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How Can Counseling Help With Pornography Addiction?

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Porn Addiction and Therapy

Porn Addiction Therapy; This topic has always been something of the elephant in the room for people. Pornography is a very polarizing thing, depending on which culture or life philosophy from which you come. Some regard it as a harmless industry satisfying a biological need, some see it as a form of art, and others see it as an amoral plague upon the world. Which of these is right? Really, who knows. Nobody is right, and nobody is wrong.

What can be objectively said is that porn addiction is a terrible thing indeed. Any addiction is a destructive problem and one that should be handled with utmost care and priority.

Enthusiast Vs. Addict

Before we look at some of the root causes of porn addiction, the consequences, and so on, let’s draw a very famous line between liking something and being genuinely addicted to it. We’re not going to delve into any ethical/moral debates regarding adult material as, for one, this is a debate that can never be won, as thousands of years of history prove.

That said, upon reaching physical maturity, most ordinary people in most cultures naturally cultivate a fondness, sometimes short-lived, other times for most of the rest of their life, for adult entertainment. Healthy individuals who enjoy this material do so in moderation as with anything else in life they enjoy. Objectively, medically-speaking, there is no harm in this (and of course, there are countless studies on the harm of unhandled sexual frustration and repression).

It becomes an addiction when it preempts other interests and begins to impact one’s psychology. When one is spending large amounts of money and time with this material to exclude family, friends, and career, it has become an addiction.

For these very reasons, addictions are calamitous.


Given how divisive pornography is in most cultures, porn addiction can be socially-destructive. It was mentioned above that most ordinary people enjoy such material at least for a time in their lives. However, this is something of a problematic dichotomy, with many of these same people living in denial, judging others for enjoying openly something they themselves only enjoy in secret. This is an unhealthy scenario, too, but sadly, a larger sociological issue can’t be tackled here.

A symptom of this sociological paradox is the damage to one’s perceived character if a porn addiction becomes apparent. People are instantly mistrusted as “deviants,” “perverts,” or even worse. This is rarely fair labeling, as sexual predation/aggression stem from entirely different and very acute neuroses and root stimuli.

In the modern, social network-plagued world, this kind of blind finger-pointing can destroy someone’s reputation, career, and all their relationships in literally a day. It also erodes one’s self-esteem and self-perception, often resulting in sufferers of the addiction accepting and believing what people then wrongly say about them. Depression and apathy become severe problems at this point, and those reinforce the addiction in a vicious cycle.

For those in intimate relationships, porn addiction can be incredibly destructive, as a partner may misinterpret the need for such material as a sign of them being insufficient.

An addiction-fixation of any sort can erode a lifestyle as it consumes more time, though, and focus.


Anything can become an addiction. Substances are the most common (at least in popular culture), but anything that can trigger some dopamine in the brain can become a dependency. Religion, leisure activities, thrill-seeking, and yes, pornography and sex are easy things to become addicted to.

Addiction has some common root causes (though these vary widely from person to person). Among these are a lack of variety in one’s life by way of routine and interests. Depression, ennui, and overall apathy can lead one to seek escape.

When it comes to this particular form of addiction, there are other possible causes, though these aren’t as dominant as it may immediately seem. Among these are hormonal overabundance/imbalance (which can overclock one’s sex drive), a history of sexual abuse while growing up (or the opposite, growing up in a hostilely-strict home), general sexual frustration, or a lack of self-esteem.

The latter two tend to work together as a particularly nasty problem, where individuals feel they’re not attractive/appealing enough to appeal to a partner. Sadly, a large portion of the population does experience to some level, due to the absurd body image and beauty standards imposed in the world.

How Therapy Can Help

Therapy isn’t a magic wand that can trivially fix problems. However, it does provide a patient with the tools to solve the problems themselves (with proper guidance). Cognitive-behavioral therapy approaches are beneficial when it comes to addictions. Psychotherapists help patients identify the root causes (and ongoing triggers) for their addictive impulses with these practices. From there, positive lifestyle changes can be adopted to abate these problems and cultivate a healthier way of living. A patient must want to overcome this addiction and see it as a problem they have, not as a problem others think.

Edmonton Counselling Services, located in southside Edmonton, provides private Porn Addiction Therapy therapy to help with porn addiction.