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The secret of well-being

The secret of well-being lies in developing inner strength and increasing the capability to satisfy personal needs while avoiding engaging in problematic behaviour. To discover your strengths ask yourself what your core values are, why your life is worth living and what the meaning of your life is. Each of us has our own unique values and goals and also the ability to realize them. According to your personal values different primary life factors may be more or less important to you. It may increase your risk to act in problematic ways if the factors that matter more to you are compromised. In order to achieve satisfaction and fulfillment you must take responsibility for your own well-being.


Reflect on your situation. What is currently going well and what is bothering you? What aspects of your life would you like to change? Are they changeable? Make a list and separate it by things you can change and those you cannot. Focus on the changeable facts! Put them in order with the most important first.

How important are the following primary life factors for you personally? How do you satisfy them and what is the level of satisfaction?

  1. Life (including healthy living and functioning)
  2. Knowledge
  3. Excellence in play
  4. Excellence in work
  5. Excellence in agency (autonomy and self-directedness)
  6. Inner peace (freedom from emotional turmoil and stress)
  7. Relatedness (including family, friend and intimate relationships)
  8. Community
  9. Spirituality (in the broader sense of finding meaning and purpose in life)
  10. Happiness
  11. Creativity

Choose and write down your core values. What do you enjoy most about life?

John’s story:

“When I started reflecting on my situation, I was highly motivated and firmly determined to change my problematic sexual behaviours. Although I am married and we lovingly care for each other, I am most intensely sexually aroused when fantasizing about prepubescent girls. I was never in sexual contact with prepubescent girls. It wasn’t too hard to resist, but I do have a history of using child sexual abuse images. Even a conviction for possession of child pornography at the age of 18 didn’t stop me from searching the internet for new images time after time. The overwhelming desire has always been there. When I did so, I was always ashamed after the session and the vicious cycle of self-loathing and depressed moods spurred me to search again to overcome those feelings. Going through various situational analysis I identified that looking at those images was almost the only situation in which I could be in the moment and forget all my unpleasant feelings and the world around me. I identified appreciation, friendship, enjoyment of life, love and self-respect as my personal core-values. I discovered that my need for appreciation was frustrated during my childhood through interactions with my mother, the person with whom I had my primary bond. Whatever I did or tried to do, it was never good enough. So I tried harder but couldn’t satisfy her. Even though it was tough to admit, I accepted that I will never be able to change my childhood experience or the fact that I am burdened by my sexual attraction towards girls. This acknowledgment offered me relief and the ability to focus on the resulting behaviour. The contradiction between my core values and my problematic behaviour became obvious and I was able to take responsibility for my actions. I slowly started implementing a core value-focused everyday life. I began to invest in my social contacts and met my friends more often instead of being home alone. I restarted martial arts training which I had given up some years ago. It gave me the opportunity to get that “be in the moment” feeling while physically being focused on my body and deterring unpleasant thoughts. Once in a while I am still in the mood to look for pictures on the internet, but now that I am aware of my old patterns and have chosen to be focus on my core values I am able to resist the desire and act alternatively.“

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Troubled Desire Chat

If you are looking for help because you use sexual images with children, you can take part in our study and get the opportunity to chat anonymously and free of charge with a therapist via text message.

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