Winnipeg, Manitoba – The last 20 years have seen a marked increase in marital infidelity and sexual addiction. It’s easy to understand why. The Internet now offers unprecedented distribution and access to chat rooms, webcams, dating and hookup sites, enabling millions of people to engage their sexual desires. Unfortunately, this behavior has led to a new generation of of people with unhealthy attachments to the fantasy world.
Gerry Pettyjohn is the founder of Living in Freedom Therapy, a counseling practice that helps people break free of sexual addiction and assists partners of addicts to heal from the intense trauma of being sexual betrayal.
“This whole thing boils down to relationships,” says Pettyjohn. “Most people do not end up in my therapy chair unless they get caught. That’s why people are in my office. They want to fix a relationship that’s exploded.”
Pettyjohn himself was a sex addict for 24 years, having developed intimacy anorexia. In 2007, facing the threat of losing his family, Pettyjohn finally hit rock bottom and resolved to break free from his addiction.
“I’d tried quitting before but I was trying to do it by myself,” recalls Pettyjohn. “In true recovery you have to involve other people. I visited with pastors. I started going to counseling. I attended addiction recovery groups. That’s when things really turned around.”
Today, Pettyjohn is a professional Christian therapist specializing in addiction and infidelity.
“There are five vital components to recovery,” says Pettyjohn. “Counseling, recovery groups, accountability partners, education and prayer. In AA they say, ‘Whether you believe in God or not, pray!’ It’s about getting outside your own selfishness by turning to a power greater than yourself.”
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