Surprised by the News: Men Fighting Toxic Masculinity

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Last Friday when I tuned into the Staci Sprout‘s Facebook Live show Sex Addiction in the News, I had no idea I would be part of the conversation. It was the third installment of the new show, which Staci created out of her passion to de-stigmatize the conversation around sex addiction so more people can find help (click here to watch).

In this week’s episode, Staci shared about an upcoming movie about female sex addiction, treatment models for teen porn addiction, the impact of growing up as a child of a sex addict, sex addiction in the LGBTQ community, sex addiction and pornography research, and the sex addiction books of the week.

To my surprise, Sprout shared about both my book and Andrew Bauman’s book (The Psychology of Porn), showing a clip from our recent VLOG interview on objectification, lust, and misogyny.

I am humbled by her description of recovering men like us:

I am honored to be viewed in such a light. If you’ve read Life After Lust, you’ll know I am passionate about fighting against sexual exploitation and objectification. I have championed this cause with messages such as this:

Andrew Bauman is another strong voice calling out the worth of women. In his book The Psychology of Porn, he writes:

Being recognized for these values increases my resolve to be continue being part of the solution, as our world heals from the wounds of toxic masculinity. I invite all men to join this cause, which is currently led by many amazing and strong women such as Staci Sprout.

Thank you Staci for starting such important discussions. You are bringing awareness and hope to a world saturated with sexual addiction.

I invite you the join hands with those of us fighting for human dignity and sexual recovery in The Anti-Pornography Movement Facebook Group. To learn from other leaders in the movement against sexual exploitation, check out the upcoming Coalition to End Sexual Exploitations Global Summit in April and the Lonestar Coalition Against Pornography Conference in September.

To join the weekly conversation, visit Staci Sprout’s Facebook page on Fridays at 5pm (PST).

I hope to see you there.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!
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My Last LifeSTAR Blog Post

My Last LifeSTAR Blog Post_ Forest Benedict's Bittersweet Goodbye

When I started the LifeSTAR of the Central Valley blog 5 years ago I had no idea how far-reaching the ripple effects would be. How could I? Though I have written since childhood, this was my first experience putting my written works online, sharing them with the world. Never did I imagine that this journey would lead us here, with 192 posts and 76,159 views by 52,923 visitors from all around the world (153 countries)! It still blows my mind that 24% of our total views came from one article that went viral in February of 2015.

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I am certain that the posts on that blog have encouraged, strengthened, and challenged many. It is hopeful to see there were 580 clicks on our private practice links, meaning that many people got help as a result of reading here.

That blog was also the birthplace of my first book Life After Lust. As was shared in a recent article, “Originally a set of blog posts, Life After Lust was born after a colleague suggested that he turn the posts into a book.” That’s how Life After Lust began. My book has impacted thousands over the past year since it was published.

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I have shared many powerful experiences from my life on that blog. You might remember me going public about my personal recovery from sexual addiction here on April 22, 2015. I was embraced with open arms and I am so grateful I shared that experience with all of you.

How Has That Blog Impacted You?

I can think of many worthwhile stories that resulted from my investment in that blog. What about you? How has that blog impacted, encouraged, and guided you? I would love to hear about it. Such stories mean the world to me.

A Time of Transition

I share all of these impacts with you as a way of celebrating what we’ve done here together and communicating some changes. A recent post sums up my current trajectory:

“Mere months ago this new vision caught me….that I am a writer with many books to be birthed. All paths are converging on this important truth. Writing has brought me where I am today and is brining me where I want to go. My focus has changed from squeezing writing into my life to building my life around my writing. Practically, this looks like downsizing my client load and upscaling opportunities to write. This is my path to the most meaning. Honoring my vision is an unflinching act of alignment. Sure, there are risks on this road. But nothing is more risky than abandoning my most purposeful path.”

As part of this transition, I recently stepped down from my Clinical Director role at LifeSTAR of the Central Valley. This was a bittersweet choice for me. I will continue leading my LifeSTAR groups and seeing some clients but am focusing more on creative projects that will uplift the world. While I am not leading the program, LifeSTAR remains in highly capable hands and will continue offering hope for those hurting. Along with this change, I will no longer be managing that blog. Don’t worry! That site will also continue to be in capable hands and you will continue receiving relevant recovery related content. From time to time, I’m sure you’ll see guest posts and other creative content I’ve submitted for sharing here. I hope you’ll continue visiting that blog and growing from the resource provided.

If you want to follow my journey from here, I’ll continue sharing via my personal blog, VLOG, and social media sites. While this goodbye is bittersweet, I believe it is for the best. I also believe that many lives will be impacted by the books to come.

THANK YOU!

THANK YOU Roubicek & Thacker for allowing me to thrive in my writing here!

THANK YOU readers for making that blog what it is!

THANK YOU all for joining me in this journey over the years!

I wish all of you health, wholeness, and healing.

And in case I don’t see you…good afternoon, good evening, and good night!

Gratefully,

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

My Bittersweet Goodbyes

My Last LifeSTAR Blog Post_ Forest Benedict's Bittersweet Goodbye

Today is a day of bittersweet tears. I am letting go of old dreams and grabbing hold of new ones. I invite you to read my new blog post called My Last LifeSTAR Blog Post: Forest Benedict’s Bittersweet Goodbye to learn more about some significant changes in my writing and career journey. May we all follow the paths that lead to the most meaning.

THANK YOU all for your continued support!
Forest
Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!
 

Benedict Interview: Every Child at Risk of Early Exposure to Pornography

Hedburg Benedict

In my recent interview with Dr Allan Hedburg, he asked what type of home and what type of child were most vulnerable to pornography. My answer may surprise you. I shared what I wholeheartedly believe, that “every home and every child” is at risk. In light of this startling truth, every person who has or knows children is wise to take the topic of early pornography exposure seriously.

The valuable video below is a great starting point for anyone seeking out quality information on this daunting topic. There is much we can do to protect the younger generation from the threats of pornography. Let’s begin by educating ourselves and sharing this essential information with others.

 

For those seeking treatment for teenagers struggling with pornography addiction or needing personal recovery help click here today.

 

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

Narrator Found for the Life After Lust Audiobook!

Narrator Found!

Great news! We officially have our new narrator for the Life After Lust Audiobook project!

A big thank you to everyone who voted. There were diverse perspectives and I really appreciate your input.

I chose Chris Brinkley for these specific reasons:

1) A friend with recording experience reviewed the recordings and voted for Chris based on the recording quality. Her feedback was very specific: “Pace is fairly deliberate. Some words (“healing”) seem a little pushed.  Delivery is easier, more realistic than Derek’s. More variety in delivery. Nice articulation without sounding over-done. Think he would hold attention better than Derek.  Breath is edited out….I vote for Chris.”

2) Chris was the only narrator with a recorded request to work on this project, noting how he too had an alcoholic, bipolar father and felt he would be a good fit. This means a lot to me because it shows he cares. I definitely want someone who wants to do this unique project.

3) Experience – Chris is highly experienced in voiceover and audiobook narration specifically. His website states that “Chris is the voice of over 120 audiobooks currently available on iTunes, Audible, and Amazon. In 2014, he received the prestigious “Audible Approved stamp of approval and is considered among the best audio producers in the industry with a verifiable record of outstanding achievement” (click here to learn more about Chris).

In all transparency, Chris has the highest fee for narration and recording. Thankfully, my Kickstarter supporters gave above and beyond what we thought we needed which allows us to have the funds for the best talent. Isn’t that amazing?

What’s Next?

Chris is now recording a 15 minute sample of the book for my approval and input. The estimated recording completion date is April 13, 2018. Life After Lust will be available in audiobook shortly after that!

Things are moving forward! Thank you for your support and encouragement.

Gratefully,
Forest

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

A New Vision (A Call to Visionaries)

 

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I’m in the midst of a mid-life crisis.

Let’s call it an awakening.

A vision is haunting me.

A dream thumps loudly at my door.

For years I’ve pursued a career as a therapist, finding fulfillment in helping others find their way. A year ago I took the risk of writing my first book. I never imagined what reach my written words would have.

Mere months ago this new vision caught me….that I am a writer with many books to be birthed. All paths are converging on this important truth. Writing has brought me where I am today and is brining me where I want to go. My focus has changed from squeezing writing into my life to building my life around my writing. Practically, this looks like downsizing my client load and upscaling opportunities to write. This is my path to the most meaning. Honoring my vision is an unflinching act of alignment. Sure, there are risks on this road. But nothing is more risky than abandoning my most purposeful path. My time here is limited. I am acutely aware of my mortality.

May we all know the worth of our most precious visions.

Life’s too short not to live out the life of our dreams.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

Running on Empty No More: Transform Your Relationships With Your Partner, Your Parents and Your Children (Book Recommendation)

Running on Empty No More has the potential to change the world, one relationship at a time.

I just finished a wonderful book I can’t wait to tell you about called Running on Empty No More: Transform Your Relationships With Your Partner, Your Parents and Your Children, by Dr Jonice Webb.

Running on Empty No More is an excellent book for anyone seeking healing in their most important relationships. The book is a fitting follow-up to her first book Running On Empty, providing practical strategies for those wondering about next steps in their recovery from Childhood Emotional Neglect. One thing I appreciate about the book is the author’s obvious care and compassion for the reader. She invites the reader to take some difficult steps in repairing relationships while being clear about when those choices could be unhealthy. I found the book refreshing in my personal journey, especially when the concept of forgiveness was addressed. As a parent, I cannot more highly recommend the section on learning to connect with children.

Running on Empty No More has the potential to change the world, one relationship at a time. I plan to share this book with those I love, recommend it to many of my clients, and add it to the addiction recovery program I lead. Whether you’re seeking tools for connecting with a partner, parent, or child, this book is for you.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

Recovery is a Lifestyle Change (Video)

Recovery is a lifestyle change. Share if you agree.

 

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

2018: New Year, New Goals (What Are Yours?)

New year

It’s 2018! Can you believe it? With a new year comes new goals…have you made your 2018 goals yet? If so, I would love to hear them. When it comes to Life After Lust, I’ve created some ambitious yet attainable goals. I expect 2018 to be a year of amazing opportunities and growth. I will work hard to create such a year.

If you’re interested, here are my 2018 writing & business goals:

  1. Produce & publish the Life After Lust Audiobook
  2. Disperse all Audiobook Kickstarter rewards
  3. Create Life After Lust online course or program
  4. Write & publish book #2 (A workbook or Life After Lust Volume 2)
  5. VLOG monthly
  6. Life After Lust Retreat or Intensive
  7. Weekly engagement in the Life After Lust Community Facebook Group
  8. Expand distribution of all formats of Life After Lust
  9. At least one paid speaking opportunity per month (check out the Life After Lust Tour!)
  10. Reach 4,000 copies of Life After Lust in circulation (all formats combined)

As I’ve connected more with myself and watched the impact of Life After Lust, I’ve realized that the career I most want to pursue is that of a writer/author (I will still be a therapist). This year, I plan to move more seriously in that direction. I look forward to sharing more with you as that journey unfolds.

Wishing you success with your most important goals this year.
Happy New Year!
Forest

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

Great News: Life After Lust Audiobook Campaign Fully Funded!

Kickstarter a Success!

Friends,
I have Amazing news! The Life After Lust Audiobook Kickstarter was a huge success! Not only was the audiobook fully funded but the goal was significantly exceeded. When it was all said & done, 47 backers came together to fund the project 147%, with $2,794 in pledges!

Isn’t that amazing?!

These funds will allow me to not only produce the audiobook but also create other recovery related resources (I have a workbook and other ideas on the back burner). These contributions will help many, I am certain.

I am so grateful to all of my backers for making this possible. Those who gave now have the opportunity to be in an exclusive Facebook group where they’ll have a behind-the-scenes view into the project as it progresses. If you gave $2+, I hope to see you all there.

If that’s not you, you’ll see the final audiobook product soon enough.

I’ll be honest, about a week into this Kickstarter campaign I was feeling quite discouraged. I sought feedback and did not give up. Now, I’m so glad I kept going. Patience and perseverance paid off. There are so many generous people in my life and I am so grateful.

I look forward to sharing the completed audiobook with you all in the next few months.
Thank you again for your faithful support.

Happy Holidays,

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, Author of Life After Lust

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Please follow Forest on the following platforms: NewsletterYoutubeBlogTwitterFacebookLinkedInInstagramPinterestGoogle+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!