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3.3. Identifying my desires

The desire to use CSAM can arise in various situations, for example, when you are tired, stressed, lonely, or sad.

Giving in to your desires often helps you feel better and/or creates pleasure in the short term. Using CSAM is, however, very harmful and has serious long-term effects on your brain and is extremely harmful to the children who are victims of CSAM. Thus, giving in to your desire to use CSAM is harmful in the long term.

Learn self-regulation skills

In order for you to learn how not to give in to your desires, this task will help you to develop self-regulation skills.

The underlying reasons for your desires are often difficult to identify. To strengthen your self-regulation skills, it is important that you understand where your desires come from.

Diary: The Awakening of My Desires

Next time you notice a desire arising, note the situation down in your diary (see form below). Describe how that feels in your body. Where do your thoughts and attention shift to? Recognizing these feelings and factors allows you to decide how you want to react.

  • Recognize the sensations in your body brought about by the feelings.
  • Take note of the desires, thoughts, and ideas of what you want to do.
  • Stop for a moment. Take a few deep breaths and ask yourself: “is this bringing me into the direction I want to be moving in my life?”
  • Be honest in your response to yourself. You can now choose to move in the direction that you yourself respect. Or you can decide to go in the other direction. The choice and responsibility are yours.

Diary example: 

Date:

Bodily sensations: (Where in my body can I feel the awakening of desire? How does it feel?)

Actions: (What am I tempted to do? How am I tempted to act?)

Thoughts: (Where do my thoughts shift to?)

Values: (Does this take me towards the life I want to lead?)