PORN ADDICTION COUNSELING

 

Pasadena | Ventura

What is Porn Addiction?

 

Porn addiction occurs when a person is not able to control whether he or she will view pornography, no matter how much they try. Despite the negative consequences that the individual is experiencing because of viewing pornography, they’re not able to stop. Often, people struggling with porn addiction have tried to stop using porn many times, deepening their shame.

 

Indeed, many who struggle with pornography are intensely ashamed about behavior. Most of the time, watching porn actually goes against their values or faith commitments, which makes the shame all the more unbearable. What’s more, they’re terrified about what would happen if their partners knew what they were doing. For these reasons, they can go to great lengths to keep their porn use a secret, so much so that they often feel as though they’re living a double life.

 

Like sexual addiction, pornography addiction is not in the current DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders, which psychotherapists use to diagnose mental health disorders). Nevertheless, pornography is now so widely available and accessible that the term is now common parlance. Many clients self-identify as pornography addicts.

 

What Does Porn Addiction Look Like?

 

If you’re reading this, maybe your pornography habit is getting out of control, or you know someone that might have a problem with porn:

  • Escalating amounts of time spent watching pornography
  • Loss of time while viewing porn, with hours or sometimes even days lost to binging on porn
  • Growing interest in more unusual or extreme pornography
  • Continued use of porn despite attempts to stop and/or negative consequences because of porn use
  • Lying about or making efforts to hide the extent of pornography viewing
  • Anger, irritability, or defensiveness when confronted about watching porn
  • Escalation of out-of-control sexual behaviors from viewing pornography to seeking out sexual partners in real life, exchanging sexual photos, or other use of technology to secure casual or paid sexual encounters

 

Consequences of Porn Addiction

 

If you think you might be a porn addict, chances are you have experienced a number of negative consequences of your pornography habit:

  • Compulsive masturbation
  • Loss of sex drive
  • Inability to maintain an erection during sex
  • Inability to orgasm during sex
  • Isolation and loneliness
  • Depression
  • Declining quality of work in school or in your job
  • Social anxiety
  • Unaccustomed premature ejaculation
  • Loss of attraction to partners in real life
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Loss of self-esteem
  • Decreased interest in spending time with friends, family, and in participating in non-porn activities like work, exercise, school, etc.

 

If your porn use is causing a problem, it is a problem.

 

How Porn Addiction Intensifies

 

Like sex addiction, porn addicts often describe their need for a “release.” Porn is a way of escaping or numbing painful feelings or getting away from overwhelming circumstances. Sometimes, these feelings are the result of unresolved emotional, sexual, or physical abuse or trauma.

 

Porn addicts, like addicts of all stripes, trying to change the way they feel. They’re probably not looking to feel good or become aroused sexually. They’re looking to feel less or nothing at all. The seductive promise of pornography is that it will make the addict feel “better” for a time, but after the laptop closes, he or she only (and often instantly) feels worse.

 

Hope Is Possible

 

If you resonate with this, you are not alone. If you’re ready to change your life, if you’ve had enough of the deadening shame, depression, anxiety, and fractured relationships, the self-loathing, spiritual emptiness, depression, anxiety, and shattered relationships, a way forward is possible. I specialize in helping clients recover from porn addiction and in supporting their betrayed partners. If you or a loved one are struggling with pornograpy addiction in some way and are ready to re-engineer your life, I can help you.

 

Using focused, proven tools in a confidential environment, I can walk with you step by step toward your healing and recovery. I will collaborate with you in building the life that you want and help you restore balance to your life and trust in your relationships with your loved ones. Hope is possible when we’re not alone.

 

The Answer Is Connection

 

Porn addiction often has its roots in unresolved pain resulting from emotional, physical, or sexual trauma. The pain is worsened by their shame as they often blame themselves for the emotional wounds that still fester inside them. As emotional intimacy involves feeling free to be oneself in the presence of another, addicts find it almost impossible to intimately connect with someone else. As a result, pornography addiction and emotional intimacy aren’t even in the same zip code. Instead, the addict learns to deal with unresolved pain by using porn in ways that actually make their depression, anxiety, and shame even worse.

 

Recovery starts with stopping problematic sexual behaviors and finding ways to reduce the chaos that accompanies porn addiction. However, because porn addiction is fundamentally a problem with intimacy, long-term healing must include emotional transformation that makes being in open, genuine relationships possible. I have training that enables me to do the “depth work” of the emotional transformation that can occur, helping my clients connect and at last be their true selves with another person.

 

I Need Help—What Should I Do Now?

 

Starting porn addiction counseling can be tough because porn addiction is often embarrassing and difficult to talk about. Reaching out for help is nothing to be ashamed about and can lead to a lifetime of sexual and emotional health, and I applaud your courage in seeking the support you need. And trust me, I know how you’re feeling and can journey with you through the discomfort and awkwardness.

 

If you’re ready to begin, please call me at (805) 256-3497 or email me at jmast@awakeningsrelationalcounseling.com to schedule your initial session or a free 15-minute consultation. It would be my privilege to meet with you and for us to discuss how I can help you.

 

Porn Addiction Counseling That Works

 

I am a Certified Sex Addiction Therapist, which means that I have received specific training and supervision to help porn addicts and their partners discover healing and lasting change. Supported by a growing body of research and proven clinical tools, the CSAT training is quickly becoming the field’s standard for all therapists working with individuals who suffer from addictive and compulsive sexual behaviors.

 

I have also trained at the Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis in trauma, addiction, couple and family relationships, shame and other areas critical to long-term healing and change. After you have regained a sense of stability and control in your life, understanding unconscious patterns of being in relationship and managing your feelings are paramount; you will learn to relate to and manage your feelings without the use of compulsive sexual behaviors and fantasies that you may have used to “numb” yourself to overwhelming and painful feelings.

 

The time to get help is now. Take back your life by reaching out to me today. No matter what your circumstances may be, no matter how desperate your situation, change is possible. You deserve to heal!