Addictions come in many forms: alcohol, drugs, food, lack of food, gambling and sex. Whether someone chooses one addiction over another is matter of environment and exposure. Many of our clients struggle with online pornography addiction. Considering the 24 hour availability, it is no wonder that so many people struggle with internet pornography. After all, if other addictions with alcohol, drugs and food were only a few mouse clicks away these addictions would be much more epidemic too. Imagine yourself sitting at your computer and instantly you could have a cold beer or a large pizza delivered for free to your desk. That would be amazing and might make addicts of us all. Well, internet pornography is like tha a few free clicks on your computer away to what you desire.
A successful method of treatment is self-monitoring. Asking the client to write down each time they engage in the problematic behavior and examine the antecedences and consequences of each pornography engagement episode is useful. What led up to the behavior (examples: stress, boredom) and what were the consequences after the behavior (examples: guilt, escape). This self-monitoring method can be helpful to determine the risk factors and influences on pornography engagement. Self-monitoring is also a tool for the client to be their own interventionist. If the client writes down every time they do something they wished they hadn’t, they are more likely to think twice before doing it in the first place.
This method of self-monitoring is only one of many methods to treat sex addiction. We encourage all of our clients struggling with sex addiction to attend 12 Step meetings of Sexaholic Anonymous (SA) meetings.