How the course works
The Pivotal Recovery Course is a comprehensive, professionally guided programme to help you stop unwanted sexual behaviours and stay stopped.
The course has been created and written by Dr Paula Hall, who along with her team at the Laurel Centre, Europe’s largest dedicated therapy centre, has helped thousands of people into recovery. The course follows the CHOICE Recovery Model. CHOICE is an acrostic that spells out the 6 steps of recovery and it also describes our philosophy. Everyone has the right to choose the life they want to lead, but compulsive sexual thoughts and behaviours rob people of that choice. Pivotal puts you back in the driving seat of your life and it starts by putting you in the driving seat of your recovery. With Pivotal, you decide how and when to stop. We won’t ask you to count days and we won’t tell you what sobriety means. As long as your behaviours are within the law and not hurting anyone, it’s your choice. The goal of Pivotal is to help you reach your goals, but we’re all individuals so you choose your own pace. CHOICE represents both the spirit and the steps of recovery. You can choose a better life, it may be hard work, there may be twists and turns on the journey, but ultimately it is a choice.
The Pivotal Recovery Course is split into 2 parts. Part 1 consists of 30 podcasts giving you all the information and tools you need to stop. Part 2 provides a further 30 podcasts to give you the motivation and skills to stay stopped. The accompanying workbook, available in print or interactive digital version, provides exercises to help you personalise your learning and monitor your progress. Some people work through the programme daily while others prefer to leave more time between sessions to process the content. Its important you work at the pace that's best for you.
Part 1 – Learn to stop
Sessions 1 to 7 – Laying the Foundations. Our first 7 sessions are spent building your understanding of porn addiction and compulsive sexual behaviours. We look at how these behaviours are influenced by your current circumstances and by events that may have happened to you in the past. We also explore the affect they have on you biologically, psychologically, emotionally and the impact they have on your relationships. We also cover the fundamental principles of recovery and explain the CHOICE Recovery Model.
Sessions 8 to 14 - Step 1 - Challenge core beliefs. We begin step 1 by challenging any faulty core beliefs and negative thinking patterns that could sabotage your recovery. Including denial and fears of being unable to change. Other common blocks to recovery are also explored such as shame and procrastination.
Sessions 15-19 – Step 2 – Have a vision. These 5 sessions focus on building motivation by identifying strengths and values and creating a solid vision of a future that is free of compulsive and addictive behaviours. Step 2 ends with strategies for making your vision concrete to ensure it’s achievable.
Sessions 20-30 – Step 3 – Overcome unwanted behaviours. 10 sessions are devoted to providing practical tools for identifying and stopping the cycle of addiction and compulsivity. Topics covered include identifying triggers and cognitive distortions as well as underlying emotional issues. Techniques are provided for relapse prevention and managing urges and withdrawal.
Part 2 – Stay stopped
Sessions 31 to 38 - Step 4 – Identify positive sexuality. Our first 7 sessions of Part 2 are all about identifying what positive sexuality means to you. This includes recognising negative sexual myths and messages, understanding sexual tastes and fantasy and overcoming sexual dysfunctions. The goal is to establish healthy sexual boundaries and reclaim positive, satisfying, fulfilling sexuality.
Sessions 39-45 – Step 5 – Connect with others. Here we explore the importance of relationships to recovery and to mental health in general. Including the role of partnered relationships, family and friends and also how and where to get support from others in recovery. Attachment issues are covered here and the 8 relational needs and the essential role of empathy.
Sessions 46-60 – Step 6 – Establish confident recovery. Our final 14 sessions are all about building resilience to relapse and includes topics such as developing emotional stability, building a balanced lifestyle, setting goals and personal boundaries. The principles of positive psychology are used to ensure a life is built where addiction and compulsivity are no longer needed or desired.