Category Archives: Parents

Recovery Coaches working with sex offenders

Legal Consequences Crisis Management Team -Recovery coaches working with sex offenders

It is 5:30 am and a band of FBI and local sheriff authorities pull up to a New Jersey suburban house in a development not far from Philadelphia. Adorning Kevlar vests, and windbreakers with the yellow letters FBI on their backs, they storm past a toy doll stroller in the sidewalk. They bang on the door with their fist, demanding “Open up this is the FBI”. After a few more wraps, a bleary eyed woman about 40 years old opens the door a crack and peers out. With a burst of energy, five FBI agents and two local police enter her foyer, issue her a search warrant and spew out demands, only one she actually hears, “Your husband is under arrest for child pornography…where are the laptops, tablets, cell phones and computers?”

Emily, (all the real names in this story will be withheld for privacy purposes) is dazed. She is in her bathrobe, and slippers, her hair is mussed, her eyeglasses crooked. She is barely awake. She glances at the stairs. She sees her two children at the top of the stairs, as a troop of agents make their way up to them. The agents ascend, as her girls descend. They are squeezing towards the wall making way for the army of six foot tall, 250 pound men barreling past them. They are asking “Mommy, what is happening?” A sheriff from the local police department asks where her husband is. She says he is at work; he works the midnight shift at a local hospital. The Sheriff gets on his walkie-talkie and bursts out some demands, checking on a similar event at her husband’s workplace.

It is 6:00 am, and Tom is just wrapping up from his shift as a nurse. His supervisor walks up to him with a force of blue windbreakers flanking him on either side. “Tom,” his supervisor says, “these gentlemen want to see you in my office”. As they turn to go to the office to FBI agents take Tom at the elbows and nearly lift him off his feet. He is escorted to the supervisor’s office, is placed in an arm chair and the door slams. Tom hears the words he has feared for the past two decades. “You are under arrest for the possession of, and the suspected distribution, copying, or advertising of images containing sexual depictions of minors.” For some strange reason, Tom is relieved. He thinks “It’s over, it is finally over.”

An unlikely band of brothers

It is Monday night, a steady stream of middle aged men drift into a hospital conference room, and take a seat. One of them opens a gym bag and starts to place books, pamphlets and tri-fold fliers on the table. A clear plastic envelope stuffed with one dollar bills is placed next to a thin loose-leaf binder. He sits down, opens the binder, checks the time on his cell phone and says, “Welcome to the Monday night meeting of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, my name is Ken, and I am a sex and love addict.” The seemingly normal cohort of men reply, “Hi Ken”.

The Monday night meeting of Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous begins. The reading is on Step Three; made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God. During the share a newcomer, Tom, tells his story about what brought him into the rooms tonight. He is not sure he can be helped. He knows he has been a porn addict for all of his adult life. He says he has just been found out and he has no idea what will happen next, to his life, to his marriage, to his kids. He was advised to go to a 12-step meeting for sex addiction and luckily, he saw this meeting listed when he searched online.

The members of this unlikely band of brothers looks at Tom. His head is down. His focus is on the ravaged cuticles of his right thumb. As he raises his thumb to his mouth, a tear rolls down his cheek. They know how he feels. Each one of them have felt this same despair. Joe raises his hand to share. Joe is almost 45, yet one would think he is no older than 35. His Goorin Brothers Slayer cap is on backwards, his flannel plaid shirt is unbuttoned revealing an LA Dodgers vintage t-shirt. Appropriately ripped skinny jeans end in a pair of Vans slip-ons. He gets current, talking about his therapist, his groups and what the third step means to him. Then he looks directly at Tom. “I know there is no cross talk in this meeting, so let me just say this, Tom, can we talk after the meeting?”

Joe knows what has happened to Tom. Tom need not even say the word ‘legal’ for the subliminal message to be delivered. Joe knows because it happened to him, less than two years ago. The Cop Knock. The end of life as he knew it. The opening up of a new world. A new life without any more hiding. Relief.

The start of a new life

Joe and Tom walk to the hospital café and Joe buys Tom a soda and a sandwich. It is the first thing Tom has eaten in two days. The café is empty, they find a corner table and sit down. After just a few minutes, Tom’s experience from the last week is told. Joe’s head was nodding the whole time, but he lets Tom talk.

Before an hour was up, Joe had given Tom the names of three men, Michael, Steve and Jay. Also, the phone number of an attorney and of a therapist that specialized in treating sex offenders. As they walked out of the hospital, Joe said the first call should be to Michael. Michael will coordinate everything. And Joe was right, Michael coordinated everything.

Michael answers the phone at 9:30pm, and Tom was on the other line. Michael was already informed by Joe, just minutes before. By 10:00, Michael had assembled the Legal Consequences Crisis Management Team on a conference call and briefed us all. The attorney appointment will be made by the client, Tom. The therapist introduction will be on the phone, and the first group therapy meeting is tomorrow and Joe will bring Tom. Michael will coordinate the lawyer and therapist calls and speak to his parents. Jay and Steve will call Tom daily, for support. I am assigned to work with the wife. All of these recovery coaching services will be free to Tom.

Doing service to give back what we have freely received

Every one of us responds to this call. It initiates a recruitment effort that rivals the Avenger’s response to Ultron’s threat to eradicate humanity. This Legal Consequences Crisis Management Team is committed to respond to any sexual addiction crisis- the family affected by a patriarch’s incest, the individual devastated by sexual trauma, or the man that has heard the “Cop Knock”. We know they feel alone, whether they have been abandoned by their family, abused by loved ones or in this case, arrested for an illegal act. Tom needs this “Avengers” team to help him, because this is territory he is not familiar with. However, this team is very familiar with it; the family dynamics, the law, the courtroom, treatment and therapy, prison and the re-entry process. They have walked this path, and emerged on the other side, as healthier and better people for the experience. So, we are there for Tom, in order to keep our own sobriety, we are doing service to give back what we have freely received.

This band of Recovery Coaches comes to the aid of individuals dealing with the crisis of legal consequences of their sex addiction in the New Jersey, Delaware and Southeastern Pennsylvania region.










Posted in Addiction, Addiction Recovery Posts, alcohol, Alcoholism, body image, Drug Abuse, Family Dynamics, Gambling, internet addiction disorder, love addiction, mental health, Opioid addiction, Parents, Pornography, pornography addiction, Recovery Coaching, Relapse, relationships, Research, Sex Addiction, Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Loss, Sponsor | Tagged , | Comments Off on Recovery Coaches working with sex offenders

Getting through the tough times

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As a recovery coach, I often see my clients need some help getting through the tough times, without using drugs, picking up a drink or acting out. Recently, I personally encountered some rough patches in my own life, so I went to my library of recovery books. Reading books on recovery is an import tool I use regularly in my practice. Several years ago, I was curious about Buddhist recovery, so I became an avid reader of the books by Pema Chodron.

Pema Chodron Celebrates 80 Years

Pema Chodron, is a Buddhist nun, she was born in 1936, in New York City, and is celebrating her 80th year. After a divorce, in her mid-thirties, Pema traveled to the French Alps and encountered Buddhist teacher Lama Chime Rinpoche, and she studied with him for several years. She became a novice Buddhist nun in 1974. Pema moved to rural Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 1984, ­­­to be the director of Gampo Abbey and worked to establish a place to teach the Buddhist monastic traditions (waking before sunrise, chanting scriptures, daily chores, communal meals and providing blessings for the laity). In Nova Scotia and through the Chodron Foundation, she works with others, sharing her ideas and teachings. She has written several books, and in my time of deep spiritual need, I went to her book “When Things Fall Apart”.

Drawn from traditional Buddhist wisdom, Pema’s radical and compassionate advice for what to do when things fall apart in our lives helped me. There is not only one approach to suffering that is of lasting benefit, Pema teaches several approaches that involve moving toward the painful situation and relaxing us to realize the essential groundlessness of our situation. It is in this book, I discovered a simple breathing exercise I can use during these chaotic times so I can move into a better space. Pema advocates this tool as a breathing exercise, although this exercise could also be considered a mindful meditation.

I use Chodron’s tool whenever and wherever life hits me below the belt. I share this tool with my clients. It is all about breathing and consciously repeating words to yourself to accompany the breathing. Since we breathe every day, it is indiscernible whether you are using this tool as you travel on the bus commuting home from work, in a conference room with your boss, or when you are feeling low and want to curl up in a ball and die.


Pema explains in her book, when things get way too complicated; step back and breathe. When the force of the world, the politics of the U.S., Great Britain or Italy start weighing heavily on your mind, breathe. When you look at all the pain around you and feel powerless to do anything, breathe.

Pema explains, inhale and say silently to yourself breathe in the pain, then exhale and say breathe out relief. Then, inhale, and say silently to yourself breathe in the relief, and exhale and say breathe out the pain. I find I need about 15 minutes of conscious breathing in this way. After doing this, I find I have new energy or something else crosses my path to move me into a different space.

If I continue to be in that negative space of worry or feeling powerless, then absolutely nothing will be accomplished that day. I know we all have something to accomplish every day, whether it is just getting out of bed, taking a shower and brushing our teeth or running a Fortune 500 company, this exercise gets us from zero to ten in fifteen minutes. Chodron’s exercise moves me to the space I need to be in, so I can function. It is what I need.

So, I invite you to try this simple exercise…and remember…keep breathing.

Posted in Addiction, Addiction Recovery Posts, alcohol, Alcoholism, body image, Drug Abuse, Family Dynamics, Gambling, Health, internet addiction disorder, love addiction, mental health, Opioid addiction, Parents, Pornography, pornography addiction, Relapse, relationships, Research, Sex Addiction, Sleep Deprivation, Sleep Loss, Sponsor, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Getting through the tough times

The Top Ten Warning Signs You Are Talking to an Online Catfisher-Part 4

 innocence-en-dangerHow can you protect yourself from a Catfisher or an online predator?

Why do they do what they do? Catfishers want something from you. These are people that are not motivated by love, but are driven by money, perverse sexual desires and criminal intent.

  • Money is usually the first thing predators want from adult contacts
  • They want to win you over and manipulate you, so you begin to desire them in a sexual way and that means you will begin to trust them
  • They will use your photographs and distribute them to other online predators, they will re-post the pictures online in sexual forums or just enjoy your photographs themselves, privately
  • They want to have conversations with you, texting or otherwise, in order to get sexually aroused during the conversation
  • Any of the above contacts will enable these predators to black-mail, extort or rape you

Scary Stats

There are some scary statistics on Catfishers or online predators.

  • An estimated 725,000 people are aggressively pursued online for sex or extortion annually in the US
  • In 2005 alone, 25% percent of rapists used online dating sites to find their victims
  • In 2011, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center lodged 5,600 complaints from victims of “romance scams” or “catfishers”
  • Reports say victims of these romance scams have lost over fifty million dollars—however authorities know this figure is much higher because many victims are too embarrassed to report the incidents
  • Every 2 minutes a person in America is sexually assaulted
  • 1 out of 4 children in the U.S. have been sent pictures of people who were naked or having sex by an online predator
  • Each year Internet predators commit over 16,000 abductions, over 100 murders, and thousands of rapes
  • Over 39,000 verified Registered Sex Offenders have profiles on social media sites
  • 1 out of 5 kids have been solicited for sex on the Internet
  • 1 out of 4 kids have been contacted online by a person not representing themselves in a true or accurate way
  • Only 25% of kids tell parents or adults about any online encounters
  • 77% of the time, the targets for online predators are usually in the 11-14 year-old-age range
  • 25% of children that were surveyed were exposed to unwanted pornographic material

Dating Safety Tips

Online dating often leads to offline dates, which may end up as a successful relationship. However, before you meet someone in person, take all the time you need to get well-acquainted with this person, so there is hopefully nothing to worry about when you meet face-to-face. Sexual assault on a date is definitely not an everyday occurrence, nonetheless, you need to ensure your personal safety when planning to meet someone for a first date. Take the time to really get to know a person and dangerous incidents are less likely to occur.

The predators need to be exposed, if you or anyone you know has been contacted by an online predator or has received unwanted solicitation from someone online, call the police and notify the social networking site on which the contact was made.

  • NEVER give out your personal information or home address online, even giving out the town you live in can reveal too much information to a predator
  • Don’t reply to social media messages from people you don’t know
  • NEVER meet face-to-face with someone you have just met online, give yourself and the contact at least 3 weeks to get to know each other before a face-to-face is planned
  • Never download image files from an unknown source, they could contain sexually explicit images that could put you in a compromising legal situation
  • Avoid chat rooms or discussion forums that are sexually proactive
  • If you receive uncomfortable or frightening material, end the communication, block the person from contacting you and report them to the dating site or the social networking site
  • If you receive an unwanted solicitation call 911, contact the dating site or the social networking site and report the perpetrator immediately

Sexual assault and date rape are definitely not common occurrences when meeting an online date. Read and follow the safety advice for first date meetings that have been outlined on your online dating site, so you are well-prepared. In addition, here are some of tips that will be useful too.

  • Always take the time to get well-acquainted with someone before you plan a meeting. Talking to this person online or on the phone for three weeks is a good amount of time to ensure this person is safe to meet
  • Bookend the date, which means you notify a friend where the date is, whom the date is with and when the date starts and then again, contact the same friend when you leave the date, to ensure you are home and are safe
  • Meet in a public place, like a restaurant, coffee shop, and drive your own car or know the public transportation schedule in order to leave to catch the last bus. At no time should this first date drive you home
  • While on the date, always be very aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on your drink at all times. Date rape drugs are very easy to drop into any drink. Drinking coffee with a lid on the cup is probably your best defense against this kind of occurrence
  • Getting a girl drunk is a common ploy for a predator, so watch how much alcohol you drink. In fact, many online dating site guidelines do not recommend going to a bar or having a drink on the first date
  • Be cautious during your first few meetings with this person. Have the dates in open public places and stay away from dark and deserted situations
  • Never go to this person’s home or to a hotel until months into your dating experience

What do you do if you have been assaulted?

If you believe you may be a victim of sexual assault, the first thing you should do is immediately contact the police and report the crime, no matter how small you might think the crime is. It is common for victims to blame themselves in a case of assault, however you must always remember that this predator had absolutely no justification to attack you. It is also very important to protect your health, go to the hospital and request to have a sexual assault forensic exam, the staff will administer some tests that are compiled into what is sometimes known as a “rape kit.” These exams will preserve possible DNA evidence and you will receive important medical care. You don’t have to report the crime to have this exam, but the process gives you the chance to safely store evidence, should you decide to report the crime at a later time.

  • If you feel you cannot handle going to the hospital alone, try asking an understanding family member or friend to escort you to the hospital.
  • If necessary, you can also speak with a rape hotline operator, an experienced therapist or social worker who can help you deal with it. For more information, reference the local hotlines and services that are featured below
  • If you choose not to have a sexual assault forensic exam, it is also a good idea to to go to a clinic or to see a doctor who can test you for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
  • To find a location near you that performs sexual assault forensic exams, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (656-4673) or talk to your local sexual assault service provider

Here are some National Resources for Victims of a Catfisher

General Information:

Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)                                                                                                                              A partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

National Sexual Assault Hotline: National hotline, operated by RAINN, that serves people affected by sexual violence. It automatically routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search your local center here. Hotline: 800.656.HOPE (656-4673)

National Sexual Violence Resource Center: This site offers a wide variety of information relating to sexual violence including a large legal resource library.

National Organization for Victim Assistance: Founded in 1975, NOVA is the oldest national victim assistance organization of its type in the United States as the recognized leader in this noble cause.

National Online Resource Center on Violence Against Women: VAWnet, a project of the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence hosts a resource library home of thousands of materials on violence against women and related issues, with particular attention to its intersections with various forms of oppression.

U.S. Department of Justice: National Sex Offender Public Website: NSOPW is the only U.S. government Website that links public state, territorial, and tribal sex offender registries from one national search site.

The National Center for Victims of Crime: The mission of the National Center for Victims of Crime is to forge a national commitment to help victims of crime rebuild their lives. They are dedicated to serving individuals, families, and communities harmed by crime.

Child Abuse/Sexual Abuse:

National Child Abuse Hotline: They can provide local referrals for services. A centralized call center provides the caller with the option of talking to a counselor. They are also connected to a language line that can provide service in over 140 languages. Hotline: 800.4.A.CHILD (800-422-2253)

Darkness to Light: They provide crisis intervention and referral services to children or people affected by sexual abuse of children. Hotline calls are automatically routed to a local center. Helpline: 866.FOR.LIGHT (367.5444)

Cyber Tip Line: This Tipline is operated by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Can be used to communicate information to the authorities about child pornography or child sex trafficking. Hotline: 800.THE.LOST (800-843-5678)

National Children’s Alliance: This organization represents the national network of Child Advocacy Centers (CAC). CACs are a multidisciplinary team of law enforcement, mental and physical health practitioners who investigate instances of child physical and sexual abuse. Their website explains the process and has a directory according to geographic location.

Stop It Now: Provides information to victims and parents/relatives/friends of child sexual abuse. The site also has resources for offender treatment as well as information on recognizing the signs of child sexual abuse. Hotline: 888-PREVENT (888-773-8368)

Justice for Children: Provides a full range of advocacy services for abused and neglected children.

Domestic, Dating and Intimate Partner Violence:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: Through this hotline an advocate can provide local direct service resources (safe-house shelters, transportation, casework assistance) and crisis intervention. Interpreter services available in 170 languages. They also partner with the Abused Deaf Women’s Advocacy Center to provide a videophone option. Hotline: 800-799-SAFE (800-799-7233)

National Teen Dating Abuse Online Helpline: This online helpline assists teens who are, or may be, in abusive relationships. Call 1-866-331-9474, chat at or text “loveis” to 22522, any time, 24/7/365

Americans Overseas Domestic Violence Crisis Center: The center serves abused Americans, mostly women and children, in both civilian and military populations overseas. In addition to providing domestic violence advocacy, safety planning and case management, the center assists victims with relocation, emergency funds for housing and childcare, and funds for payment of legal fees. International & Toll-Free 866-USWOMEN (866- 879-6636) (Available 24/7/365)

National Coalition against Domestic Violence: The national coalition of Domestic Violence organizations is dedicated to empowering victims and changing society to a zero tolerance policy. Call the Nat’l #DomesticViolence Hotline 1-800-799-SAFE (799-7233) if you or someone you love is a victim and needs help


(See also resources on Child Abuse/ Sexual Abuse above)

Survivors of Incest Anonymous: They provide information on how to find incest survivor support groups in your area and empowers individuals to become survivors and thrivers.

GirlThrive: Girlthrive Inc. honors teen girls and young women who have survived incest and all sex abuse through thriverships, opportunity and education.


Stalking Resource Center: The Stalking Resource Center is a program of the National Center for Victims of Crime. Their website provides statistics on stalking, information on safety planning and other resources.

Posted in Addiction, Addiction Recovery Posts, alcohol, Drug Abuse, Family Dynamics, Health, internet addiction disorder, love addiction, mental health, Opioid addiction, Parents, Pornography, pornography addiction, relationships, Research, Sex Addiction, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Top Ten Warning Signs You Are Talking to an Online Catfisher-Part 4