If you know any of my story, you know that I tried several accountability systems with little to no success. That alone does not mean they were unhelpful, sometimes one thing can work for better for some than others. What I'm finding in my clients is that almost all of them have tried some form of accountability with little to no longer-term success. Either they are both struggling and cannot help each other or eventually they stop keeping in touch. There has to be a better way. Personally, I do not believe we need to throw the baby out with the bathwater. The concept of an accountability partner is valuable for the recovery process, but I believe the systems we have provided men over the years are broken. At DeepClean, we have spotters. Coined from the guy who gives you a hand at the gym (if you haven't worked out - it's the guy who stands behind you while you do bench press and ensures that bar doesn't fall on you because you're trying to lift too much weight), a spotter is meant to be someone in your life who gives you that extra boost while you do the heavy lifting. It is male tendency use accountability partners to deflect responsibility - to say "perfect I found an accountability partner, he'll check in on me regularly and that should scare me from watching porn again." It doesn't work. Instead, you must do the heavy lifting. We do not assign spotters in our programs because we are playing a long game. We believe your spotter should not be around for a season or the duration of a program. Instead, they should be around for the long haul so that long after you're free, you still have them as a preventative measure in your life. Facilitating a relationship of that depth between strangers is impossible, so instead we encourage our clients to find a person in their life that they trust and feel safe around, and to ask them if they would consider being their spotter. If you already have relational equity before you embark on the journey to freedom, there is a much better chance the relationship will last on the other side. The beauty here is that your recovery doesn't have to be the focal point of your discussions because you already have a relationship. You can still talk about other things like you normally would! Your recovery journey is simply in the mix with everything else. The biggest mistake you can make with your spotter is meeting with them inconsistently. Work with their schedule, set up a time to chat/meet regularly (weekly or bi-weekly ideally in the early stages), and do not miss it. Be prepared to speak openly and honestly when the recovery parts come. And as you start to do this on a regular basis, you will notice an acceleration in your progress. Their is incredible value to connecting on a meaningful level with others as you embark on the journey to freedom.
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