Spanking Pavlov’s Dog - Retraining the Addicted Brain.
Many people are likely to have heard of Pavlov’s experiment with classical conditioning. You know, the dogs started salivating at the sound of the bell. Pavlov had these dogs trained to the effect of associating the sound of the bell with being fed, and the dogs eventually started salivating at the sound of the bell. The addict’s brain is already “salivating” when thinking ahead of the future visit to Boo-Boo Mama. (If you don’t know Boo-Boo Mama, then read my earlier post). So how can Pavlov’s experiment be of assistance when the sex addict has reinforced the pleasure neuropath ways in the brain by the visits to Boo-Boo Mama?
We spank Pavlov’s dog! Meaning that once the addict’s hijacked brain is salivating at the instant thought of visiting Boo-Boo Mama, we spank! Dr. Doug Weiss has provided an inexpensive, simple method for this negative reinforcement: The addict wears a rubber band and as soon as “salivation” starts, the addict snaps the rubber band. With time, the brain will begin associating the snap of the rubber band with visits to Boo-Boo Mama. Boo-Boo Mama visits are not just pleasurable any longer because there is also a sting associated with it. This method is not a babysitting method; the addict is responsible for this. The addict chooses whether the spanking occurs. You see, recovery in is an inside job. No one can MAKE another person become sober of substances or addictive behaviors.
The rubber band method is effective with any kind of acting out method- whether it is scanning, objectifying, or fantasizing. As soon as it occurs, the rubber band is snapped. In time, the brain is “retrained” from the instant salvation, to “ouch!” It provides the addict with an opportunity to pause and rethink their choices. It gives the person who struggles with the addiction an opportunity to separate themselves from the addict who has been in control of actions and thought patterns in the past. The person with the sex addiction can be in control and “spank” the addict out of the decision process…one hour at a time, one day at a time. I am cheering for the person with the addiction, not the addict. It is up to you who you decide will take over in the end. Buy a rubber band.
Written by: Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC-Intern, National Certified Counselor, McKinney, TX.
Supervised by: Debra Larsen, MS, LPC-S
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist