Part 1, Part 2
Discover the best porn addiction treatment, self-help and sex addiction counselling
We’re going to discuss the best addiction treatment for you. I’m so glad you’re researching ways to overcome your porn addiction – you’re to be commended for acknowledging your problem. I’ve no doubt you’ve been struggling for some time, and that’s why you’re now looking for the best treatment for your sex addiction.
If you’re to successfully deal with your porn addiction, you need to have fully accepted that your thoughts and behaviours are out of control. If you’re in any doubt, hop over to Part 1 of this article to take the porn addiction test. It’s really important that you decide whether you’re truly distressed by your addiction and are 100% committed to overcoming it, or you know deep down that you’re not ready to give it up yet. Be ruthlessly honest with yourself.
Know that it’s neither my place nor my wish to judge your use of pornography. I know how desperate you may feel and how very bleak the future may seem to you.
However, I do want to state clearly…
When it comes to the law, there are two types of pornography: legal and illegal. There are without doubt serious issues associated with both. Sexual violence and abuse is, very sadly, all too prevalent within pornography.
An addiction of any kind can cause the addict to ignore or lose sight of his or her original values, beliefs and morals. I say this to help you become aware of your own boundaries. Have these changed over time? Are you no longer living in accordance with your own values and beliefs? Are you fighting against your true sense of right and wrong in order to satisfy your cravings?
Your answers to those questions will provide you with a starting point for your recovery. I know you’re capable of overcoming your porn addiction – even though the going is likely to be really tough. Believe that you can do it!
Learn to spot that “yes, but…” gremlin that sits on your shoulder and chips in with excuses whenever you’re confronted with something uncomfortable. Each time your focus drifts, bring it back to this page and stick with me.
How to stop your sex addiction
Know that you’re not defined by your porn addiction. You are not your addiction and you are not your sex drive. There’s so much more to you than that, even if it’s hidden by all those sex addiction symptoms.
To help you take back some control, we’re going to concentrate on five of your most important essential emotional needs. We all have these very specific needs, and we all need to be able to meet them in balance. When we can do that, we’re able to function at our very best – feeling mentally strong, resilient and contented.
So are you ready to tackle your sex addiction? I’m sooo rooting for you to feel well and happy again!
Let’s start with an immediate self-help strategy so you can begin to take back some control right away.
The following advice is from my friends at UncommonHelp.com
To give yourself some extra time to stop and think, install whatever filter/password you can on your device and remove cookies, caches and easy-access links.*
When you’ve bought yourself some time, turn your focus towards any of the following…
5 Ways to improve your general sense of well-being to help you overcome your porn addiction
First, discover how you score by doing this inborn emotional needs audit.
With the outcome in mind, read on to discover how you can start your recovery right away.
I’ve focused on five of the most important needs to get you on your way. By meeting these needs, you can be sure that you’re forming the really firm foundation essential to overcoming your addiction to porn and sex.
You’ll be helping yourself become stronger, more resilient and more effective in overcoming the difficulties you’re having right now.
Attending to your 5 most essential inborn needs
1. Your sense of safety and security
Consider how you can establish and maintain a stable home life and community around you.
To start with, you’ll need to increase your self-awareness (self-knowledge) and willingness to confront your behaviour.
So that you can think about what security and safety really means for you and all the people around you (including online).
3 steps towards your recovery
- Remember: an addiction of any kind can cause the addict to ignore or lose sight of his or her original values, beliefs and morals.
- Consider your how your present boundaries have been blurred and shifted by your addiction to pornography.
- Make a personal statement about what you – as a recovering addict – would consider to be healthy boundaries. Think carefully about what you find acceptable. Remember to ignore the excuse-making gremlin on your shoulder!
Strong, healthy boundaries increase your own sense of safety and security. They are based on your values and beliefs and can potentially provide a firm, healthy foundation for your life as a whole.
2. Giving and receiving attention
Using porn is essentially a solo act. In that trance-state you don’t have to think about anyone else. No-one is talking back and your fantasies can run riot.
But humans are social creatures, and we need to be able to give and receive attention. That requires interaction with other people (whether that’s your partner, or friends/family). Relationships are hugely improved when unconditional attention is shared.
3 steps towards your recovery
- Whether or not you’re in a serious relationship, commit to giving at least one person 100% of your positive attention. Ask specific questions about their well-being, starting with something you know about them.
- Focus solely on their answers. (Have something truthful about your wellbeing or plans to say in case they ask you about you – but don’t expect them to!)
- Repeat in your own words what they’ve told you so they know you’ve really listened and so that they feel valued. For example, you could say: “Ah, that sounds like you’ve been struggling/had a great time/life has been difficult/are very proud…” etc.
3. Develop and invest in friendships
Yes, I know – easier said than done! 🙂 But stick with me… friendships provide opportunities for fun, love and laughter. They are great levellers and help to separate your from your troubles. They help you to see your struggles in a wider context, which gives the potential to find new ways of dealing with them.
This too is a great way to counteract your solo sex-related activities as it gives you a new focus of attention.
3 steps towards your recovery
- Get in touch with 2 old friends – simply send them a message to say “Hi! You just popped into my thoughts.”
- Apologise for not having been in touch before if necessary
- Ask a specific question about their well-being, starting with something you know about them. Show genuine interest in their reply.
4. Deliberately aim to make positive changes where you have control
Being addicted to porn can cause you to feel completely out of control. Yet, as human beings we have a need to feel that we have some (balanced) control over our environment. We need to feel that we can influence the (immediate) world around us – even if in a very minor way.
This is most likely to be something you can effect immediately.
3 steps towards your recovery
- Finish off, tidy up or sort out something you’ve been meaning to do for ages.
- Deal with three outstanding pieces of paperwork relating to your home or work life (or even both!)
- Plan to do some exercise (a walk, a run, a swim) – and do it! Added bonus: exercise is great for clearing your head and improving your general well-being.
5. Find and commit to doing worthwhile things
Divert your attention from your cravings and turn it towards something meaningful. A sense of meaning and purpose will help you to get through the most difficult times in your life – including this one.
If your work or family doesn’t provide you with enough or any meaning and purpose, consider instead how you can contribute to your community (preferably offline!) through voluntary work and other acts of kindness.
Choose 2 to support your recovery
- Search for and (re)invest in a hobby or interest
- Search for and commit to at least two hours’ voluntary work a week
- Reinvest in your relationship and/or your friendships
Healing your relationship
If you’re in a relationship, your sex, porn or erotica addiction will no doubt have taken its toll.
You may have taken out your frustration and unhappiness on your partner. Perhaps you’ve been cruel and disrespectful, or maybe even blamed them for everything that’s wrong. If so, I suspect that you know, deep down, that that’s not fair.
While I’m not judging or reprimanding you for this, it is important that you acknowledge any mistreatment on your part. Only then will you be able to change your negative behaviour and start healing the hurt.
5 Steps towards healing your relationship
- Seek professional help!
There’s a risk that sex may never offer you the joy and excitement it once did. Having such easy access to porn is like a drug addict having bags of heroin lying around the house, according to journalist Martin Daubney in the programme Porn on the Brain. You’ll need to discover new ways to have a fulfilling sex life with your partner again, and that’s something a professional sex therapist will be trained to help you with.
- Show that you’re making progress
Gather up solid evidence of the steps you’ve already taken to deal with your problem. Your partner or spouse will need to see – not hear – that you’re serious about getting over your porn addiction. So, set aside a specific time to have an open and honest conversation with your partner. If you haven’t done this already, acknowledge honestly to your partner that you have a problem. Refrain from defending your behaviour in any way. Allow, hear and respect their reaction – they’re entitled to it. Learn more about how to have a difficult conversation in my article on how to prevent arguments.
- Acknowledge your partners suspicions
If your partner has confronted you about your addiction in the past and you denied it, tell them unconditionally that they were right. No ifs or buts. And just accept whatever they might have to say about that!
- Be authentic
Offer your sincerest apology for your behaviour. Mention specifically which attitudes and actions you know have caused so much hurt to your partner and damaged your relationship.
- Agree, together, on 3 positive actions
Decide what you’ll do to make a positive contribution to healing your relationship, in addition to what you’re doing already (see #2).
- Start right away
Make sure that what you agree to is truly achievable and measurable within a short space of time. It’s important for both of you to be able to see real results.
Take time out to reflect on your progress
Commit to reviewing your progress in detail every evening.
- what’s going well
- what you’ve achieved
- what isn’t going so well (without judgement)
- what you can improve on
- what you need to change
- how you feel about things
- what you need help with
Download this online fillable and printable worksheet to help you keep track of your efforts and progress.
Can porn, erotica or sex addiction counselling really help?
Yes, sex addiction counselling can absolutely help!
- A professional counsellor or therapist won’t judge you.
- He or she will have heard it all before
- They will respond to you with kindness and understanding
- They will hold you to account
- They keep you on track towards overcoming that porn addiction
- They will celebrate your progress with you
- They will support you through tough times and…
- Pick you up when you’ve fallen
The best way to access sex addiction counselling is to see a counsellor or therapist local to you. There is a huge number of different counselling theories, but don’t get stuck on that for now. The most important factor in the success of any type of therapy is the quality of the professional relationship with your therapist.
Alternatively, you can connect with a professional counsellor online right away. Better Help provides an easily accessible, confidential and professional online counselling service. You can even remain anonymous if you want to. For further information, see my page on online counselling.
Are there any other porn addiction treatments available?
There are plenty of services and treatment centres available (normally at a cost). If you’re committed to recovery, take the time to research the right kind of treatment for you. Once you find something you feel comfortable with, don’t delay getting in touch. Always remember: there’s no shame in asking for help. Ever!
What about medication?
As is usually the case with emotional difficulties, there’s no magic pill that will instantly beat porn addiction. If you go to see your doctor, he or she may want to prescribe an anti-anxiety drug and/or an antidepressant. But medication is a huge topic in its own right, so I’d encourage you to read my article How to Deal with Depression to help you make an informed decision.
Sleep is really important, and if you’re having trouble sleeping, you may well benefit from a sleeping tablet for a few nights.
You’ve come this far – so don’t stop now! I really urge you to seek professional help right away. A therapist will understand the courage it’s taken you to talk to them, and they’re trained to help you with all aspects of porn and sex addiction. So there’s really nothing to worry about.
In addition, see the related articles below for links to tonnes of information, tips and advice to help you rebuild your relationship.
I know you can beat this – I’m rooting for you 🙂
Part 1, Part 2
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*) Tyrell, Mark. “How to Overcome Porn Addiction and Get Your Life Back.” Uncommon Help.me. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 June 2018.
**) Johnson, Scott A. “The Role of Pornography in Sexual Offenses: Information for Law Enforcement & Forensic Psychologists.” OMICS International, OMICS International,