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3.1. My triggering factors

Take a look at the specific factors that trigger you to use CSAM. This will help you learn to take control of how you react to triggers, in order to change your behavior and stop your use of CSAM.

My triggering factors

Follow the five steps to understand your triggering factors and learn how to deal with them.

Step 1:

Think back to moments/situations that have acted as triggers and led you to use CSAM

  • What was the situation like?
  • What thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations did you have?
  • What triggered you? What situation/thing served as a trigger?
  • What internal variables trigger you (e.g. sexual arousal, stress)?
  • What external variables trigger you (e.g. being home alone)?

Step 2:

Write a diary for a week (exercise below)

  • Write down all internal and external factors that trigger you to use CSAM. Reflect on the feelings and physical sensations that come with the triggers.

Step 3:

After completing your diary entries, make a summary of the common triggers that lead you to use CSAM and their relationship with your feelings, thoughts, bodily sensations, and behavior

  • What feelings make you want to use CSAM? What feelings require CSAM to work through them? What makes you choose CSAM over other means of dealing with your emotions?
  • What thoughts make you want to use CSAM? What thoughts require CSAM to work through them? What makes you choose CSAM over other means of dealing with your thoughts?
  • What bodily sensations make you want to use CSAM? What bodily sensations require CSAM to work through them? What makes you choose CSAM over other means of dealing with your bodily sensations?

Step 4:

Come up with alternative ways to react to your triggers (see exercise below)

  • Think of alternative ways to react to triggering factors. Come up with ways to work through your emotions, thoughts, and bodily sensations.

Step 5:

Practice your new ways of thinking and behavior

  • Write down findings of the practice into your diary.
  • How do you feel? What are you thinking? What changes have you noticed in yourself, your thinking and your behavior?

Diary Exercise

1. What triggered me to use CSAM

Where were you? Who else was there? What did you do?

Draw parallels between the triggering factor and the wider themes raised on the 'My life’ form (e.g. there were problems in your relationships, you felt lonely). Explore what is happening in your mind, body, and surroundings.

  • The internal factors that triggered me to use CSAM:
  • The external factors that triggered me to use CSAM:

2. My thoughts related to the triggering event

What were you thinking? How did you react to the triggering factors? What did you think about the triggering factors? What type of thoughts took you closer to using CSAM?

  • How could I think differently/how could I reframe my thoughts?:
  • What thoughts would help me to take a step back from using CSAM?:

3. My emotions related to the triggering event

What feelings did the events evoke in you? How were you feeling? What was your mood at the time? How did you process your feelings? What type of feelings took you closer to using CSAM?

  • What could I do to calm down my emotions?:

4. My bodily sensations related to the triggering event

What bodily sensations did the events evoke in you? What type of bodily sensations took you closer to using CSAM?

  • What could I do to calm down my bodily sensations?:

5. How did the above thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations make me behave? What did I do that took me closer to using CSAM?

What stopped you from acting differently, in a way other than using CSAM?

  • What could I do to prevent me from taking things further to the point of using CSAM?​: