January 14, 2018

Does the Bible talk about Addictions?

I have recently been running into more and more Pastors and Elders who don't believe in the idea of "addictions". Their belief has been that "addictions" is just another way to make excuses for behaviors like alcohol, drugs, gambling, gaming and now sexual addiction. They often tell me that there is no Biblical basis for using the term "addiction" and that these behaviors should just be called "sin".

Unfortunately, some of these Pastors and Elders have overlooked Paul's qualifications for a Elder/ Bishop/ Overseer and Deacons found in I Timothy chapter 3:1-10 (NASB - regarded by many to be the closest translation to the original Greek text.)

1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.
2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.
4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity
5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?),
6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.
7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,
9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

Paul also mentions addiction in his qualifications of a Elder in Titus chapter 1: 7 ...
For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain, 

So if the Apostle Paul was talking about "addictions" why are so many Pastors and Elders denying GOD's Word? The problem that I see is three fold...

1) Many of the addiction programs that are being offered by the world completely leave GOD out of the restoration process or they just throw GOD into the mix as a nameless "higher power". This is true and a bit unfortunate. However, you can not deny GOD's Word (i.e. the use of the term "addiction") simply because the world has cut GOD out of the recovery process. What did you expect from the "world"? Our response should not be to reject the concept of an "addiction" but rather make sure GOD is in the center of that recovery process - what non-addicts and many addicts call "Sanctification"! For you see, "salvation" is a life changing event - like "birth" (John. 3:3-7). But life after birth is a life long journey of recovery from the impact and chains of our old sin nature. Only GOD and His Spirit can remove  those things in our lives that have enslaved us and soiled us ... thus the process of santification or recovery is a process that every born again Christian (both addicts and non-addicts) is working though.

2) The second problem is that many in the church want quick fixes to all their problems - a "one size fits all" answer to everything. Sin is the definition of every problem and GOD is the answer to every problem .... and .... broad / general sense... that is True! However, not every problem is best defined as being "sin". I often hear people say that "sin is sin" ... again, yes that is true but not all sin is equal. GOD never destroyed a society like Sodom and Gomorrah for things like jay walking or speeding or cussing. GOD judged Sodom and Gomorrah because of the sexual perversion and their homosexual behaviors that were shameless and unrepentant. Granted, every problem has it's roots in sin but some problems are better described by their actual names such as ... drugs, alcohol, adultery, homosexuality, etc. Obviously, not every problem is sin (i.e. cancer, finances, stages of growth development etc) although GOD needs to be invited into the process of dealing with all problems.

3) Third, it is odd that Paul has to exhort the spiritual leaders of the church about the qualifications of a church leader. Apparently, being "addicted" to wine was a problem that some of them were struggling with, which caused them to not to be qualified as a spiritual leader. Unfortunately, as a counselor I see this all the time. Spiritual men (Senior Pastors, Executive Pastors, Elders, Deacons, Youth Pastors, Music Pastors, Bible Study and Prayer Group Leaders etc) fall because they have entertained temptations which turn into struggles, which turn into sin problems and which often develop into full blown addictions that ruin their lives and their ministries. I believe Paul was addressing a problem that many in the church were afraid to address ... perhaps because they were the ones with the problem and perhaps they were afraid of loosing their standing within the Body of Christ and the community. I am thrilled that someone like Paul was willing to stand up and address the problem of men having an a addiction to wine. By addressing it he prevented a multitude of problems that would have destroyed people's lives and would have damaged the testimony of Christ and the Church.

So when Paul was talking about an addiction what was he talking about? What is the definition of an "addiction"?  Some of the criteria for an addiction can be found in detail in other parts of this Blog.

Ross Gunn III
Office/Cell:  (360) 991-7700

June 2, 2012

LifeGuards808.com is a Men's Sexual Addiction Therapy Group that meets weekly in two different locations on the island of Maui in Hawaii.
The first group meets at Hope Chapel in Kihei, while the second group meets at Waipuna Chapel in UpCountry Kula. 

Before someone can be part of either group he must...

1) Contact the therapist (Ross Gunn III) using the Contact website pages at LifeGuards808.com or at SkyviewCounseling.com and let him know your desire to be part of LifeGuards808. 

2) Ross Gunn III will then call you to set up an appointment for an initial meeting. Ross will also email you his Professional Disclosure Statement which will help you to understand ... 
A) The therapist's approach to counseling, his education, experience and world view as a Christian therapist.
B) The rights and issues of the client while part of LifeGuards808.
C) The federal, state and LifeGuards808 limits and exceptions to confidentiality.
D) The amount of time involved each week with LifeGuards808 in therapy and the general length of time a person is in therapy.
E) The client's goals, responsibilities, accountability, motivation and the use of homework in therapy.
F) The cost charged at the beginning of each month for being part of the weekly two hour LifeGuards808 therapy group.

3)  In addition to sending you his Professional Disclosure Statement the therapist will also be emailing you a Intake Questionnaire.  The questionnaire helps the therapist to get to know you better and to understand the various struggles you are facing with your addiction.  All information is confidential, unless it involves breaking the law. 

Again, if you are interested in being part of a LifeGuards808 therapy group then please go to www.LifeGuards808.com or www.SkyviewCounseling.com and fill out the contact form. You will be contacted immediately and a interview will be set up.

In the King's Service,

Ross Gunn III
Part of Skyview Counseling LLC
Office / Cell: (360) 991-7700
Email: Help@LifeGuards808.com
Mail: Skyview Counseling LLC  c/o Ross Gunn III
PO Box 532605  Kihei HI 96753-9998

Critera for Sexual Addiction

While growing up, the term "sexual addiction" was never in our vocabulary. We always thought that if a guy or girl had continuous desire for sex that they were just "horny", affectionate, lustful, reprobate or just being a “Guy". Today we have a little better understanding of both “Substance Addictions” (such as … alcohol, drugs {Illegal or prescription}, nicotine, caffeine and/or food) and Behavioral Addictions (such as … sex, gambling, spending, shopping, stealing, cleaning or working). To have an “addiction” means that a person has an unhealthy desire, commitment and use of a substance or a set of behaviors. To meet the criteria for an addiction, including a Sexual Addiction, some of the following must be present...

1) There is a repetitive pattern of unhealthy thoughts, feelings, choices and/or behaviors that involves or is the result of the addiction.
2) There is a significant amount of time spent on thinking, planning, preparing, obtaining, using and/or recovering from the addiction.
3) There is a sense that life or parts of life are out of control because of the addiction.
4) There is an ongoing internal battle to stop or control the addiction.
5) There is an inability to stop or completely control the addiction.
6) There are sometimes damaging or sever consequences because of the addiction.
7) There is an inability to stop or fully control the addiction in spite of the damage, consequences or pressures from others.
8) There are often random and/or sever mood changes because of the addiction.
9) There is a growing desire for more in order to maintain or achieve the same effect.
10) There is a continual pursuit of unhealthy, damaging and/or risky behaviors associated with the addiction.
11) The addiction becomes a way to medicate or cope with the stress, pain and/or pressures of life.
12) There is a damaging and/or destructive pattern of attitudes, moods and behaviors that harms oneself and others. Spiritually, mentally, emotionally, volitionally (i.e. the ability to make healthy choices), physically and/or relationally.
13) There is a neglect of important relationships, work and/or activities because of the addiction.
14) There is a sense of guilt and shame because of addictive behavior.
15) There is a sense that the addiction has impacted and damaged their identity, purpose, significance, value, worth, security, sense of belonging, dreams and/or desires.

There is a belief among many counseling professionals that if a person meets at least four of these criteria then they are struggling with an addiction. Often there are both men and women that can identify with all 15 criteria. The impact and damage that SA has on a person’s heart, thoughts, feelings, choices, behaviors and relationships can be overwhelming.

If you have a sexual addiction please drop me an Email. I would like the opportunity to encourage you and help you break free from this damaging addiction.

Ross Gunn III
Skyview Counseling LLC
Office / Cell: (360) 991-7700
Email: Help@SkyviewCounseling.com
Website: http://SkyviewCounseling.com
Mailing Address: Skyview Counseling LLC  c/o Ross Gunn III
PO Box 532605 Kihei HI 96753-9998

Four Stages of SA Behaviors

Often people are confused about the different stages of sexual addiction. People tend to believe that one inappropriate sexual behavior is just as inappropriate as another. This generalizing of behaviors tends to put people who are just starting to develop an addiction with those who are deep into their sexual addiction and who have severely damaged their "heart" (identity, purpose, significance, sense of belonging, values, security, theology and how they process pain and reward). In addition, sexual addiction tends to go through phases of development and becomes more inappropriate each time the person is unable to break free from their cycle. The shame of being unable to break from their cycles and rituals only further enslaves the person while strengthening the addiction. This is similar to struggling while stuck in quicksand or encoiled by a large snake. The more one struggles the worse the situation becomes. Trying to break free by oneself is nearly impossible. This is why getting help from a Christian counselor who specializes in sexual addiction and being part of a sexual addiction accountability group that separates people according to their sexual behaviors is so important.

The separating of addicts according to their sexual behaviors is essential for one's recovery. It is unwise for a stage #1 client to be put with a group of people who are struggling with stage 2, 3 or 4 sexual behaviors and vice versa. The stage #1 client will often get a 'education' from those in other stages that will only develop and increase their sexual knowledge and behaviors . While those in other stages will tend to shut down because of the shame factor and/or will try to 'fly under the radar' if they are put in a lower number accountability group. Assessing a person's sexual behaviors (i.e. sexual behaviors done within the last 5 years) is critical to helping a person be put in the right accountability group. Once in the right group the client has an opportunity to be with other sexual addicts who know and understand their struggles and can share with them the tools and insights they have learned in breaking the cycles unique to their addiction.

* Once a person meets or exceeds the criteria for a sexual addiction (see criteria listed below) then their sexual behaviors often fall into one or more of the following four stages. The addict should be put in an accountability group that reflects the highest stage number (i.e. Stage # 1 > 4) of their sexual behaviors and which causes the most distress to the person and their family. It is essential that the addict be 1000% truthful in this assessment order to derive the greatest benefit from their accountability group and in their recovery. (Note: If a person has a sexual behavior that was acted upon in a one time event, that was not 'normal' in light of their history, then this should be discussed with their therapist or group leader before being put in a accountability group. Sometimes these events need to be discussed in their context so that they are clearly understood. Addicts and therapist need to be aware that there is a tendency to minimize these events unless clearly understood.)

Stages of Sexual Addiction Defined
Stage #1 Inappropriate sexual behaviors where there is no contact or interaction with a living person. Sexual Behaviors involving one or more of the following… compulsive masturbation, sexual magazines/ books / TV / Video / DVD / Internet / downloading pornography, sexual and/or occultic role-playing games and/or "adult" bookstores.

Stage #2 Sexual behaviors that have a verbal, visual and/or physical contact with a living person. Sexual Behaviors involving one or more of the following… sexual chat rooms, phone sex, live Internet sex shows, strip & lingerie clubs, prostitution, one night stands, affairs, multiple sexual relationships.

Stage #3 Sexual behaviors that intentionally cross boundaries and are often predatory in nature. Sexual Behaviors involving one or more of the following… voyeurism, exhibitionism, nudism, frottage, 'shock' sexual acts (sexual phone calls, masturbating in public places etc.), the taking clothes of the opposite sex. Stage #3 also includes the targeting, grooming and taking advantage of adult sexual victims.

Stage #4 Sexual behaviors that are often either … harmful to oneself or others, and/or contrary to heterosexual relationships, and/or predatory in nature, and/or is highly illegal, and/or unusual/bizarre. Sexual Behaviors involving one or more of the following… multiple sexual experiences needed daily, sex with total random strangers (i.e. anonymous sex), risky sex (i.e. with known STD/AIDS carriers), threesome, homosexual, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, grooming and/or having sex with family members, grooming and/or having sex with infants, children or minors, sex with animals, dead people, occultic sex, sex that involves the torturing of animals, BDSM, the use of drugs or weapons to obtain sex, or sex that involves trafficking, torturing and/or the murder of people.

Understanding S.A.
1) Oddly enough, S.A. is not totally about 'sex'. SA is about shame, denial, lies, control, thinking errors and medication. It’s also about heart issues (Matt. 5:28; 15:19; Eph. 4:17-19)… identity, purpose, values, significance, morals, personal theology, a sense of belonging and how a person handles pain and reward in their life. Often S.A. is about medicating something from the past - trauma, abuse, abandonment, pain, lies, and/or family issues. Sometimes a person is unable to identify what they have been medicating on their own. This is often because the issue is firmly embedded in a person's family system and there is a family history of inappropriate transgenerational sexual behaviors.

2) S.A. is similar to eating foods. We all have basic hungers and appetites. However, some foods can harm or you kill you. Therefore, it is essential to eat that which is healthy for you. Similarly, by nature we all have basic sexual desires and needs. However, sex outside of marriage can be very damaging and has the potential to kill your most valued relationships, while destroying your life. On the other hand, sex between a husband and wife can be very positive and healthy as they learn to develop an intimate / growing / nurturing relationship.

3) Although, stopping obsessive sexual thoughts and compulsive sexual behaviors is a top priority. The primary focus of SA recovery is to rebuild and develop a life based on truth, trust and integrity which is reflected in a person's heart, thoughts, feelings, choices, behaviors and relationships - before the Living GOD, spouse, family and the world.

Ross Gunn III
Skyview Counseling LLC
Office / Cell: (360) 991-7700
Email: Help@SkyviewCounseling.com
Website: http://SkyviewCounseling.com
Blog: http://SkyviewCounseling.blogspot.com
Mailing Address: Skyview Counseling LLC c/o Ross Gunn III
PO Box 532605 Kihei HI 96753-9998

Phone/ Video Counseling

Skyview Phone/Video Counseling

My name is Ross Gunn III and I have been professionally counseling men and couples since 1998. Prior to that point, I was a Pastor for 25 years counseling individuals, couples and students on a number of issues. Recently, I have been doing a lot of Skype / phone counseling with men and couples who have busy schedules but who are serious about working on their issues. Currently, I do Skype or phone counseling on Monday through Saturdays starting on the following hours... 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, and 9pm.

The areas I specialize in are ...

* Sexual Addiction (Stages 1 > 4)
* Heart Issues: Identity, purpose, values, significance, security, belonging, pain & reward, trauma, abuse, abandonment, lies, and personal theology.
* Thinking errors, emotional dysfuction and blackmail, unhealthy choices, inappropriate behaviors and unhealthy relationships.
* Building and keeping Healthy Relationships

There are some prerequisites to Skype or phone counseling ...

A) Contact Skyview Counseling at (360) 991-7700 and set up an appointment.
B) Once an appointment is set and some basic information is gathered then Skyview Counseling will then send the client an Email with the following information ...
     1) A Professional Disclosure Statement. This explains the counselor's credentials, education, background, type of therapy, limits to confidentiality, costs and contact information.
     2) A Intake questionnaire. This questionnaire will help the counselor to better get to know the client and their issues. Ideally, this will help shorten the number of sessions and will help the counselor address the client's core issues.
C) Counseling must be paid for prior to session. The cost of “Skype / phone counseling” is $145.
D) Payments are to be made in advance using a credit card and paid using "Square".
E) When doing internet video conferencing the therapist will provide you with the internet program that will allow internet conferencing that is secure.
F) Once an appointment is set then the counselor will call you at the phone number you desire, at the appointed time.

If you wish to set up a counseling appointment please contact me at ...

Ross Gunn III
Skyview Counseling LLC
Office / Cell: (360) 991-7700
Email: Help@SkyviewCounseling.com
Website: http://SkyviewCounseling.com
Blog: http://SkyviewCounseling.blogspot.com
Mailing Address: Skyview Counseling LLC c/o Ross Gunn III
PO Box 532605 Kihei HI 96753-9998

June 1, 2012

The Fall is more than a Season!

The Fall and the Winter are more than Seasons to the Sex Addict. It is a time for them to sharpen their tools and take their Recovery very seriously. Over the last 12 years I have noticed my client load seems to increase every year between November 15th and February 15th. Why??? My theory is that it is because of ...

  • The stress of the holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, Martin Luther King, Super Bowl and Valentines Day).
  • The financial stress and pressure to provide for the family during the season.
  • The ties to the dysfunctional bio & step families.
  • The failed expectations of the bio & step families of the client.
  • The darkness of the seasonal weather - which is depressing.
  • Various triggers that drive the client to medicate (HALTSBAD: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired, Stressed, Bored, Anxious, and/or Depressed.
During this period of time I encourage all of my clients to take extra measures to guard their heart - their relationship with GOD, their identity, purpose, significance, values, sense of belonging, need for security, and be aware of how they are processing pain and reward.
I also encourage them to spend time with healthy friends who can encourage them and hold them accountable. I often tell addicts who are just starting into their recovery to stay away from dysfunctional family members who are either addicts, codependents, control freaks, people who are black or white thinkers and/or who like to control through shame and guilt. These people love the drama of hurting and fixing others. Those who are in recovery need to break away from their Child / Parent mentality and become healthy adults.

The Fall and the Winter are more than Seasons to the Addict. It is a time to sharpen their tools and take their Recovery very seriously. For more information about sexual addiction visit my website or contact me to make an appointment.

Ross Gunn III

Skyview Counseling LLC
Office / Cell: (360) 991-7700
Email: Help@SkyviewCounseling.com
Website: http://SkyviewCounseling.com
Mailing Address: Skyview Counseling
c/o  Ross Gunn III 
PO Box 532605, Kihei HI 96753

February 23, 2007

Sexual Addiction: Breaking the Cycles

Breaking the Cycles of Sexual Addiction
By Ross Gunn III
{Originally published for the National Network of Youth Pastors}

"Everyone else has gone to bed, and it has been a very long day. My Sonday was a typical one for a Pastor: rushing out the door early, teaching Sonday School, church, lunch with staff, afternoon counseling, evening meetings and follow-up calls. Who ever said being a pastor was easy?

This week I've clocked over 78 hours. I am constantly surrounded with people, but I feel so alone. No one could possibly understand the tremendous pressures, responsibilities and the temptations I face every day. I feel like I'll never meet everyone's standards of perfection. The amount of guilt and shame I carry is overwhelming! The church is supposed to be a model of unconditional love, and yet I feel like I am always on trial, always having to prove myself.

This late hour is my time to let down my guard; to meet my own needs. It's a time when I can feel human again. Under the guise of doing more ministry, I “reach out” to others online. At least that’s what I tell myself. My chat room talks with Stacy have been exciting and fulfilling. Although she is only sixteen, she has a level of empathy that is rare in a woman three times her age. I know that I shouldn't be opening up to her, but after all… I am a pastor. Perhaps we shouldn't be so graphic and intimate in our discussions, but that's what she likes, so I do it anyway. I know that my wife would disapprove, but Stacy and I have a lot in common, and I find that she allows me to feel – well, like a man; like a person with value and worth.

What disturbs me most about chatting with Stacy is my fantasy of a more sexual relationship with her. I rationalize that away, since I can't see her. I often spend hours viewing pornography after we log off. I know porn is not good, but it allows me to enjoy being intimate with someone, even if they are just pictures. After all, I need to feel good – to be released from the pressures of the day…

At least I am not as bad as my grandfather with his kinky magazines, or my Dad with his adulterous affairs. Yet every time I go through my ritual of chat rooms, pornography and masturbation, I know something is deeply wrong. I feel ashamed; I ask God’s forgiveness – but nothing seems to change. I feel that at the heart or core of who I am... I am a hypocrite – I am a liar – I am bad.

I wish I could stop, but I can't. It seems like I want this more and more each week. My late night activities are harming my family and it’s affecting my ministry. I feel like I'm caught in a revolving door of acting out, confessing my sins and vowing that I will never get on the Internet again. I hope my wife never finds out. I’m getting by for now…but when I’m alone, I daydream about talking to Stacy and I can’t wait till we meet again next Sonday night!"


This story illustrates some of the damage that sexual addiction can have on a Pastor, his marriage, his family and his ministry. Since opening my own counseling office in 1998, I have counseled a lot of Pastors, Elders, Staff, Church Members, "Seekers" and some who have rejected God and I've noticed a recurring pattern or cycle in all of the lives of people struggling with sexual addiction. Below is a brief summary of the sexual addiction cycle and some of the tools needed to break the cycle.

The Sexual Addiction Cycle

1) Heart Issues & Core Beliefs: The Bible describes the heart as being like a treasure chest (Psalm 119:11; Luke 2:51). It's where we store our most intimate beliefs about God, ourselves, and others. It holds our values, our worth, our purpose , our significance, our sense of security, our understanding of pain and reward and our deepest beliefs about faith, hope and love.. These 'treasures' may be good or bad, healthy or destructive. We often view our treasures in terms of extreme black and white beliefs. Many of our deepest memories of trauma, abuse and abandonment dwell in the darkest corners of our heart. The heart also the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Our heart impacts all of our thoughts, feelings, choices, behaviors and relationships. When our heart is “out of synch” with the Holy Spirit and with Scripture, we tend to view and live life from a distorted perspective. This distortion plagues our daily lives, making us vulnerable to “stress triggers” that can set us off into a destructive pattern of thinking, feeling choosing and acting out destructive behaviors.

2) Stress Triggers: Everyone experiences stress. But some kinds of stress reinforce our unhealthy heart/core issues, and tempt us to dwell on the negative. These stress triggers magnify the pain of our heart.

3) Negative Emotional State: Like a bad song that we can't get out of our heads, we begin to rehearse the negative feelings attached to our unhealthy heart. We become depressed, anxious, bitter, guilty and fearful as we nurse the pain in our heart.

4) Role of the Victim / Child: Unable to deal with our pain, we become it's victim. Excuses, blaming, twisted logic and self-pity begin to arise with the hope of finding a reason for and an escape from the pain. Rather than being an responsible adult we begin to act like a child.

5) Sense of Need/Entitlement: Marinating in our pain, we believe that we deserve to feel good. Denying personal responsibility, we feel “entitled” to meet our “needs” to deaden the pain.

6) Fantasy: Escaping from pain leads to floating a fantasy that is outside the boundaries of normal or acceptable behavior. Chat rooms, pornography, sexual encounters, sexual release - the fantasy is usually about feeling better, medicating the pain and/or bringing some power and control into our lives.

7) Thinking Errors: False reasoning tears away at our inner restraints from acting out the fantasy. We might blame others, justify our actions, be in denial, or redefine our reality to fit our warped perspective.

8) Set Up: Once these thinking errors have short-circuit any healthy thinking, we look for opportunities to act out. Fantasy tries to become reality as we cross normal boundaries. A “cocktail” of drugs - dopamine, endorphins and adrenaline - are released in our brains. These drugs (described as being more powerful than cocaine) control us and mask the pain. It's only a matter of time and opportunity before we act out.

9) Acting Out: Sexual behaviors related to sexual addiction can come in a thousand different forms. However, here are the four primary stages of sexual behaviors. These stages reflect an increasing need for more sex in order to maintain the desired effect of the addiction.
  • Stage #1 sexual behaviors are those where the person has no actual contact with a living person, such as Obsessive /Compulsive lusting, masturbation, porn magazines, pictures, movies, and some Internet.
  • Stage #2 involves behaviors where there is actual contact/communication with a living person, such as: interactive Internet pornography, phone sex, chat rooms, strip clubs, prostitution, adulterous affairs, concurrent multiple sexual relationships etc.
  • Stage #3 sexual behaviors are more predator in nature, such as voyeurism, exhibitionism, frottage, nudist/naturalist camps, masturbation in a public place, targeting specific populations of people, stealing and/or wearing other people’s intimate clothing etc.
  • Stage #4 sexual behaviors tend to be anything that is unusual, bazaar, illegal or outside a heterosexual relationship, such as rape, dangerous sex with people with known STD’s, homosexual behaviors, hot johns, sex with children, animals, dead people, family members, occultic or religious rites, sadomasochism, BDSM etc.

The acting out of these sexual behaviors becomes the momentary “reality” where heart pain is temporarily medicated. However, all relief is short-lived, shame and pain is quickly inflicted and the medication value fails to heal the true pain in the heart.

10) Remorse: Almost immediately, the pain returns. Inevitable feelings of guilt and shame make us more miserable than before. Unable to measure up to our internal standards of perfection, conditional love leads to condemnation and shame, shrouding our under- standing of God’s grace. Unless we hit absolute bottom – losing everything – we neither surrender, tell the whole truth, nor begin to seek help from God and others.

11) Guarded Confession: In confessing our sins to God, ourselves and/or to a partner, we tend to only share that which is “safe” to reveal. This guarded confession allows us to protect the source of our addiction and pleasure, reinforcing the addiction instead of breaking it.

12) Fake Normal: For a period of time, everything appears normal. Things seem to be back under control – at least until the next time the issues of the heart tap into the stresses of the day. Sexual addiction can be expressed in a number of different ways. But the cycle is essentially always the same - repeating itself, getting progressively worse each time you act out. Since sexual addiction is a reflection of the heart (Mark 7:14-23), the level of addiction is often a reflection of the amount of damage that has been done - to your life, your heart and your core beliefs. The healthier your heart becomes, the more prone you are to slow down, dismantle and break the cycle of sexual addiction.

Breaking Free from Sexual Addiction
As you seek to break free from this addiction, it is important that you...
  • Turn to God and His Word for answers to resolve the hurt and pain in your heart. Start by being truthful with GOD about your sexual history, your rituals, cycles and your struggles. Confession is not only good for the soul but it is also good for your heart and your recovery. Tell GOD that you have been trying to break your addiction apart from Him, by your own strength ... and you have failed miserably! Ask Him for forgiveness and seek His help and strength on a moment by moment basis. GOD wants you to trust Him as you go through this recovery process (Prov. 3:5-6). Seek to clean and fill your heart with God's Word (Psalm 119:11). Learn what God says about how your heart issues influence your thoughts, feelings, choices, behaviors and relationships. Understand that the damage you have created with your sexual sins has had a global impact on your entire life and world. Recovery is impossible without GOD's help and strength.
  • Be aware of your thoughts, feelings, choices and behaviors. Compare them against what you know to be true and right from God's Word. Trust God's Word over what you think and feel. Beware of thinking errors. Make choices based upon God's Word. Be careful to not to read into the Scripture messages that the text does not support. Over spiritualizing, becoming legalistic and demanding perfection rather than growing through a process of sanctification and grace will only heap shame and guilt on yourself and will guarantee that you will constantly fail to break free from sexual addiction.
  • Do Not fight this battle alone! It is almost impossible to break the sexual addiction cycle by yourself. It is essential for you to work with others who have similar SA issues, who are also seeking to maintain their “sobriety.” Many churches, organizations and ministries are now seeking to help individuals break free from the bondage of sexual addiction, while turning their hearts and families towards God. It is important to join a Christian SA group that specifically addresses sexual addiction. Just as important is to meet with a Christian Counselor that specializes in sexual addiction to help you work through your heart issues.
  • Be completely honest with your spouse, your counselor and your SA group. The only way to get rid of the "darkness" is to turn on the light of truth. Their prayers and support (not codependency), can lead to a positive turning point in your life and marriage. Before sharing with your spouse sit down and develop a clear plan for sharing that will allow you to be truthful while doing damage control. When a marriage covenant is damaged it is like the death of a loved one. Expect that both you and your spouse will go through the stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). This many take months or years but it is essential to go through ALL the stages in order for healing to take place. Forgiveness should not be demanded or quick and easy. True forgiveness must consider the amount of the damage, the cost of repair, the size of the debt and must come from the heart (Matt. 18: 34-35).
  • Guard your heart and your computer. The scriptures warn us to "... guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Prov. 4:23). Clearly we need to be careful of what we allow to enter our hearts. The computer is a easy doorway that the enemy can use against you if you are not careful. You need to be wise and guard yourself by...
  1. Putting the computer in an area where the screen can be seen by everyone.
  2. Have your spouse/roommate put a password on the computer that locks you out. This will require you to let others know you are working on the computer.
  3. Set hours that the computer can be used responsibly.
  4. Install a computer filter that will block inappropriate sites. This will protect everyone, including your children, from sites that are seeking to destroy your heart, family and ministries.
The following sites review some of the best Internet filters ...
Top 10 Filters for 2012 : http://internet-filter-review.toptenreviews.com
Best Control for multiple computers / business: http://www.contentwatch.com/products/contentprotect_pro.php
Best Control at home: https://www.netnanny.com/products/netnannyBest for Email: http://www.spectorsoft.com
Reporting Only: http://xxxchurch.com/

  • Be aware of “magical thinking.” Sexual addiction is not something that is going to be resolved overnight! The average recovery time for someone struggling with sexual addiction is five (5) years. Don't be foolish! Don't think that satan is going to release you from the bondage of SA without a fight! Recovery is a battle! Recovery is HARD work! It is a day by day, moment by moment battle where you get to choose who and what will control your life. If you surrender to GOD, deal with your “heart issues”, turn from your sin, commit yourself to a “band of Godly brothers” and are truthful … after five years of sobriety you will have earned your "stripes" fighting for your marriage and family. You will be the Warrior that GOD has always intended you to be! However, by that time you will have realized that satan will never give up - but you will have also have realized that you are no longer his slave and that Jesus Christ is now your LORD.> Lastly, It is important for you to understand that God is not against sex. He gave it as a beautiful wedding gift, intended for healthy married couples to enjoy (Genesis 2:25). But God does oppose those that misuse and pervert of His wonderful covenant gift. Those who are cocky and proud and who think that they can oppose the Living GOD by perverting His gift will find that freedom without responsibility will only produce sever consequences and long term pain.

GOD is looking for men and women who have broken free from the chains of SA. He is looking for these people to take a stand and help future generations break free from sexual addiction. With His help and with the help of a strong support ministry, you can break the sexual addiction cycle and begin to help others break free from sexual addiction.

Ross Gunn III has been a Pastor of Student Ministries for 25 years. He has a BA from Azusa Pacific University in Bible and Psychology. He has a Master's Degree from Talbot Seminary in Student Ministries and a second Master's Degree in Counseling from Western Seminary. Since 1998 Ross has been working as a professional counselor at Skyview Counseling in Vancouver, Washington. He has specialized in working with men and their wives who struggle with sexual addiction. Ross also counsels individuals, couples and students facing a variety of other issues.

To contact him, please visit …

Ross Gunn III
Skyview Counseling LLC
Office / Cell: (360) 991-7700
Email: Help@SkyviewCounseling.com
Website: http://SkyviewCounseling.com
Skyview Counseling LLC  c/o Ross Gunn III
PO Box 532605  Kihei HI 96753-9998


February 22, 2007

Internet Filters: Finding the best!

Internet Filters
Accountability vs. Protection with Accountability
Covenant Eyes / X3 vs. Net Nanny vs OpenDNS

Recently I was asked to be an accountability partner for someone who was putting "Covenant Eyes" on their computer. I declined their offer because these types of programs fall significantly short in protecting the client, their wife and their family from being exposed to porn. However, any filter or accountability program is better than nothing. The goal here is not "perfection" - for that is impossible. The goal here is to slow down and if possible stop the addiction cycle long enough to allow the addict enough time to sober up so that they can begin to think clearly and make healthy choices.

The programs I have trouble with are ... "Covenant Eyes" and "X3 Watch" from the XXX Church. The short comings of these programs are that …
1) They fail to protect the client or their family from porn. These programs do not stop porn from being viewed. They only report that porn was viewed. Since the porn industry is determined to push porn into every home we need to install safeguards that will protect ourselves and our family members from these intruders.
2) They provide accountability AFTER the client has medicated and has acted out! By then it is too late ... the client has gotten their ‘fix’ in spite of knowing that there will be consequences.
3) They often the report the sexual behaviors weeks after the event or never at all. In fact, X3 from XXX Church states that they only send out a report once every two weeks! This allows the client to have a two week binge before anyone is ever notified of their sexual behaviors. Under this kind of program the client often feels that they can 'prepare for the worse' by not being immediately held accountable for their actions. This only encourages them to act out and relapse while hoping that the accountability partner will either miss the accountability report or that they will discount it because the event was two weeks old.
4) These programs often send the accountability partner the URL addresses for the questionable sites. This then requires the accountability partner to open up and search through the URL site(s) to see if it contains any questionable material. This is very time consuming and dangerous for the accountability partner because of the possibilities of being exposed to porn.
5) Lastly, it doesn’t take a “rocket scientist” to know that there are numerous ways to bypass these programs so that the accountability partner isn't fully aware of the client's attempts to act out. Often when the program suspects that the client is trying to bypass the system they state that the … "Report was not sent when expected. This may or may not be due to the client's attempt to bypass the system.” Because of this unclear message the client has the potential to fly under the radar while looking for loop holes and/or bypassing the system.

In light of this information, it is my perspective that accountability programs are not reliable, they give a false sense of security, and do not protect the client, the Bride, the family or the accountability partner from being exposed to porn. It is my belief that if a client wants to protect himself and those he loves from those who would "kill, steal and destroy" then he needs to put in a system that will lock out places when the enemy might enter. This includes the computer! It is essential that client chooses a strong Internet Filter that will protect himself and his family.

Over the years I have suggested clients to use "Content Protect" (which also owns “Net Nanny ) as their Internet Filter on their computers. This has been a great choice because Content Protect / Net Nanny protects the client with ...
1) A with a broad spectrum filter. This blocks large areas porn content
2) A specific URL site filter. This blocks specific sites and parts of specific sites.
3) A “Contextual Analysis" filter. This reads both the content and the pictures of a site to see if they contain any offensive material. This means it does not solely rely on a list of URL addresses, that are often outdated, for accountability.
4) A reporting system that can be set to daily, weekly or monthly reports. These reports to accountability partners and/or the program administrator reports both attempts to access porn that were blocked but also attempts to bypass the system. In addition the reports will allow the client to petition the administrator to over ride a blocked site so that can access appropriate information from a non porn site that has been flagged
5) An administrator to oversee the use of the program. The use of an outside administrator is crucial since it helps to take the pressure off family members from acting as the accountability partner or the codependent/controlling parent. The role and responsibility of the administrator is very simple, they ...
A) Oversee the program. Setting up accounts for each member of the family. Customizing each account to their specific needs for protection. This is extremely easy - it just requires the checking of boxes within the program.
B) Are the "Keepers of the Passwords" for the program and the individual accounts. The administrator has the master password which allows changes to the over all program and to the individual accounts. Master Passwords should be words not found in a dictionary, should include UPPER and lower case letters, numbers, at least one symbol ... !@#$%^&*+{}<>?~ and is hopefully at least 6 characters long. All Master Passwords need to be kept in a secure place.
C) Maintain the Site. Once the account is set up on each computer and the initial passwords are given to the administrator then the administrator is able to change the master password (so that only they know it) and is able administrate the entire program and it's individual accounts from a remote location - usually their own home.

If you wish to compare the Top Ten Internet Filters for 2018 go to...
Note: There is a lot of information and insights into the various kinds and types of internet filters at this site. It is worth checking out.

If you wish to purchase Net Nanny for Windows or for Mac computers use the links found at the Top Ten site... these prices tend to be a little less expensive.

Once you have purchased the internet filter be sure that you keep a record of ...
   The registration number.
   The email address associated with the account.
   The password to the account.
   The secret questions and their answers.

Other free options to buying or paying an annual subscription for filtering your computers, laptops, Ipads, Iphones and other cell phones are...

> For home computers (all OS systems) look into OPENDNS. It is a bit difficult to set up but YouTube has a number of videos that will walk you through the steps. This is a very powerful tool that has a number of great features that will help keep your home computers safe.

> Apple laptops, Ipads and Iphones can be a real pain. Most internet filtering companies do a very poor job with Apple products. Some people believe that Apple is almost anti-filtering. So what they have done it to provide their own (weak and less than perfect) programs. For Apple laptops (OS 10+) go to the "System Preferences" and go to the "Parental Controls". Similarly, with the IPhone and Ipad products go to the "Settings" and look for the parental controls. On all of these Apple programs it is a good idea to have a good friend type in the four digit code to lock your Apple product - that way you can't get back into the program and turn it off when you are not healthy. Again there are a number of YouTube videos to walk you through all the steps.

I hope that this has been helpful to you.

Ross Gunn III
Skyview Counseling LLC
Office / Cell: (360) 991-7700
Email: Help@SkyviewCounseling.com
Website: http://SkyviewCounseling.com
Mailing Address: PO Box 532605 Kihei HI 96753-9998

January 18, 2007

Sexual Addiction: Books that help!

Skyview Counseling
Book List for SA and Related Issues

General Issues & Information for Men

1) "The Daily Walk Bible" By Dr. Bruce Wilkinson; NLT ISBN: 978-1414309576 or the NIV ISBN: 978-1414309590; Excellent tool for developing consistency and insight into your relationship with God.
2) “Your Daily Walk” by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson ISBN: 978-0310536512 Walk thru any Bible in a year.
3) "Men's Secret Wars" by Patrick A. Means; 2006 ISBN: 978-0800731373 Deals with Men's issues.
4) “When Men Think Private Thoughts” by Gordon MacDonald; 1997; ISBN: 978-0785271635
Addressing manhood, intimacy, sexual intimacy, sexual confusion, father issues and relational issues.
5) "Locking Arms" by Stu Weber; ISBN: 978-0880707220 Men learning to build healthy friendships
6) "Telling Yourself the Truth" by William Backus & Marie Chapian; 2000; ISBN: 978-0764223259 Dealing with thinking errors and the principles of Misbelief Therapy.
7) "Discovering the Mind of a Woman" by Ken Nair, ISBN: 978-0785278115
8) "Wild at Heart" by John Eldridge; ISBN: 978-0785287964. Rediscovering the masculine heart for God.
9) “The Sacred Romance” by Brent Curtis & John Eldredge ISBN: 978-0785273424 Going deeper with God.
10) "The Anger Workbook" by Les Cater, Ph.D. & Frank Minirth, MD. ISBN: 978-0840745743
11) “Changes that Heal” by Dr. Henry Cloud ISBN: 978-0061043451. Understanding past to change present.
12) Neil Anderson has written a number of books on spiritual warfare that are worth considering in light of addictions, spiritual strongholds and our identity in Christ. "Victory Over Darkness" & "Bondage Breaker".

Sexual Addiction
Christian Perspective
1) “Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction” by Dr. Mark Laaser ISBN: 978-0310256571 Understanding the roots, confrontation and treatment for addicts and couples.
2) “False Intimacy” by Dr. Harry Schaumburg ISBN: 978-1576830284 Understanding SA.
3) "Samson and the Pirate Monks…" by Nate Larkin ISBN: 978-0849914591 Understanding the basics to recovery using the 12 Steps.
4) "Faithful & True: Sexual Integrity in a Fallen World." by Dr. Mark Laaser; LifeWay Press; Text & Workbooks http://www.faithfulandtrueministries.com Very helpful workbook dealing with SA issues.
5) “Sex, Men and God: A Godly Man's Map to Sexual Success” by Doug Weiss, Ph.D. ISBN: 978-0884198819
6) "Breaking Free: Understanding SA & the healing power of Jesus" by Russell Willingham & Bob Davies. ISBN: 978-0830817917. Good reviews. Integrates how God addresses our core issues.
7) “The Pornography Trap” By Ralph Earle Jr. & Mark Laaser ISBN: 978-0834119383. Has good insights into various aspects that impact the life of a sexual addict.
8) “At the Alter of Sexual Idolatry” by Steve Gallagher ISBN: 978-0970220202. Also has a workbook ISBN: 978-0970220219. Very basic, scriptural approach.
9) “Pure Desire” by Pastor Ted Roberts ISBN: 978-0830723355
10) Homosexual issues: http://www.portlandfellowship.com investigates the "Map" program and "Taking Back Ground" Workbook. ISBN: 0970656211
Secular Perspective
1) “Out of the Shadows” by Dr. Patrick Carnes; 2001 ISBN: 978-1568386218. Excellent basic information about identifying addiction, core beliefs, and the basic steps to recovery. Beware: Some graphic stories.
2) “Don’t Call it Love: Recovering from Sexual Addiction” by Dr. Patrick Carnes; 1991; ISBN: 978-0553351385. This gives a good overview of SA and transformation through a 12 Step program.
3) “Lonely All the Time” by Earle & Crow ISBN: 0965287912. Excellent insight SA and Codependency. One of the best SA books written.
4) “Facing the Shadow” by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. Excellent SA Workbook; ISBN: 978-0977440009.
5) "Contrary to Love" by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D. ISBN: 978-1568380599. For therapists and Pastors.
6) “The Sex Addiction Workbook” by Sbraga & O’Donohue ISBN: 978-1572243767. Self-help workbook that has some good tools but fairly basic.
7) “Predators” by Anna Salter ISBN: 978-0465071739 Deals with Stage 3 & 4 predators and their deception.

Other Addictions

1) "Facing Love Addiction" by Pia Melody ISBN: 978-0062506047. The Love Addict & Love Avoidant issues.
2) "Confusing Love with Obsession…" by John Moore. ISBN: 978-1592853564. Love Addiction / Obsession.
3) "Sexual Anorexia" by Patrick Carnes. ISBN: 978-1568381442. Dealing with sexual self hatred & feelings.
3) "Don't Leave It to Chance … Problem Gamblers" by Edward Federman. ISBN: 978-1572242005 Gambling.
4) "The Gambling Addiction Patient Workbook" by Robert R. Perkinson. ISBN: 978-0761928676 Gambling.
6) "Enough Already! … Guide to … Alcohol and Drug Addiction" by Bob Tyler. ISBN: 978-1598002133 An insightful primer to the 12 steps and relapse prevention.
7) "Will power's Not Enough: Recovering from Addictions…" by Arnold M. Washton. ISBN: 978-0060919696
8) "Alcoholics Anonymous: Big Book" ISBN: 978-9562912006 Alcohol Addiction.
9) "Every Woman’s Battle" by Stephen Arterburn and Shannon Ethridge ISBN: 978-1578566853 SA women.

Other Issues
1) “Before You Live Together” by David Gudgel ISBN: 978-0830732524 Reasons why some people want to live together and some strong reasons why it is a really bad idea to live together before marriage.
2) “Saving Your Marriage – Before It Starts” Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott Text Book: ISBN: 978-0310492405
Men’s Workbook: ISBN: 978-0310487319 Women’s Workbook: ISBN: 978-0310487418
3) “Saving Your Second Marriage – Before It Starts” by Drs. Les & Leslie Parrott. Text Book: ISBN: 978-0310207481 Men’s Workbook: ISBN: 978-0310240549. Women’s Workbook: ISBN: 978-0310240556.
4) "For Men Only" / "For Women Only" By Shaunti & Jeff Feldhahn. Available in Books / CDs
5) “A Celebration of Sex” by Dr. Douglas E. Rosenau ISBN: 978-0785264675 A full guide to sex from a Biblical perspective including drawings that illustrate “how to..”. Done with tact.
6) Sheet Music … Sexual Intimacy in Marriage by Kevin Leman ISBN: 978-0842360241
7) “Safe People” by Cloud & Townsend. ISBN: 978-0310210849 Find good relationships & avoid the bad.
7) “Toxic Parents” by Susan Forward, Ph.D. ISBN: 978-0553381405 & “Toxic In-laws” ISBN: 978-0060507855

Wives & Family Members Dealing With Addicts
1) “Living With My Husband’s Secret Wars” by Marsha Means. ISBN: 978-0800757106. Good first book.
2) ) "Shattered Vows" by Debra Laaser ISBN: 978-0310273943 This sensitive guide provides practical tools to help you make wise and empowering decisions and spiritual tools to transform your suffering.
3) “Hope After Betrayal” by Meg Wilson ISBN: 978-0-8254-3935-3. Excellent help and insight for when
SA invades a marriage and damages the covenant relationship.
4) “Boundaries in Marriage” by Cloud & Townsend ISBN: 978-0310221517; Workbook ISBN: 978-0310228752
5) “My Husband Has a Secret” by Molly Ann Miller ISBN: 978-0834121843 Good first book. Provides hope and perspective from one woman’s story.
6) “Love is a Choice” by Dr. Hemfelt, Dr. Minirth & Dr. Meir. ISBN: 978-0785263753 Dealing with unhealthy relationships, understanding Codependency and breaking cycles.
7) “From Bondage to Bonding: Escaping Codependency, Embracing Biblical Love” by Nancy Groom ISBN: 978-0891096207. This book has received good reviews.
8) "Facing Codependence" by Pia Mellody & Andrea Wells Miller. ISBN: 978-0062505897
9) “Codependent No More” by Melody Beattie. ISBN: 978-0062554468
10) “Beyond Codependency” by Melody Beattie ISBN: 978-0894865831
11) "The Anger Workbook for Women" by Laura J. Petracek ISBN: 978-1572243798
12) “His Needs Her Needs” by Willard Harley Jr. ISBN: 978-0800717889 Building an affair–proof marriage.
13) “Emotional Blackmail” by Susan Forward. ISBN: 978-0060928971
14) "Shame Off You" by Alan D. Wright. Understanding unhealthy shame vs Grace. ISBN: 978-1590524763.
15) “Restoring the Fallen: A Team Approach to Caring, Confronting & Reconciling” by Dr. Earl & Sandy Wilson ISBN: 978-0854110582. Restoring fallen Pastors and those who are truly committed to restoration.
16) “Heart to Heart About Men” by Nancy Groom ISBN: 978-0891098522. Tools for healing relationships.
17) "Beyond the Bedroom … Adult Children of Sex Addicts" Douglas Weiss. ISBN: 978-0757303258

Sexual Addiction: Books that help!
Book list compiled by ...

Ross Gunn III
Skyview Counseling LLC
Office / Cell: (360) 991-7700
Email: Help@SkyviewCounseling.com
Website: http://SkyviewCounseling.com
Blog: http://SkyviewCounseling.blogspot.com
Mailing Address:  PO Box 532605 Kihei HI 96753-9998