I was talking recently with a few friends about my role as a therapist and the general nature of the difficulties that people present with. One of the questions they asked was how I as a therapist assess and measure whether or not a client is dabbling in pornography or addicted to pornography. I replied that I am seeing more and more adolescents that struggle in addition to adult clients with pornography being the presenting issue. Read on below and watch the video portion by Dr. Patrick Carnes regarding the other tenets of the addiction.
How might one come to know the difference between experimentation, dabbling, habit, and addiction? As a licensed therapist I use various measures to determine the nature of the issue by getting a sense of the frequency, duration, and nature of the pornography use. I also use self-report measures typically in the form of a written assessments to ferret through the pervasiveness of the issue. The questionnaire/assessments glean a strong sense of the nature of the use and measure the difference between experimentation, habit, and addiction. I also get a full measure of their family history, current relationships, and present sexual functioning. It is through these methods and many hours of counseling that I can assess and then begin to treat the addiction with clients I work with.
Some questions to consider:
- Do you find yourself preoccupied with sexual thinking and/or hiding your sexual thoughts from your spouse or partner?
- Do you find that at times you can’t seem to get through your day until you view pornography and/or masturbate?
- Do you have a spouse or partner that is concerned about your sexual behavior?
- Do you lose track of time when on the computer looking at pornography?
- When in public settings do you find that you sexualize others by thinking about them in a sexual manner or fantasizing about them or their body?
- Have you tried to stop, only to go for some period of time then end up going back to porn use, then back into a period of sobriety, then slip again … in this cycle?
If you answered yes to any of these questions you may have a significant problem with pornography or your sexual functioning.
Pornography arouses the senses and creates a false sense of intimacy. It also produces oxytocin within your brain and often creates a biological craving for more porn in addition to the emotional needs that pornography dupes the user into believing it meets.
If you or someone you know has a problem with pornography or sexual addiction please consider having them see me for guidance through this problem. Hope is possible, but simply white-knuckling this issue will not make it go away. Pornography addiction recovery is only possible with guidance and therapy from a licensed therapist with experience treating this issue. Hope is available, the first step is being courageous enough to reach out of hiding and confront the issue. Give me a call and I can walk you through the process to recovery.
Also, learn more here on my site at Pornography Help and Addiction Recovery Treatment.
Copyright: No part of this article in section or full may be reproduced without permission from the author Justin Stum, MS LMFT. The one and only exception is for educational purposes and only if the contact information below for the author is fully cited here in article. Justin Stum, MS LMFT, 640 E 700 S, Suite 103, St. George Utah 84770, 435.574.9193 http://www.justinstum.com
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