Forest Benedict, LMFT, SATP
2010 MA in Marriage and Family Therapy
Author, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist at LifeSTAR of the Central Valley
Is there any hope for me? Forest Benedict, who has experienced recovery from sexual addiction, says “Yes!” His experience inspired him to become a therapist and ultimately write a book on the subject.
Forest, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and Sexual Addiction Treatment Provider (SATP), is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. Originally a set of blog posts, Life After Lust was born after a colleague suggested that he turn the posts into a book and was originally published as an eBook on Valentine’s Day 2017 and a physical book in March that same year. Forest launched a Kickstarter page in November to create an audiobook version, set to release in April 2018.
The theme of the book—aimed at both Christians and non-Christians (males and females)—is that there is hope for anybody struggling with addiction. “I think a lot of people feel hopeless. In the book, I say that [recovery] is difficult, but possible,” Forest said. However, the author does more than just say, “You can do it.” Life After Lust shows readers how to find hope through 19 essential mindsets, 34 skills to master and 15 missions to accomplish. Also included is Your Recovery Roadmap: A 52-Week Plan, which gives specific steps to follow while reading.
One skill that Life After Lust teaches is consistent and effective self-care. “A lot of people don’t realize how much their self-care affects their brain and their impulsivity,” Forest explained. Chapter 15 advises getting good sleep, exercising, avoiding sugar and practicing mindful breathing to minimize impulsivity. Another skill is humbly reaching out for help, and Chapter 10 encourages admitting to the struggle, taking responsibility and seeking professional assistance.
Forest hopes his book aids not only today’s adults, but whole families by helping parents protect children from pornography. “Especially for parents in recovery, it’s challenging them—it’s not just about you getting free, it’s about the impact on your family and your kids, and not just your kids but this whole generation,” he said. Chapter 24 lists four ways parents can minimize children’s exposure to pornography: paying attention to their internet access, life habits, interests, and emotions.
Life After Lust reaches out to people in and beyond the Central Valley with clear instructions and an inspirational tone. As the back cover says, “Recovery from sexual addiction is difficult, possible, and worth the effort. Forest knows. He’s been there.”
Forest is married to Stacie Benedict, director of student services at FPU. They have two children, ages 9 and 4.
Link to the Kindle edition: amazon.com/Life-After-Lust-Strategies-Pornography-ebook/dp/B06VW1GQHS
Link to the audiobook Kickstarter: kickstarter.com/projects/forestbenedictauthor/life-after-lust-the-audiobook
By Francesco Parisi (current student)