with “real people”

  • It’s just a game

  • I can stop whenever I want

  • No one knows what I am doing online


Cybersex immediate expectation

Cybersex / Immediate expectation

  • Escape from stress and anxiety

  • Escape from relational pain and frustration

  • Accept and take ownership of your “forbidden” desires

  • Experience with growing intensity the pleasures of self-stimulation

  • “No one should masturbate alone”


Rewards after the thrill is over

Loss of self-respect and self-worth

Loss of Self-esteem

Loss of Trust

Isolation from dating and social interaction

Reduction in spouse intimacy, sexuality and communication

Self-rejection

Lack of True Intimacy

Anger

“Rewards” after the thrill is over


Addiction criteria

Loss of Control - Clear Behavior in which you do more than you intended or want

Compulsive Behavior - A pattern of out of control behavior over time

Loss of Time - Significant amounts of time lost doing and/or recovering from the behavior

Preoccupation - Obsessing about or because of the behavior

Inability to Fulfill Obligations - The behavior interferes with work, school, family, and friends

Continuation Despite Consequences - Failure to stop the behavior despite its social, legal, financial, physical, and work cost

Deprivations - Self-Neglect, Shame based, inhibitions, adversity or pain

Addiction Criteria


Ten faces of sexual addiction

Fantasy - Arousal depends on sexual contemplation and computer rituals

Voyeurism - Visual stimulation penetrates mind-body-soul

Exhibitionism - Arousal based on viewer’s reaction of “shock and awe”

Seductive Role - Arousal is based on experience of conquest, rather than in nurturing love-making

Trading - Arousal based on gaining control of others

Intrusive - Arousal occurs by violating boundaries without being noticed

Paying - Arousal connected to earning pleasure through money

Pain Exchange - Aroused based on being humiliated and hurt

Exploitive - Arousal based on targets vulnerable “types”

Serendipitous - Arousal involves no seduction or cost and is immediate and uncommitted

Ten Faces of Sexual Addiction


Faces of sexual addiction

Faces of Sexual Addiction

  • Seductive Role - Arousal is based on experience of conquest, rather than in nurturing love-making


Faces of sexual addiction1

Faces of Sexual Addiction

  • Exhibitionism - Arousal based on viewer’s reaction of “shock and awe”


Faces of sexual addiction2

Faces of Sexual Addiction

  • Paying - Arousal connected to earning pleasure through money


Faces of sexual addiction3

Faces of Sexual Addiction

  • Serendipitous - Arousal involves no seduction or cost and is immediate and uncommitted


Faces of sexual addiction4

Faces of Sexual Addiction

  • Pain Exchange - Aroused based on being humiliated and hurt


Faces of sexual addiction5

Faces of Sexual Addiction

  • Voyeurism - Visual stimulation penetrates mind-body-soul


Faces of sexual addiction6

Faces of Sexual Addiction

  • Intrusive - Arousal occurs by violating boundaries without being noticed


Faces of sexual addiction7

Faces of Sexual Addiction

  • Exploitive - Arousal based on targets vulnerable “types”


Faces of sexual addiction8

Faces of Sexual Addiction

  • Trading - Arousal based on gaining control of others


Faces of sexual addiction9

Faces of Sexual Addiction

  • Fantasy - Arousal depends on sexual contemplation and computer rituals


Factors for successful recovery of cybersex addicts

Have a primary therapist. Individual counseling is essential

Work to find clarity and resolution in their family of origin and childhood issues

The experience of sharing one’s wounds with fellow addicts may not work, a more diverse support group may be advisable

Develop a spiritual life centered on a personal relationship with God rather than on church creeds and indoctrination

Regular exercises, relaxation, balanced nutrition, air sun, water, and moderation or avoidance of stressor/anxiety triggers

Find a safe community

Factors for Successful Recovery of Cybersex Addicts


Safe community rules

Safe Community Rules

  • Affirmation is given - No one is invisible

  • Feelings are accepted - Emotional expressions are not viewed as weakness

  • People are listened to - Opinions are valued and welcome

  • Individuality is encouraged - Unity is cultivated rather than uniformity

  • Personal care and nurture are provided

  • Sensitivity and enjoyment of gender differences are experienced

  • Courage to be imperfect is encouraged


Safe community searches

Safe Community Searches

  • Search for Meaning

  • Search for Purpose

  • Search for Encouragement

  • Search for Belonging


Applications implications part 1

Applications & Implications Part 1

  • We must accept our personal inability to cope in isolation with the tremendous power of our sexuality

  • We must accept that our sexuality flows in unexpected springs of dark, hateful, and punitive waters

  • We must accept that everyone, single or married often struggles with amazing power of sexual energy

  • We must accept that moral imperatives, simple solutions, magical expectations, and easy prescriptions are inadequate responses to the fearsome power of sex


Applications implications part 2

Applications & Implications Part 2

  • We must agree with Eric Fromm that “love actually” takes real love, hard work, and discipline

  • We must cultivate a countercultural view of personal attraction (3D-mind/body/soul) as a replacement to the prevailing and limited view of physical attraction

  • True intimacy will embrace every dimension of living such as, recreational, intellectual, emotional,spiritual, financial, conflict, crisis, commitment, jokes, and sexual foreplay, play, pleasure, and rest


Applications implications part 3

Applications & Implications Part 3

  • All the above will facilitate the healing of a shame driven personality. True healing will restore the soul, mind and body to enjoy the pleasures of holiness in time, relationships and communication

  • True intimacy will provide glimpses of a paradise lost and recovered. True intimacy will move one from a miserable state of mind to a life of freedom and celebration


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