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On the last track, we discussed dimensions of developmental causes. These dimensions include: self-image and relationships; needs; and sexuality.
On this track, we will examine core beliefs that many pedophiles have internalized. These beliefs include: unworthiness; unlovable; unrealized needs; and sexualization. From what the pedophile has learned from his culture and society, he has developed and internalized these beliefs and applied them to himself. These beliefs correspond with the dimensions of the developmental causes discussed in the previous track.
Have you ever encountered clients like Jim? Have they adopted a feeling of self-defeat because of a cultural stigma attached to what is masculine? To help Jim regain a better sense of self-image, I asked that he find an activity in which he can improve his own physical appearance but also improve his health, outside of the sphere of the internet. Jim, who lived in front of a large woods, took up hiking. At first, he only went out a few times a week. Soon, however, he enjoyed the weather and quiet isolation so much, he began to go every day.
He lost weight and started to become more confident. He stated, "Look at me. Best shape I’ve been in my whole life." Now that Jim could appreciate his own body, he could begin to appreciate his emotional self as well. Think of your Jim. Would a rigorous physical activity help to curve his or her negative self-image?
Terrence, age 26, thought that, even at his relatively young age, he would be alone for the rest of his life. He stated, "If I told anyone I loved about my problem, they would run away in fear." To help Terrence understand that he is not a hated monster, I asked him to list three unconditionally loving people who, no matter what he was, would love him anyway if he truly committed to change.
Terrence wrote, "Mom, my brother Roy, and God." I asked him about this last one, and he stated, "Even though I know what I have done is wrong, I am penitent, and God will forgive me." I found Terrence’s choice of God interesting. Raised a Catholic, he described a very restrictive religion, and I assumed this compounded in negative connotations with God. Instead, Terrence found strength here. Think of your Terrence. Is he or she religious? How does this negatively or positively affect their lifestyle and development?
#3 Unrealized Needs
Phil, age 42, had lured 24 teenagers into sexual encounters through the internet. He stated, "No woman would want me for who I am, so I had to take what I could find. The easiest way to do this was through the internet. The kids were all right there, I just had to approach them. I was in control of my needs, so I didn’t fear rejection of any kind."
I asked Phil if his behavior ever actually satisfied the needs he so desperately wished to satisfy. He stated, "Well, for a little while, but I always need to have more. Soon, that’s all it turns out to be; an endless cycle of re-approaching more teens." Think of your Phil. Do his actions satisfy his more basic needs permanently or are they merely a temporary answer?
Luke, age 27, believed that his insatiable needs were justified according to society’s standards. He stated, "Men are just more sexual than women and more free to enjoy it. We should take sex whenever we can get it. It’s our primitive right." Clients such as Luke feel little to no shame about their actions, believing that they are reacting to an evolutionary primal throw-back. In other words, it’s in their nature so they don’t need to stop it. Think of your Luke. How does he sexualize the world around him? Is sex and the acquiring of sex his one ultimate goal?
On this track, we discussed core beliefs that many pedophiles have internalized. These core beliefs included: unworthiness; unlovable; unrealized needs; and sexualization.
On the next track, we will examine several characteristics of co-addicts and the how they affect the client’s behavior. These characteristics include: distortion of reality; feelings of inadequacy and grandiosity; and enabling.
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