I love my job. I get the chance to talk to people and hear their stories. Forest Benedict has a story. His includes many painful moments and some destructive detours. Yet. . . what I love about his story is that he has broken free from a world of isolation, shame and brokenness. He is passionate about life outside of pornography and helping others discover the freedom, belonging and purpose he enjoys.
You might be reluctant to listen to this podcast. I don’t blame you, it’s not an easy topic and you may be used to hearing a bunch of preachy shaming and shouting. You may be used to being scared and not helped. You may feel you don’t need to learn about this because you aren’t tempted by porn and/or your kids are too young. Could you listen to the first 10 minutes a try? My feelings won’t be hurt if you then stop. . . but I’d really like to help get the word out that there are resources for those struggling and there is a so much we can do as parents to help our kids.
About Forest Benedict:
Forest Benedict is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Sexual Addiction Treatment Provider (SATP) who serves as the Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley, a sexual addiction treatment program. Forest is the Program Manager of the SATP program at Mid-America Nazarene University, where he trains therapists to do sexual addiction treatment. Forest blogs regularly and has written for XXXChurch and Protect Young Minds. Passionate about protecting children from pornography, Forest speaks publicly on this timely topic. Forest is a husband and father who lives in Fresno, CA.Here are some highlights from our conversation:
False Core Beliefs
- I am bad and unworthy
- I am unlovable
- I cannot depend on others to meet my needs
- My highest need is sex
Advice to parents:
During our interview Forest shares about the power of attachment and your kids seeking relational comfort in people and God rather than pornography or other addicting things. The role for parents includes building strong bond and ability to talk about difficult things and also paying attention to their kids to discern whether they may be using pornography. Forrest recommends the following four areas to watch specifically looking for moods, secretive behaviors, tiredness, hiding and lying.
- Pay attention to their access.
- Pay attention to their habits.
- Pay attention to their interests.
- Pay attention to their emotions.
Another highlight for me was the focus on being in recovery but having the overall perspective that it is possible to live with permanent sobriety. Parents who have a history of struggling with pornography including those that are currently struggling can still help their kids. The goal is to move forward and not wait to get needed help or to offer help.
During the interview, Forest mentioned a word recording that captures his feelings about porn from his perspective as a father. I’ve embedded the video below or you can find it on Youtube by clicking here.
You can purchase the book at Amazon by clicking here. Project Patch receives a very small commission from Amazon if you purchase using the link below.
Here are some ways to connect further with Forest and some of the resources he mentioned during the interview.
- LifeStar and YouthStar Programs
- Fight the New Drug
- Covenant Eyes
Other books mentioned (Click on image to learn more):