How Paying Attention Protects Our Children from Porn

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In my recent interview with Lisa Shanklin of Educate Empower Kids, we focused on one of the topics emphasized in my book Life After Lust – protecting children from pornography. In the chapter entitled “How Paying Attention Protects Our Children from Porn” and in this interview, I suggested 4 critical ways that parents can pay attention to their children, thereby protecting them from pornography.

Check out the article and the book for more information.

For a powerful video with additional suggestions for parents, click here.

Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Forest’s First Book is Almost Here!

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It should be no surprise that my first book will be a resource for sexual addicts. What may be surprising is that 1.5 weeks ago I decided that if I can binge watch Netflix, then I can certainly binge write my first book and now it is nearly done! I look forward to sharing more as it progresses but I can tell you the following about my soon to be self-published book:

  1. It is an anthology of my best articles, including some new ones
  2. It is aimed at inspiring & equipping sexually addicted men & women
  3. In it I share in depth details about my personal trauma and recovery journey
  4. It is my hope that this work is a catalyst for personal transformation and world change

I look forward to finishing and sharing this creative work of art & love with you soon!

-By Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING book!


Healed for a Purpose

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Over a decade ago I checked into a treatment program hoping to heal from a serious sexual addiction. A transformed life was Plan A. Plan B was a secret plot to escape to Las Vegas and drown myself in addictive self-destruction. My contingency plan never materialized because Plan A became my life’s mission. Ironically, my recovery path led me back to Las Vegas last weekend. I was not there to indulge an addiction but to train therapists to treat those who do. This is one of many mind-blowing miracles I’ve savored in my recovery. Out of my past pain has come my present purpose. This is the hope of healing.

When we are deep in addiction and trauma, we are blind to future hope. We cannot imagine living in the light when we feel lost in the night. It takes a bold imagination to take steps forward in recovery when we can’t predict where that path leads.

I cannot tell you where your recovery path will take you but I can promise you one thing: Through your recovery you’ll connect with your purpose. Healing is about far more than just managing triggers, but about stepping into a meaningful life. When we are no longer handcuffed by our impulses, we are free to love and live fully.

Are you willing to do the deep and difficult work of recovery today, holding tightly to the belief that you will benefit tomorrow?  

Are you willing to postpone present pleasure and persevere through present pain for the promise of future satisfaction? 

If you answer “yes” then I welcome you to a courageous journey of faith. Here we begin to believe in the unseen. We imagine a different future while persistently pursuing it. When our purposeful future find us, we will truly see that we’ve sacrificed nothing and gained everything. We wrestled for our recovery and it was worth it. We were healed for a purpose.

-By Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING Workbook!

“Protecting Children from Pornography: How to Equip Parents”- Fresno Seminar for Mental Health Professionals & Students (June 18th)

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On June 18th, CAMFT (Central San Joaquin Valley Chapter) is hosting a seminar called “Protecting Children from Pornography:How to Equip Parents“. This seminar is presented by Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C, who specializes in sexual addiction treatment and presents often to parents on this topic. The seminar is open to all mental health professions (licensed, interns) and students pursuing this field as well. Participants will earn 3 CEU’s.

The purpose of this seminar is to teach about the availability of pornography to children, the effects of pornography use on children, and what steps can be taken to protect children from pornography. Participants will also learn about resources for parents and young people who are faced with this issue. Information will be shared about both prevention and treatment.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Learn about the prevalence of adolescent pornography exposure and use

2. Learn about the neurological, relational, biological, legal, and other effects of  adolescent pornography use

3. Understand the need for preventative measures

4. Learn about available resources for both prevention and treatment

For cost, location, and registration information, CLICK HERE

We hope to see you there!

-By Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LMFT, Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley If you benefited from this article, please “follow” us on this blog and on Twitter, “like” us on Facebook, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Forest’s “Vote for Love” Article Coming to The Fresno Bee This Saturday!


I am grateful to announce that my recent “Vote for Love” article will be published in The Fresno Bee this Saturday! It is my hope that this article raises local awareness about the harms of pornography and what can be done to oppose the Hustler store that is coming to Fresno. Right in time for the primaries, we can all cast our “vote for love”.

–By Forest Benedict

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING BOOK

Vote for Love, Not Porn (Can you help?)

PLEASE HELP! After many hours invested, I have finally published the new piece called “Vote for Love”, a challenge to reject the new Hustler store and to stand against porn in our city and in our world. Please SHARE this with others, helping us spread this timely message for the good of our community and our world. THANK YOU!

Free Porn-Protection Seminar – April 13th in Fresno

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On April 13th from 6:30-8:30pm, local therapist Forest Benedict is presenting his “Dangerous Access” seminar, equipping adults to protect children from pornography. This seminar is offered free to the local community and will be presented at First Presbyterian Church in Fresno.

The generous church staff recently shared this invitation:

“It is time we begin to address this issue here at First Pres. If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, teacher, caregiver, mentor or just care about kids (pretty much everyone!) please join us this Wednesday, April 13 from 6:30-8:30pm in the Corner Room for a free seminar led by Forest Benedict entitled “Dangerous Access: Protecting Children from the Path of Pornography.

Forest Benedict is the clinical director of LifeStar of the Central Valley and has taught at Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary. I look forward to how this education and equipping will help us as a church family raise spiritually and emotionally healthy kids.”

This is a valuable resource for everyone who cares about children and wants practical direction for protecting them. We hope to see you there!

If you are unable to attend but are seeking information about this topic, click here. PLEASE SHARE this invitation with others. Thank you!

12 Porn Free Years: The Secrets of My Success


Today is a momentous day for me. Today marks 12 years free from pornography use. This is especially significant because it mirrors the 12 previous years I was enslaved to pornography. I look back on these years with gratitude. They were difficult but I’ve grown and learned so much. For the sake of personal reflection and to give back to those who are struggling, I have compiled the top 12 lessons and the top 12 key recovery skills I’ve learned from these 12 years of transformation (in no particular order). Here they are:

Lessons –

  1. Connection is the opposite of addiction
  2. Without going back, I cannot go forward
  3. Successful recovery requires 100% Me and 100% God
  4. Education is empowering
  5. Daily self-care habits are the foundation of recovery
  6. Discomfort and pain are part of the process
  7. Recovery is worth the “sacrifices” of convenience and temporary pleasure
  8. Nobody recovers alone
  9. Love satisfies what lust never will
  10. My recovery is not progressing if I learn to be sober yet self-neglectful
  11. Recovery means learning to trust 
  12. Out of my healing comes my purpose

Essential Skills –

  1. Learning to reach out to others in moments of temptation and emotional turmoil
  2. Learning to connect deeply with God
  3. Learning to connect deeply with others (accountability, romantic partner, friends)
  4. Learning to connect in a group
  5. Learning self-connection
  6. Practicing self-compassion
  7. Habitual self-care
  8. Getting professional help when needed
  9. Practicing play, laughter, fun, and relaxation
  10. Managing shame
  11. Taking full responsibility for my choices
  12. Finding daily inspiration

May those who continue to struggle find direction and hope here. Freedom from sexual addiction is possible.


-By Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP-C

Please FOLLOW my blog and find me on Facebook and Twitter for future posts and announcements about my UPCOMING BOOK!