Unwanted Attractions

Unwanted Attractions

Date: 7/7/2014

I want to emphasize that whenever someone comes for private consultations with me, there is total confidentiality. Please note that in the area of Unwanted Sexual Attractions, I work with men only.

There are a number of points that have to be understood in order to work with this sensitive issue. Among them are:  (A)  What is the attraction?  Is it to a specific person or to a type of person? Who, or which type?  What, specifically, does he find attractive?   (B) How and when did it develop?  (C) Why is it unwanted? Is it affecting his life in some negative way?  Is it socially unacceptable?  Immoral? Illegal?  Is he personally ashamed of the attraction?   Why?  (D) What unfulfilled personal need is the attraction fulfilling?

The insight and understanding of his attraction described above is the first step in helping him deal with the problem. For example, I worked with a young man whose unfulfilled need was for greater emotional closeness with people his age.   He was not able to achieve this emotional closeness to the extent that he craved.  He then developed overwhelming feelings of physical attraction and then pursued the desired closeness physically.    Of course, he did not have a conscious awareness of how the physical attractions developed in him. Gaining insight and understanding of the dynamics of what was happening made it easier for him to deal with his problem.

The attraction was unwanted because it was prohibited by his religion and he was personally ashamed of his behaviors.   This gave him the motivation to work on it and make changes.

Once the underlying need is discovered, we try to find a suitable replacement for it. The replacement usually won't be powerful enough to eliminate the attractions, but it can reduce them. What helped to reduce his physical cravings was becoming a mentor to some younger students in his Yeshiva. He would help these boys with their learning and discuss their problems with them.  These younger boys looked up to him and created a strong bond of friendship with him. This gave him some of the emotional closeness he wanted. He did not feel complete fulfillment, but it was enough to reduce his physical cravings to a level that he could manage. He was no longer constantly preoccupied with his attractions.

Sometimes there are personal issues that have to be worked through.  For example, I once worked with a man in his  late twenties who was a "peeping Tom".    The underlying issue was that he felt much less accomplished than his friends. He had a job and was earning a mediocre salary while most of his friends had become quite successful in business. In his value system this meant that he was inferior to them. He had low self-esteem and was mildly depressed.  He described the feeling he got when he was successful in his nocturnal iniquities as one of "victory". The"victory" feeling gave him a feeling of accomplishment.

There are a number of NLP techniques that are very effective with unwanted sexual attractions.   

1) The Swish Pattern   People develop thought sequences that lead them to a particular behavior---such as seeing someone they are attracted to and then pursuing the attraction. This can become an automatic, reflexive response that can be very overwhelming.

What the Swish pattern does is to interrupt the old thought sequence and replace it with a new one. I help the person decide what he would like to have as the new thought sequence. The goal is to select a thought sequence that will lead him in a different direction than pursuing the attraction.  Then, when something triggers the attraction, the person automatically follows the new response.

2) Strategies.  Strategies are sequences of thoughts that lead to a specific behavior.  We have strategies for everything we do--from how we wake ourselves up in the morning to  how we buy groceries to how we know when it is time to pursue a sexual attraction...

One of the most irresitable strategies is a "synesthesia".   This is when two steps don't follow each other in sequence but, rather,  occur simultaneously.   For example, in sports, a basketball player sees the basket  and instantaneously throws the ball at it.   In music, a pianist sees the notes on the music sheets in front of him and moves his fingers accordingly.

"Attraction" strategies are typically synesthesias.   As described above, a person sees the desired person and simultaneously feels compelled to pursue him or her.  Then the person will either take action and pursue or be left with a formidable struggle of resisting the feelings of attraction that can occupy his thoughts for hours. 

The best way to fight a synesthesia strategy is with another synesthesia strategy.    What we do is choose a different thought or behavior to pair up with the attraction trigger.  Then, when the attraction presents itself, the person has a different response. Because sexual attractions are very strong, the person may still feel some inclination towards the attraction--but it will be reduced since there is another response paired with the trigger. 

3) Values Elicitation. The definition of a value is what is important to a person.  Values are what motivate us. In order to overcome the intense desire of sexual attractions, a person must be motivated!  Most people are only vaguely aware of what their true values are.  Through the Values Elicitation, the  person becomes consciously aware of them. Then we explore how pursuing the sexual attraction is not consistent with your life values.  The person can then can use this knowledge to battle his unwanted desires.

4) Psyching Yourself.   There are three parts to psyching yourself:  Affirmation, Psyching, Congratulating.  First, a general affirmation which is a clear statement of intention of what you are going--or not going--to do to deal with the unwanted attraction. To maximize results, I help the person choose a wording which will be powerful for him.  The person can repeat this affirmation to himself as needed to keep himself aware of how he is going to deal with the attraction when it happens.

The second step is create a psyching phrase to use whenever the attraction trigger occurs. There are two components that can be used to create an effective phrase. The first is I have the person go back in his past and think of times that he successfully psyched himself to do something challenging.   Based on what worked previously, we create a phrase using the same or similar words and voice tones to stop himself from pursuing the attraction. The second is from Yosef (Joseph) who is the classic example of someone who successfully resisted unwanted sexual attractions. How he did this is mentioned in the Talmud in Bava Basra and in commentaries in the Chumash in Parsha Va'era (and Parsha Vayeishev).  

The third step is each time after he is successful, he "congratulates" himself on his success. Again, we choose words and voice tones that maximize the impact.  This helps to create a momentum  so that in the future it will be easier to resist the attraction triggers. 

To schedule an appointment contact me by phone: 052-763 7029 or by email: shlomokory@gmail.com 

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