RICHLAND, Wash. - A majority of child sex offenders that local therapists treat have an addiction to pornography. However, there is a way to overcome the compulsion.
Therapists said pornography controls you like much nicotine or any other addictive drug. It changes your brain chemistry. For some they can't live without it. But that doesn't mean it's impossible to kick the habit.
Developing faith in God. It's one of the crucial steps of change psychotherapists like Michael Henry offer to child sex offenders with pornography addictions.
If you want to overcome your craving, Henry said first you need to recognize pornography for what it is.
"It creates a disillusion or distortion in adolescence's or adult's thinking," said Sexual Behavior Psychotherapist Michael Henry.
He said sexually explicit images are not reality. Second, admit to yourself how pornography has created a negative foundation in your life. Third, stop watching it. Finally, replace it with faith in God.
"Compassion, kindness, empathy those type of traits are based in spiritual lifestyle and I try to get people back to that lifestyle," said Henry.
Clergy from several prominent Tri-City churches who work with pornography addicts on a daily basis said faith develops power.
"It is something that goes on in the human mind that needs to be transformed and that's done through the spiritual process of appealing to God through His son Jesus Christ," said Joseph Christopherson, Bethel Church.
Local leaders at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said one third of all the people they counsel suffer from pornography addiction. The LDS church teaches God will give you strength when you begin to follow Christ's teachings.
"We teach them that God is just like our earthy parents, that He loves us, that we're His children, that He wants to help us, but we have to do it in His way, we have to be willing to follow His laws, His commandments," said LDS Kennewick Stake President David Stapleton.
The Bethel Church offers a support group, where men who face the same addiction can overcome pornography together.
"It's real difficult to get rid of addictions by yourself. The success of our group is it's a group of men, they have a common problem, but we have a common solution for them," said Christopherson.
Psychotherapist Michael Henry said defeating a pornography addiction won't be a quick fix, but counseling and faith can help, and you can leave it behind you.
If you want help you can join the Bethel Church's Men's Integrity Group. Here's the number to call 628-0150.
Or you can contact Psychotherapist Michael Henry's support groups. His number is 946-8182.