Principles for Interviewing

This article contains helpful suggestions for bishops when they approach and interview ward members who struggle with pornography.

By LDS Family Services

Seek the Spirit. Seek and follow God's promptings. Believe in your ability to make a difference.

Use a suitable location. Interviews should be held in your office. However, be flexible enough to meet a person's needs.

Establish a spiritual atmosphere. Develop and maintain a spiritual atmosphere for the visit. Include meditation, prayer, scripture reading, and Church involvement as part of an ongoing plan for change.

Establish a personal relationship. Make the effort to help the person feel at ease and to realize you are genuinely interested in helping him or her overcome the problem.

Accept your limitations. You are not expected to know everything about correcting pornography problems. Utilize available outside resources.

Avoid labeling. Always refer to the individual by name. Avoid using degrading labels.

Maintain emotional control. Remain positive at all times. The information you hear may be disturbing. Even if the individual becomes upset, control your own emotions.

Instill hope. Be positive and communicate hope throughout the interviewing process. In all situations it is possible to stop using pornography if the user is committed.

Be patient and persistent. Patience, encouragement, and persistence are important. Let the user and the family know you are willing to work with them for an extended period of time.

Set goals and follow-up visits. Involve the individual in setting goals. Monitor the progress on these assignments. Set follow-up visits as needed.