Book Review: Life After Lust

Book Review_ Life after Lust-2

Life after Lust: Stories & strategies for sex & pornography addiction recovery 

By Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP

Reviewed by Darlene Viggiano, Ph.D. (LMFT)

Citation:

Benedict, F. (2017). Life after Lust. CA, Fresno: Visionary Books

ISBN: 0-9984682-1-5

Life after Lust is a self-help, how-to book offering the personal story of a therapist in recovery from sex and pornography addiction, and the strategies he uses to maintain his own sobriety as well as helping others to recover. The book is highly relevant to both recovering and professional readers today due to the current, high profile and widely prevalent issues across the country surrounding porn, infidelity, and sexual intimacy for couples.

Women will be able to use this book, and the language is gender-neutral throughout, including concepts like self-compassion and self-care, such that females will benefit from reading it. However, it does not include women’s perspectives. The book’s strengths and weaknesses include a poignant focus on the attention and care a man must give to himself and his recovery, on the one hand, with insufficient priority to the role of couples’ recovery in this process, on the other.

The book’s primary value, therefore, lies in the systematic help it provides to those who want to gain freedom from lust-bound living on a daily basis. It does not claim to be a couples’ book. However, as a professional with expertise in both sex addiction and trauma, and as a woman who has experienced the effects of male objectification, it would be wonderful to see a companion book that walks the couple through recovery in the same way that this book does so very well for addicts. Fortunately, the book mentions a planned follow-up workbook, called Healing Through Connection, aimed at emphasizing couples’ work.

Benedict’s current thesis is that men can have a fulfilling life, untethered from lust, by developing certain mindsets, mastering particular strategies, and choosing and maintaining a love-based mission, all of which the author demonstrates clearly and succinctly. Perhaps, however, the book is a bit too succinct.  It would be useful to see sample responses to some of the excellent queries the author poses, so that the book does not become a series of hoops through which the recovering person must jump. Overall, though, the author succeeds in demonstrating a strong theme. What follows are examples of how Benedict accomplishes this.

First, Benedict introduces the concept of “prelapse,” warning those in recovery of the dangers of passivity as opposed to vigilance. Second, he delves into the various core beliefs about oneself that hinder a person in recovery. Third, he offers 19 key mindsets a recovering person must develop, as well as a path for building them.

Another strength is that Benedict uses his own journey to light the way for others, a very noble and effective technique. The power of this method is that it forces the author and the reader to deal head-on with the issue of stigma. Benedict uses several worthy metaphors to help himself and readers fight back against stigma, such as “rising from the pit.” Thus, stigma becomes less of an excuse and more of a challenge to face social shame with the honesty that can only arise when addicts have asked themselves, and answered from the soul, the hard questions—such as those about intention to objectify.

The book asks the reader to do a lot of writing, but is not set up as a workbook, which would be a preferred format for this work. It also provides a focus on parts work, such as dealing with the “evil genius” inside the addict. Benedict characterizes this part as the one that uses deceit, euphoric recollection, and malevolent inventiveness or trickery. The author does not spare this inner demon any quarter against inquiry, taking a Socratic method to the task of recovery. He encourages recovering addicts to throw this part “under the bus,” and offers options for meeting needs without meeting defeat.

There is so much more in favor of this book than space will allow.  For example, the book includes a 52-week plan, a significant structural resource for clinicians and clients that makes it useful as part of a recovery curriculum. Suffice it to conclude, however, that Benedict provides a way for addicts to attend to their pain, pollute their fantasies, face reality, and escape from lust to a life repurposed toward love.

 

Posted by 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!

 

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Life After Lust Audiobook Announcement & Request for Reward Ideas

LAL Audio

Friends,

I have EXCITING NEWS!

The Life After Lust Audiobook Kickstarter project will begin in about a week! Check out my VLOG Announcement to learn more about the details of this fun project.

Also, I HAVE A REQUEST…I have put together some great rewards for those wishing to contribute to this cause but I really would love to know what rewards you would be interested in. Again, check out the video for further explanation and to learn about some of the awesome rewards that are already planned.

I look forward to sharing this experience with all of you. I also look forward to hearing stories of lives touched and changed as a result of listening to the hopeful message of Life After Lust.

Gratefully,
Forest

PS: To follow this story, I invite you to follow this blog and sign up on the Life After Lust Newsletter

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: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

How I Made History Today: First Male Guest on Betrayal Trauma Recovery Podcast

How i made history today_ A podcast interview-2

Today I enjoyed the privilege of being interviewed on the Betrayal Trauma Recovery Podcast. As Anne introduced me, she shared that I was their first male guest in the history of the podcast, an honor I do not take lightly. Our episode will go public in a couple of weeks (I’ll definitely share it here). To be one of the first to listen, you can subscribe to their podcast. Listening to past episodes, I realized the BTR podcast is a goldmine for those seeking help with healing from betrayal trauma.

Today’s episode will provide hope and inspiration to all recovering partners. We talked about some essential topics and I shared how my book Life After Lust is a valuable resource for partners (click here for one partner’s review). I look forward to sharing this historic interview with you all very soon!

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: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

The Ethics of Sex: Fresno Bee Article & Radio Interview

Fresno Bee Hustler Article (crop)
This week I had two great opportunities to share my professional and personal perspectives on the local radio and newspaper. I’m grateful for these opportunities and and would love to share them with you.

If you’ve read my book Life After Lust, you’re aware that one component of the book is inviting people to stand against the porn-industry as they recover, learning to connect with their values. The following two resources reflect my personal response to Hustler’s move into my city. My hope is that this will inspire others to live in alignment with their highest values, whether standing against the porn-industry or doing other meaningful work in the world.

Check out the following two resources:

The Trevor Carey Radio Show (Note: My participation in this show does not mean I endorse its political views)

The Fresno Bee (in print too) – The ethics of sex: Hefner & Hustler had them half right  (potential photo trigger warning), based on this well-read article which received over 650 views

May these resources encourage you as you recover from life’s hurts and learn to live in alignment with your values. Please share with anyone who would benefit.

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: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

 

This is a Pandemic

“None of us are protected from the pull of pornography…This is a pandemic. Our world is saturated with sexual addiction.” p 7

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!

My Radio Interview Today

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 1.44.27 PM

After writing my recent article in response to Hustler’s new store in my city (which receive over 600 views!), I have the opportunity to share my perspective on the Trevor Carey radio show (96.7 FM) today at 4:30pm. This will be my second interview on this show (click here to listen to the first one) and I am grateful for the opportunity. Also, look for an updated version of my Hefner/Hustler article in the Fresno Bee soon.

All of these opportunities are chances to live in alignment. May we all live our lives courageously aligned with our highest values.

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!

What My Wife Is Worth (Essential Mindset #13)

My partner is worth my best recovery efforts.-2

Essential Mindset #13 in Life After Lust (2017). From the chapter “What My Wife is Worth.” Share if you agree.

Learn many other ways to fight for your partner’s heart, check out my new book Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies For Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery.

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: NewsletterYoutube, BlogTwitter, Facebook, LinkedInInstagramPinterest, Google+StumbleUpon, and SHARE this valuable content with others. Thank you!

 

 

In Case You Forgot…

Course Correction LAL
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Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, subscribe to my Youtube channel, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Where Will Recovery Lead You? (Life After Lust VLOG)

Where will recovery lead you?-2

Recovery is about much more than just leaving addiction. It is also about the life you replace your addiction with. Click the link below to watch my newest VLOG episode about where the recovery lifestyle has led me.

WHERE WILL RECOVERY LEAD YOU? Life After Lust VLOG

I wonder, where will recovery lead you?

If you’re willing, take a minute to post about the experiences you have had as a result of your personal recovery journey. 

To subscribe to the Life After Lust Newsletter click here

To learn more about the inspirational new book Life After Lust, click here

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, subscribe to my Youtube channel, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!

Let’s Talk Trauma & Addiction – 2 New Podcasts

eye tear

Often those of us in recovery have survived a trauma-filled past. Whether it’s in the form of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, our past pains have a long-term impact on our lives and relationships.

This was certainly the case for me….and I’m starting to talk more openly about it these days.

In my two most recent podcast interviews, I had the opportunity to talk about my past pain in depth. If you’ve wondered about the link between trauma and addiction, I invite you to listen in:

Interview #1: Making an Addict podcast with sex addiction therapist D.J. Burr

Interview #2: Pure Sex Radio Podcast with Jonathan Daugherty of Be Broken Ministries
(Christian-based, much more trauma focused)

I hope you find these interviews enlightening and encouraging as you pursue your personal path from pain to purpose.

Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP, is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. If you benefited from this article, please “follow” me on this blog and on Twitter, “like” me on Facebook, subscribe to my Youtube channel, and SHARE this article and blog with others. Thank you!