Basic Tools for Overcoming Porn Addiction

Overcoming porn addictionOvercoming porn addiction is no easy task. That online pornography is so widely available and accessible means that pornography is just a click away. That porn can be viewed anonymously makes it easy for its use to stay secret.

 

Many people struggle in isolation with overcoming porn addiction and they often don’t know where to start. Here are some of my most commonly used tools and tips that I share all the time with clients to help them kick their porn habit.

 

Personal recovery plan

A personal recovery plan is also called a Three Circles Plan and is commonly used for overcoming habitual sexual behaviors. Your personal recovery plan will identify those behaviors that you’re wanting to stop (e.g., pornography, masturbating, sexualizing or objectifying women).

 

A good plan will also help you identify what makes you more vulnerable to acting out with porn, including feelings (e.g., loneliness, boredom), thoughts (e.g., “Everybody does it” or “I deserve it”), and circumstances (e.g., being alone, unfettered access to the Internet).

 

Finally, as you’ve probably been using porn to manage difficult feelings, your plan should also include some healthy activities that you can use to cope when you feel urges to use porn.

 

Accountability Partner

An accountability partner is someone with whom you can share your success and struggles as you change your relationship with pornography.

 

Choose this person carefully: He’ll need to hold your feet to the fire, but you’ll also want to feel safe enough with him to share your thoughts, feelings, and temptations. A therapist or pastor will do, but ideally your accountability partner is someone who has overcome similar struggles and “gets it.”

 

Filtering Software

Filtering software that can be installed on multiple devices is common these days and is often a first line of defense against temptation. Covenant Eyes is probably the most commonly used, but there are other options as well.

 

Whatever software you select, it’s important that it’s rigorous enough to block access to explicit content and that it’s not easily sidestepped. Use software that does not allow you to control your level of access once installed; let you accountability partner have that control once you’ve installed it.

 

Finally, you should also be able to receive regular reports on your use and send these reports to recipients you designate. You should always send these reports to your accountability partner. If you’re in a relationship, your partner may want these reports, which may be fine but I generally don’t recommend that she receive these for more than a few months. After all, she’s not your accountability partner and shouldn’t be.

 

Therapy

If you’ve been using the above tools and are still unable having trouble overcoming pornography addiction, you might consider adding therapy as a support. A therapist can teach you additional tools and strategies that will help you achieve success.

 

As habitual porn use can also lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns, your therapist will also be able to treat any co-occurring symptoms that may be getting in the way of your ability to make the changes that you want. Your therapist should collaborate with you on a plan to help you reach your goals.

 

Overcoming Porn Addiction: A Final Note

Many who have tried overcoming porn addiction on their own have had tried at least one of these tools before. However, the tools are most effective when used in concert with one another in a coherent, unified plan, so if you’ve used software or had an accountability partner before, don’t be discouraged.

 

Check out my post on resources for understanding and getting help for porn addiction and sexual addiction for more information. You can heal; be gentle with yourself.

 

Live near Ventura, Camarillo, or Oxnard, CA?

I’d love to connect.

Contact me today to get started.

 

Jeremy Mast
jmast@awakeningsrelationalcounseling.com
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