The Difference between Therapy, 12 Steps and Recovery Coaching

No form of recovery is perfect.

The tagline for Elevated Recovery is “Get High on Life”.

I came up with this because true recovery is a major LIFESTYLE change.

Too many guys feel that their porn addiction is a “habit”. They feel that it can be replaced with something else.

To successfully recovery from a pornography addiction, your LIFE literally has to change for the better. There are no two ways about it.

When choosing a method of recovery, there four questions to keep in mind:

  1. Which method will build a foundation for lifelong recovery?
  2. Which method will connect effortlessly with my other life goals, making my investment in that method worthwhile?
  3. Do methods which support abstinence, in the form of total abstinence from masturbation, sex or those which promote monogamy have the DATA to support this?
  4. Is the method practical- does it make sense for the thinking and culture of today?

Before we jump into the differences between the three main forms of recovery, let me get one thing out of the way:

    It is near impossible to overcome your addiction on your own.

Key word : Impossible

Everyone who beat their porn or sex addiction on their own paid a very high price.

You will never find a person who beat an addiction on their own sitting around aimlessly. They always have a strong purpose and seemingly boundless energy. They also frequently struggle with balance in their life. But the addiction no longer dictates the course of their lives.

I once read a quote about recovery on you own:

“Addicts who try to recovery on their own are in bad company”

With that said, lets start off with the go-to for porn and sex addict, Therapy and Counseling

Therapy and Counseling

The goal of therapy and counseling is to find the root cause of a clients suffering and pain. A therapist or counselor will explore underlying causes with a client with a goal of repairing/fixing the problem using a range of treatment based solutions.

This sounds great, but there is one small  problem. Addiction cannot be repaired or fixed.

Addiction is like HIV, Cancer or Diabetes. It can only be contained and in some cases monitored for remission.  Once in a while you’ll hear about that guy who was cured of HIV thanks to a stem cell transplant or cancer cured without remission due to repeated chemo followed by a complete lifestyle change.

Therapy and Counseling can be very expensive over time, takes up significant amounts of time and rarely offers a plan for building life skills and self-accountability for extending the length of time you spend free of your addiction.

Therapy and Counseling also involves less interaction with the therapist. By this, I mean- the therapist is viewed as an expert, so the relationship is from the top to the bottom, with information being dispensed from an “expert to a novice”. A good example are therapists who give their clients “realistic” statistics such as “only 30% of addicts make it”, then promptly blaming the client when therapy or counseling fails, become unproductive or their relationship with the client breaks down.

In these cases, the client then get a one way referral to a 12 Step Group such as Sex or Porn Addicts Anonymous. That is usually the end of their treatment.

There are two exceptions, however:

  1. Therapeutic methods with high levels of personal accountability can be very beneficial to recovering clients.
  2. Men with deep past traumas sometimes benefit from therapy and counseling.

A good example of a therapist who keeps accountability levels high is Diana, Elevated Recovery’s therapist at

12 Step Programs

For those who may not be sure what the Twelve Steps method is, it was developed by Alcoholics Anonymous and is a straight, life-long and spiritual modality which relies on twelves principles to help clients stay off their addictions. There is also a relationship aspect to it, with sponsors and those being sponsored. Basically, the member with more experience supports the member with less experience in the program.

However, the Twelve Step method has a few limiting issues.

Firstly, twelve steps is the default referral in our justice system. This means that when jail time is not an option for an offender, the next recommendation is a 12 step program. As a result, twelve steps carry the stigma of “punishment”. In such cases, twelve steps either works for you as punishment- or it doesn’t.

Secondly, when you fail or relapse in a Twelve Step Program, it is never due to the failure of the program. Instead, it is because the client had not yet hit “rock bottom” or did not follow the “steps” closely enough.

Let me say this: Porn and Sex addiction can destroy your life. I was almost at rock bottom and it nearly got me murdered on a dark night which still haunts me till this day.The “rock bottom” of porn and sex addiction is usually prison, physical disease or death. For those who need clarity, this means prison due to being caught with images of children of a sexual nature or sexual assault. Physical disease is from contracting STD’s from unsafe sex, or sex with sex workers. This can also be brought about from sexual assault from other inmates in prison, as your status as a sex offender makes you a target. Death comes in the form of death from a fatal STD, but more likely from suicide brought about by depression.

Why on earth would any method advocate waiting for “rock bottom”?

If you’re thinking that the scenarios I described above don’t apply to you, think again. Most of the guys who ended up the above scenarios were not mentally ill, sociopaths or abused as children. They were regular guys, usually exposed to porn between the ages of 8 and 14, who grew up watching porn to  ” deal with stress”, “because I was bored”, “when I’m lonely”. Next thing they know, their entire world is looking at them with revulsion and disgust.

Finally, Twelve Steps can be demotivating to clients because it has the stigma of being too “dogmatic”. As a result, many millennials ( the primary purveyors of pornography) shy away from it.It is difficult for some to be vulnerable to a group of strangers and “submit” to a “Higher Power”.

However, for many porn and sex addicts, Twelve Steps has been the path that saved their lives and led them out of their addiction. I am not against twelve steps because I believe that sometimes- ANYTHING you can get into works. If Twelve Steps is your only choice- please, join a group. It is infinitely better than struggling on your own.

Recovery Coaching

Men and women who end up in recovery coaching usually do not respond to cookie cutter methods of treatment. In this day and age, men and women need assurance that they are not “immoral”, “sick” or “crazy” for being dependent on porn, sex or masturbation. People with these addictions who don’t feel counseling/therapy works for them and would never buy into 12-Step beliefs are in a good place to try recovery coaching.

Recovery coaching is always about the present moment and how it can affect your life in the future. Recovery coaching is client focused and has the belief that:

  1. YOU are the best expert on yourself
  2. YOU have the ability within you to to reach your own personal goals which will lead to an addiction free life.

Compared to Therapy/Counseling and Twelve Steps, recovery coaching follows the belief that there are many paths to recovery. There is no “one size fits all” solution here. You are seen as a unique and whole individual- not a collection of damaged parts needing to be “fixed” or “repaired”.

Recovery Coaching is a conversation during which a coach helps a client identify barriers standing in the way of a clients goals and dreams. A coach will then challenge those beliefs while exploring methods that will not only get you to those goals, but inspire you to take action.

Recovery coaching is solution focused and educational instead of problem focused.Some are surprised to find out that it can be as short as 6 weeks, but can have the most powerful impact over a 12 month period.

If you think recovery coaching is for you- I can help. However, due to the demand on my recovery coaching, there are a few guidelines in place which ensure an efficient application process.

  • All new recovery coaching relationships I have begin with a 1 hour conversation to evaluate whether we are a good fit.
  • There is a waiting list to work with me. The sooner you apply, the higher on the waiting list you will position yourself. Depending on the time of the year, wait times vary from 3 weeks to two months. I understand how rough it can be to wait for support, but my staff gets back to everyone, with the exception of those in the next point.
  • You must have at the very least watched a few of my Youtube videos, met me in person at a conference or seminar or watched one of my Webinars before applying, or your application will be declined.




If your porn use is an emergency and you can’t wait for to be approved for coaching,  the Porn 911 Course is designed to help you regain control of yourself TODAY.


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