Relapse Prevention

Think it through – it’s a good relapse prevention strategy for sex addicts. If you can follow the trail down to the sometimes that’s enough to keep your rational brain in control long enough to make a call and get some help before you act out. I got this worksheet in treatment and I actually use it. If you want a blank copy, you can use the links on the right and download it from my account.

The problem with thinking is that it rarely happens when you need it to happen – you’ve got to practice. The counselor that ran the relapse prevention classes in treatment said it was important to do recovery fire drills. He told us that we needed to go over our relapse prevention strategies until they were unconscious. Actually, he was kind of a pain in the ass. But he was right. Maybe my sobriety has something to do with the fact that I’m doing the stuff they suggested. That advice sure cost a lot, kind of stupid to pay for expert advice and then ignore it.

Relapse prevention is a continuous process. In my recovery – I can’t tell you how many times I sat down at the computer to just check email and ended up finding myself hours later surfing porn. I’d sit there bleary eyed and feeling like utter shit wondering what the hell was wrong with me. I promised myself I wouldn’t do it again. It was baffling. In fact, you could say it was cunning, baffling, and powerful.

Looking back, it’s hard for me to believe I didn’t see the connection between checking email and surfing porn, but until I had to sit down in rehab and follow the trail backward, I really didn’t see it. I thought surfing porn started with sitting down at the computer horny. But usually, I was just bored and felt kind of blah and needed to check my email. Once I was at the computer, I’d already lost control, I just didn’t realize it.

Now, I’ve practiced thinking through my addictive trail so often that a red flag pops up when “I’m  just going to check my email” pops into my head.



  1. It’s probably not that expensive, so why not try it? If you don’t like it you can always pass it along and you won’t be out that much money. If it works for you, it’s probably worth a lot more than you’ll pay.

    I’ve been listening to Angels & Airwaves, which for some reason works well for me. Richard Stoltzman, Begin Sweet World is another one I really like. Neither are specifically “spiritual” or just for meditation, they’re just good cd’s that make it easy for me to be happy and feel connected to the universe.

  2. Im not sure if an atheist would like it…but Carnes suggested it. I’m trying to find someone who has heard it. Its on the gentlepath website.

  3. I have found that using a computer was part of my arousal template, period. Just sitting at the keyboard and typing was enough to trigger me.

    I’ve been rewiring my brain to get used to using the computer for healthy things, but it’s slow work. I find my mind slipping back into the old acting out ruts every now and then.

    Thanks for the diagram! I might try writing something out like that…

  4. If a worksheet would solve this, I’d be rich! And cured.

    I’m not really sure how to answer your question without more detail. If you want, you can email me at

    I’m pretty sure all of the 12 step fellowships have phone meetings. I know for a fact that SAA, SLAA, and SA do. There should be information on their websites.

    There are some online groups on yahoo – enter sexual addiction into the keyword search at or you can enter the name of the fellowship you’re interested in.

  5. I find your site very interesting and I like your perspective on addiction, however, I wish you would share some of the suggestions you took to help fellow addicts because I am mystified and dying to know. Ive been on a SSLA list for a little while, but as there are no meetings around, I have to simply be a lurker. I feel a relapse has already happened for me and I am not sure how far I am going to continue it and what, if any, damage I am going to have to clean up. If a worksheet would solve all of this that would be amazing.

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