My Experience (male perspective)
July 2012

“I was first exposed to pornography at a young age and began watching it frequently in my mid to late teens. It was something that I kept mostly secret, except to friends who were involved in their own forms of sexual exploitation and seemed to normalize the behavior. After sometime, my pornography watching escalated into visiting massage parlors and prostitutes / escorts to indulge in sexual desires and fantasies; this I kept hidden from everyone. Looking back on it, there was a bit of a dichotomy that existed. On one hand, I thought this wasn’t a problem and that I could stop these behaviors at any time if I really wanted to, but on the other hand I felt hopeless, stuck and that there was no way to get out of this.

Subsequently, partly spurred by seeing a friend make a change in his life, I decided that I had to start be completely honest with myself and others whom I cared form. At this time I knew I needed help and sought out Cheryl. It was very challenging to disclose what I was doing to her, because I had been keeping a secret so well for so many years and felt so much shame. However, Cheryl made this process much easier with her warmth, understanding and compassion. 

Aside from this, the person that I opened up to first was the one who I was hurting the most, my wife at the time. She made the decision to leave the relationship and I made the decision to continue counseling. It was very hard to separate from her, but opening up to her and continuing therapy was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. Therapy has not always been easy, and Cheryl has had such great insight as to when she needed to challenge me and when she needed to ease back. With her I have felt safe, supported, respected and empowered with the courage to examine my addictive / compulsive behaviors and change and grow. I can’t say enough about her abilities as a therapist.

In conclusion, I no longer watch pornography, visit massage parlors / prostitutes or indulge in any type of behaviors or compulsions related to the sexual exploitation of another human being. I’m still triggered at times, but through therapy and self-examination, the triggers have become MUCH LESS powerful, and I’m able to confidently cope and navigate through them. I continue to grow, and work on seeing women as human beings who have worth far beyond just gratifying some fantasy or desire. I have had to step up and take ownership of my own psychological and emotional challenges, instead of projecting them onto others. Again, this is not always easy and is an ongoing process, but even with the loss of my marriage, I feel so much better being free of the sexual behaviors / compulsions that haunted me for so long. And for this, I’m so grateful to Cheryl, and to the entire process of therapy and of healing!”

www.MyCounselingSolutions.com
Alternatives in Counseling: holistic perspectives

As your Transformational Coach we can work together in finding new and effective ways for moving forward.

Cheryl L. Wheeler MA, NCC
Cheryl L. Wheeler MA

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Cheryl Wheeler *only providing Life Coaching Services. Please note coaching sessions are not to be considered psychotherapy in nature, and are not appropriate for Serious Mental Health Illness’.

 

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