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How to Find the Right Support Group for Porn Addiction Recovery

Last Updated: March 19, 2020

John Doyel

John Doyel has dedicated himself to helping men recover from sexual sin and return to God. He leads a recovery ministry at Vineyard Columbus called 180 Recover. He also writes daily emails of encouragement to help believers recover from porn or sex addiction, which you can sign up for on his website or by emailing at doyel@me.com.

If there is one thing I have learned in playing football, basketball, and lacrosse through high school, four years of varsity lacrosse in college and coaching a number of my kids’ soccer teams, it’s that being on a good team can make all the difference.

In my first article, “Why Support Teams Are Vital to Your Porn Recovery,” I stressed that we need to be on a team because we are all in a battle. We have an internal enemy called our flesh, or sinful nature, and we live in a fallen world where porn has become omnipresent. In Ephesians 6, Paul says we do not do battle with flesh and blood but with demonic powers. So, like it or not, every day you wake up you are entering a battle, you are out manned and out gunned, and you are behind enemy lines.

You have also become addicted to one of the most difficult addictions to break. I have a friend who is a physician who manages drug and alcohol recovery centers all over our state. He himself at one time lost his license to practice medicine because of his own addiction to drugs and alcohol. He has had three marriages blow up but he is now 30 years sober from drugs and alcohol. I am his sex addiction recovery coach, and yesterday he told me that quitting the use of porn and sex is harder to stop than alcohol and drugs.

So, how does one find the right support group so essential to your recovery? Here are some critical suggestions.

If you are a Christian, find a biblically based group.

Please understand that I have nothing again 12-Step Groups like SA, SAA, and SLAA. My dad was a recovering alcoholic, and Alcoholics Anonymous added 15 years of sobriety and extended his life. I believe the 12-Steps of Recovery are all biblically based and were founded by Christian men. However, in order to help men who are not Christians, they have made their message religiously neutral, and you can pick your own higher power.

If you have been born again by the Spirit of God and trust Christ as the Savior from your sins, you have become alive in Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit. We know our Savior’s name, and His Spirit lives inside of our bodies.

I believe these facts are extremely important in helping us recover from our sexual brokenness. These answers are not only for battling sexual sins but are essential to living the Christian life and applicable to all believers. Becoming saved impacts your whole life and begins the process of sanctification where we are becoming conformed by the transformation of our mind and our life by the Holy Spirit.

This is why we spend nine sessions of our 25-session program, called the 180 Recovery Program, learning about the Holy Spirit. By walking in the Spirit, we can be transformed by the Spirit. A Christian recovery program is not about helping one achieve abstinence from sexual sin, but rather about being transformed by the Spirit into a more holy person.

Find a group that meets frequently.

Recovery from this highly addictive behavior is not going to be fixed in ten meetings. This issue will be part of our lives as long as we have a sinful nature living inside of us. We live in a fallen world with access to porn 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we are in a battle with spiritual forces of darkness. In other words, until we reach eternity, we are going to struggle with sin.

I don’t mean to sound so negative, but this is human reality. I have learned that not only do the hundreds of men we work with need to meet weekly for accountability, but they also need daily support. They need to develop real, strong relationships with one another and stay in touch with each other every day.

We have a saying in our 180 Recovery Program: “If you are being tempted, reach up to God, reach out to your support group, before you reach into your pants.” How many times do we continue to fall because we are living in isolation and have nobody from whom we can get help right there in the moment of temptation?

We use GroupMe or WhatsApp so the guys in the groups can stay in touch with each other anytime during the day, so that none of them have to be alone.

Don’t wait to get started!

We have been starting 180 Recovery Programs in any church that would like to have one. Unfortunately, most churches do not want to address the issue of addiction. I started 180 at Vineyard Columbus 11 years ago with nine men. Today we have about 80 men and have started other 180 groups in five other local churches and can start one anywhere.

We also have 12 online support teams that meet every week. So, you can get help by just contacting me. There are also other good ministries that are active in churches, such as Celebrate Recovery and Conquer Series.

If a support ministry is Christ-centered, practical in addressing the issues of addiction, meets weekly on an ongoing basis through the year, and has encouraging daily support, you’ve found an excellent group to start your recovery. However, just getting a small group of guys together for a men’s Bible study will probably not have a leader trained in sex addiction recovery who knows how to address the multi-faceted issues that you need help with.

I invite anyone who is interested to contact me; we’ll let  you actually sit in one of our Online Support Teams and see how well they are working.

  • Comments on: How to Find the Right Support Group for Porn Addiction Recovery
    1. Al Hart on

      I really appreciated hearing this word this morning. I worked through my porn addiction in the Christian based Freedom Session program. The possibility of more actively helping other men with this addiction has been on my mind for some time. I would be very interested in learning more about 180 and taking advantage of sitting in on the online support teams.

      Reply
      • Moriah Dufrin on

        Hi Al!

        If you are interested in learning more about 180 Recovery, check out their website here!

        Moriah

    2. Brian Heiman on

      How do I find a support group that’s in my community and has convenient hours of accessibility, my church doesn’t have one

      Reply
      • Moriah Dufrin on

        Hi Brian!

        If you cannot find a group in your community, I would recommend joining an online group like the one mentioned in this article (180 Recovery). There are so many online groups that meet via video call, which can be just as beneficial as meeting in person!

        Blessings,
        Moriah

    3. Janique on

      Are there any female porn support groups? I always notice it’s just all for men

      Reply
      • Moriah Dufrin on

        Hi Janique,

        Yes! An excellent support group for women is Living on Purpose with Crystal Renaud. I would encourage you to check out her site!

        Blessings,
        Moriah

    4. JP on

      I agree that a support group is essential to living a life free from a porn addiction. I believe in the saying that “the opposite of addiction is connection”. I also believe that we are in a spiritual war against demons. I do not believe that we are outmanned, outgunned, and behind enemy lines. I believe that porn addiction is not about porn at all. It is about wounds that we carry from our childhood. My early exposure to porn left me emotionally stunted and unable to make connections with other people. I dragged this baggage into my adulthood with devastating results on my wife. I got saved and thought that I could pray it away. I sought counseling and was given the false hope that I was cured. Unfortunately it was not enough and my addiction came back. It wasn’t until I faced it and attacked it from every angle. The battle is spiritual, emotional, physical, and psychological. I have a CSAT that has helped me resolve my childhood trauma. I have a 12 step group that I meet every week. I have my faith and a church men’s group. I have learned to make connections with other men and I am no longer alone. I have chosen to make drastic changes to my life. We do live in a fallen sinful world but I choose to live a healthy life. I choose not to be influenced by our society and not allow those influences in. I am living the way that God wants us to live. It is a simple life but it is full of joy and peace.

      Reply
      • a lady rooting for those fighting this Spiritual battle on

        Thanks for your post, JP. I have been looking for answers to the multi-faceted sexual addiction plague since ’85 when I began dating my first husband in high school (addicted since childhood). This all-points approach you speak of (because the battle is spiritual, emotional, physical, and psychological) really makes the most sense. I too believe that we are in a spiritual war against demons. (To believe otherwise isn’t Biblical and will leave us beaten and defeated). Thank you for the courage you demonstrate in sharing at this level…that it’s hard work, you’re doing the work and it works. Again, thanks for sharing.

      • Joseph on

        Please use other forms of payment i.e. Google Play dollars. I dont want my wife to learn I have this problem until I’m more able to handle it.

        Also, please don’t use tbe person’s actual photo when answering a chat request. Use a non-discript avatar (cartoono).

        1st thing I did after closing the chat window was go to my favorite porn site looking to replicate what I thought ur chat rep looked like.

        I need help…please pray for me brothers & sisters.

      • Tremaine on

        Hello there where can i find support group?

      • Moriah Bowman on

        Hi Tremaine!

        The author of this post has excellent online support teams over at 180 Recovery. Check them out!

        Blessings,
        Moriah

    5. John on

      I am a committed Christian and love God, but my experiences with seeking help from the Church in overcoming porn has left me feeling hopeless and forever trapped. I am writing this because I have maybe one last hope that there are some Christians out there who actually know how to help people.

      I am considering finding “secular help” because joining a non-Christian group that allows people to “pick their higher power” means I can still choose Christ… and I might actually get some real help from counselors who understand how the brain and addictions work. I will find counselors who believe I have the power to stand up on my own two feet and beat this thing (as a Christian, I understand that power comes from God).

      My experience with “biblical-based help” on the other hand, instead of freeing me, have only imprisoned me in shame and feelings of worthlessness. Pastors have either approached it as a “personal theology” problem or just tell me I am not willing to “suffer for Jesus because He suffered for me.” Great. now I feel like a real loser because my “correct personal theology” tells me I am worthless and can’t do anything good, and if I try, I am trying to earn my salvation by works. Further, my inability to take on the whole suffering Christ experienced on the cross means I just don’t love God enough.

      On top of that, if I reveal a porn problem and actually take responsibility for myself, I am suddenly worthless to the community and have nothing good to offer to the ministry of the Church because I am still “immature in the faith.”… But the pastor who hides his problem still gets to stay in his leadership position because he is married, has kids, and appears to have it all together.

      Reply
      • Keith Rose on

        Hi John,
        I’m glad you reached out to us, I’m sorry to hear about your difficult situation. Struggling with porn can be really painful as it is, and it’s heartbreaking when fellow Christians do not respond in a way that is loving and helpful. At Covenant Eyes, we believe the Bible teaches both the spiritual realities underlying our addictions as well as pointing to practical steps for overcoming them. As a Christian you have everything you need in Christ to overcome porn, but one of the ways Christ equips you is through other people. If you’re looking for a Christian recovery group with deep understanding of the grip of addiction, I recommend checking out Pure Desire! You can also check out Pure Life Ministries, Be Broken Ministries, and Beyond the Battle.

        God bless you – I hope this helps!

        Keith

    6. Boitelo lehata on

      Hi. I’m Boitelo lehata and I need your help because I’m struggling with porn and masturbating .I’m 17 years old now and I’ve been masturbating seens I was 14 ..can you please help me and tell me what must I do because I can’t even end one week without masturbating .I really need help

      Reply
      • Keith Rose on

        Hi Boitelo! Your struggle is a common one for teenagers, especially when there is porn involved. I think the most important step is eliminating porn from your life, and to do this you need to get accountable. If you haven’t yet, please see our post on the 6 steps needed to quit porn.

        Blessings,
        Keith

    7. Samuel Haltom on

      I’m not sure how to find a local support group? I’ve had someone mention that a local church has a support group but can’t seem to find that information anywhere. Do you have any resources on finding local support groups?

      Reply
      • Keith Rose on

        Thanks for reaching out! What’s available in your area is going to depend on your location. Some local churches have support groups you can connect with, but this isn’t available everywhere. If you’re not sure what’s available in your area, check out the Samson Society. It’s an online support/accountability group for men. They have some local chapters as well.

        Blessings,

        Keith

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