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Self-help program

6.1 My meaningful life without CSAM

What does my meaningful life without CSAM look like?

A meaningful life led by your values

One of the needs that the individual strives towards is mental balance and alleviating emotional stress. An individual who is experiencing loneliness or who is constantly worried about things may have difficulty in achieving peace of mind and may try to alleviate negative emotions through inappropriate cognitive problem-solving methods, such as using CSAM.

The problem with this is that the methods used to achieve the goal of inner peace of mind are unlikely to be successful in achieving this goal in the long run. Consider the ways in which a primary need is pursued, rather than just focusing on overcoming negative emotional states. If the deficit is related to the application of wrong means, the focus of rehabilitation should be on finding new ways to achieve peace of mind.

With some individuals, intimacy deficits become evident in the way they seek intimacy exclusively through sexual encounters or using CSAM. In this strategy, the individual combines two Good Life goals: they use sex to seek sexual gratification and a connection and intimacy with another person. In addition, they may be seeking experiences of autonomy while enhancing their self-esteem.

Difficulties in emotional regulation are associated with difficulties achieving peace of mind and inner peace. This again may lead to using sex and CSAM (masturbation, sexual fantasies, sexual acts) as coping mechanisms to regulate your negative emotional states. You might have difficulty controlling your emotional impulses. If you rely exclusive on sexual acts for emotional regulation, this is an indication of a major emotional control deficit. From the GLM perspective, this is also associated with fulfilling the need for autonomy and sense of control.

In the previous exercises you have already established which GLM-needs you are aiming to fulfil by using CSAM. In the next exercises you will be assessing why you use CSAM to fulfil your GLM-needs and what other means you could use to fulfil your needs instead of using CSAM. You will also think about the life you want to live, how can you meet your GLM-needs, and through what goals can you start building your meaningful life.

Return now to the motives and needs that are connected to your CSAM use that you have listed in 4.1 What makes people use it?. Begin to think about ways in which you could reach for and achieve the same goals in legal, risk-free ways which do not cause harm to anyone. You can also use the values you listed out in 1.3 My values.

My meaningful life without CSAM

If previously this has been the case

  • I feel lonely (relatedness)
  • I use CSAM and loneliness decreases (inner peace)
  • I get sexual satisfaction by watching the images (sexual wellbeing).

How could you try to meet these goals and needs without CSAM?

  1. Could a reliable person close to you help?
  2. Could you benefit from learning skills to manage and accept your feelings and desires?
  3. Could you find new ways to achieve sexual wellbeing?

When you start to come up with new ways, you might discard them as stupid or impossible. Just try to write them down, without judging yourself. You can use the table below.

GLM Needs:
  1. Wellbeing
  2. Knowledge
  3. Self-efficacy
  4. Agency
  5. Relatedness
  6. Inner peace
  7. Spirituality
  8. Happiness
  9. Creativity