Saturday, November 8, 2014
The Matt Fradd Effect
Matt’s talk at the Archdiocesan men’s conference MAN ALIVE! is just too rich to summarize here. He addressed the theme of Christian manhood with humour and intensity, holding the attention of his diverse audience from start to finish.
Particularly effective was the question he asked the evening crowd: “What kind of man do you want to be?” After giving the audience time to think, he pointed out that the answers of virtually every man in the church were no different than what God wants for men.
In his talk to the priests, Matt not only summarized just about everything I’d ever learned about sexual addiction, but also provided superb advice for confessors. I had to smile at this proof of the way we've learned to welcome the wisdom of the lay faithful (and the young lay faithful, at that).
Again, it’s not possible to summarize Matt's dynamic 90-minute presentation to priests. But I think I owe it to the blogosphere to highlight some of the resources he shared with us. One of them comes from his current employer, Covenant Eyes, an internet accountability and filtering service. It sounds like a particularly effective means of both limiting and monitoring children’s use of the internet, while providing an excellent resource for adults either to avoid entirely the problem of internet pornography or to deal with the dark places they may already have encountered therein.
The Covenant Eyes link cvnteyes.co/hardcoretruth offers both a free eBook and a free talk.
Matt’s own website The Porn Effect—recently redesigned by our own Vancouver Christian media gurus Glass Canvas—provides excellent tools for both men and women struggling with pornography addiction, educates their loved ones, and offers a ‘battle plan’ with five steps to removing pornography from one’s life.
Of particular interest to priests on The Porn Effect site is a podcast interview Matt conducts with an American priest, Father Sean Kilcawley.
He also endorsed Integrity Restored, the website of Dr. Peter Klepinos, a Catholic psychologist willing to work with clients by phone and by Skype.
Fortify is a video-based program offering information, motivation, and tools in the battle against pornography that Matt also described to the priests. It's inexpensive, and offers 52 short videos that can be watched on a smartphone or tablet, along with some other helpful tools.
A print resource that Matt recommended for priests and counsellors is the book "Treating Pornography Addiction," by Dr. Kevin Skinner. From the sounds of it, Dr. Skinner's explanation of the "activation sequence" would be helpful for everyone to know. You can download the book on Kindle for ten dollars.
I've been keeping track of addiction recovery resources ever since Father Emmerich Vogt's retreat to Vancouver priests introduced me to the Christian roots of the Twelve Steps. (See my posts on Candeo here and here.) But Matt's brief visit has left me and countless others with a whole new toolkit, for which I'm deeply grateful.
Australian is a language in which I'm not fluent, but I think the best way to close is something like "Good going, mate.. er, I mean Matt!"