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In this podcast, Sara shares a presentation that is now part of the Liberating Saints Virtual Conference.
02:50 Introduction to Sara Brewer, a life coach for people that struggle with pornography use.
05:15 Sara helps both men and women with pornography.
06:15 Sara introduces her presentation and the main root causes.
07:20 The first root of pornography use is ESCAPE AND BUFFERING.
- Buffering is an action to escape negative emotion.
- People try to put on a “bandaid” solution on porn. They don’t deal with their emotions.
- People need to learn to sit with their emotions and focus on healing wounds.
14:00 Shame only makes porn use worse. A lot of members get into a shame cycle with porn use and it never ends.
16:10 The difference between guilt and shame. Holding onto guilt turns into shame.
17:00 It’s not either shame or justification. There are middle ground emotions that are going to be more useful in helping people quit.
18:00 It’s important to differentiate physiology and morality.
- We all have urges and sexual desires. This is physiology and part of being human.
- Morality comes from what we do with our desires.
20:10 Application for leaders. Be careful with punishment and adding to shame.
21:10 Leaders need to stop focusing on behavior but underlying emotions.
22:00 Using a filter is a good tool to use but it’s not a long-term solution for porn use and addiction.
25:30 Guilt should not be a motivator. It’s more of a signal that something doesn’t align with our values.
26:40 Root two is OVER DESIRE.
- Over desire is something that is learned and can be unlearned.
- It’s your brain and reward system working correctly.
- Avoiding urges isn’t going to solve the porn problem.
- Pavlov’s dog theory and what it teaches us about learning and unlearning behaviors.
32:00 Willpower doesn’t work. It’s like holding a beach ball under water. It wants to pop up. Allow the urges and emotions to pass through without getting the reward.
35:20 Sara’s technique to help people overcome over desire for porn. Stop, drop, and breathe.
38:20 Applications for leaders
- Stop telling people they will struggle with this forever.
- Avoid all or nothing thinking. Slip ups don’t mean you have to start over.
- Stop demonizing sexuality. It’s very normal to want sex and to have urges.
- Avoid saying that more prayer, fasting, and righteousness will fix this. Instead, focus on healing.
40:10 Instead of distracting yourself, sit with the emotions.
44:40 Too often we hear a lot of all or nothing phrases in the bishop’s office. If you can go x amount of days without porn then you can take the sacrament.
46:00 Root three is IDENTITY.
47:10 How we think about ourselves really matters. It gives us energy for our actions.
48:20 Not everyone that uses porn has an addiction. Most young men and women are not addicted. Be careful about labeling people with an addiction. It can be harmful to them.
50:00 Applications for leaders
- Avoid fostering an addiction mindset which is an I can’t change mindset.
- Avoid labeling people with an addiction.
- Avoid members feeling hopeless and stuck.
- Help members foster an identity of someone that quits porn.
55:20 Bishops should consider sending people to a life coach. They shouldn’t dismiss life coaches. They can work side by side with therapists.
59:20 Sara has many resources for members. She offers programs with group calls or one on one appointments.
1:01:00 Sara’s final encouragement to leaders who are trying to help those that are struggling with pornography
Watch the video with 14-day access to the Core Leader Library, including the entire Liberating Saints Virtual Conference
It Isn’t a Sin to Be Weak, by Wendy Ulrich
Worthiness is not Flawlessness, by Brad Wilcox
Helpful episodes from Sara’s podcast that focus on the stop, drop, and breathe technique: Episodes 66, 47, 21
Read the TRANSCRIPT of this podcast
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In Matthew West’s song “I’m Fine” he says Church should be more like a hospital. Sara, for the first time, has helped me see how I can help myself and others work through emotions and avoid the shame cycle. I’ve experienced all too often the negative cycles described in this podcast and church culture felt like a jail or chainmail of how evil I am for having compulsions from as young as I can recall and feeling evil and unwanted while providing few resources that helped me feel that healing is possible.
I’ve been working on recovery from addiction for decades and only recently was introduced to the difference between guilt and shame. Sara explains the difference and how to work through the feelings rather than escape them better than I’ve heard explained before.
I’ve also struggled with Elder Oaks Ensign article and use of the addict identification, thank you Sara for giving me a new perspective on the intent of the article, and the right approach to how I use the term addition.
I just loved this so much!! There were so many great things!! It can apply to many different areas too!
I love when I shared podcasts with friends and my bishop and they all love it too!!
This was one my bishop loved! I’m happy to pass along such great content to help others become better leaders, especially when they are leaders of my teenagers. 😁. Thank you so much for all the wonderful content!