Successfully reported this slideshow.

Pornography addiction and couples counseling

2

Share

Loading in …3
×
1 of 74
1 of 74

Pornography addiction and couples counseling

2

Share

Download to read offline

Introduction to pornography addiction and the impact on couples. Introduction to treatment for the user and spouses/partners.

Introduction to pornography addiction and the impact on couples. Introduction to treatment for the user and spouses/partners.

More Related Content

Related Books

Free with a 14 day trial from Scribd

See all

Related Audiobooks

Free with a 14 day trial from Scribd

See all

Pornography addiction and couples counseling

  1. 1. Pornography Addiction (Compulsive Pornography Use): Identification, Treatment and Couples Recovery Earl Ledford, MSW, LCSW, CST, CET, CAP earl@earlledfordlcsw.c0m
  2. 2. • Launched in September 2012 • Combat problem of pornography addiction and sexual addiction. • Individuals over 30 years old and couples of all ages. • Launched in January 2012 • Star Guides for Youths serves ages of 12 to 18 and is a resource for parents. • Star Guides for Young Adults assists young adults between the ages of 18 to 30.
  3. 3. Pornography Addiction: Identifying, Treating and Recovery Objectives  Participants will be able to identify the signs of pornography abuse/compulsive use (addiction).  Participants will be able to distinguish between use of pornography and compulsive use of pornography.  Participants will know the effect on the brain as the result use and abuse of pornography.  Participants will gain an understanding of the recovery process for the individual and, if appropriate, the spouse.
  4. 4. What Is Pornography?
  5. 5. Definition of PORNOGRAPHY 1: the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement 2: material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement 3: the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction <the pornography of violence> Source: Merriam-Webster
  6. 6. Porn Then and Now
  7. 7. Porn………Just A Click Away
  8. 8. • Living a double or secret life related to pornography use. • Tendency to isolate self and stay up late at night on the internet. • Hiding or attempting to keep secret the viewing of pornography. • An inability to stop viewing pornography despite previous attempts to do so. • Denial and anger when asked to stop. • Continuing to view pornography despite the known consequences of continued viewing. • Depression, irritability, anger. • Hypersexual attitude, vocabulary and behavior. • Overprotective of their technology (cell phone, I-pod, lap top, etc.) Signs of Pornography Addiction
  9. 9. Dr. Oz Show – Erectile Dysfunction and Porn Key Symptoms of Porn-Induced Sexual Erectile Dysfunction • Erectile Dysfunction • Desensitization to porn • Preferring porn to sex with live partner • No spontaneous erections • Not aroused by static porn • Decreased penile sensitivity • Delayed ejaculation • Copulatory impotence with real person major complaint • ED drugs losing effect • ED difficulty even with extreme porn use • Study in France– 20 % of men have lost interest in “real” sex • Study in Japan – (2011) over 1/3 of men aged 16 to 19 had no interest in sex with another live person; double the figure in 2008 – 40% of married men in study were sex less for more than a month
  10. 10. “Addiction is a relationship - a pathological relationship in which sexual obsession replaces people.” —Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
  11. 11. Among 932 sex addicts studied, 90 percent of men and 77 percent of women said pornography was significant to their addictions. – Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
  12. 12. Almost half of rapists used porn depicting consenting sex to arouse themselves before seeking out a victim. — W.L. Marshall, Ph.D.
  13. 13. “For the first time in human history, the images’ power and allure have supplanted that of real naked women. Today, naked women are just bad porn.” Wolfe (2003)…....
  14. 14. Describing porn’s effect to a U.S. Senate committee, Dr. Jeffrey Satinover of Princeton University said, “It is as though we have devised a form of heroin 100 times more powerful than before, usable in the privacy of one’s own home and injected directly to the brain through the eyes.”
  15. 15. Only 3% of pornographic websites require age verification. The most popular day of the week for viewing pornography is Sunday. 10% of pornography users report being addicted. The average age a child first sees internet pornography is 11. NSPCC poll found one-in-ten 12 to 13-year-olds worried about porn addiction 70% of young men ages 18-24 visit pornographic websites on at least a monthly basis.
  16. 16. Cosmopolitan Survey 31 per cent of the women said they watched porn every week and another 30 per cent said they did so a few times a month. Asked what kind of porn they gravitated towards, they answered the following: 63% Heterosexual, 44% Lesbian, 31% It's a mixed bag, 28% Hard-core, 26% Soft-core/"arty“, 13% Gay male, and 13% Not listed here But these viewing figures are still low when compared with men's habits. A Cosmopolitan survey from 2014 found that 32.5 per cent of males said they watched it on a daily basis, compared with just 3.8 per cent of women.
  17. 17. Porn has grown into one of the largest forms of entertainment in the world. In fact, it brings in more money than professional basketball, baseball and football combined. Porn has a higher revenue than CBS, NBC and ABC combined as well. With this sort of power and money, it is able to reach every corner of the globe. This includes the Internet and your home. Sometimes it can seemingly be difficult to completely avoid porn.
  18. 18. Porn and Anonymity 86% of men are likely to click on porn sites if no-one else will know Pornography and Aggression 88% of scenes in porn films contain acts of physical aggression. 49% of scenes in porn films contain verbal aggression. Porn Decreases sexual satisfaction10 58% of men say they view porn once a week or more, and the more frequently men view it, the more they are likely to say they are less satisfied with sex and relationships. Porn and Anonymity, Aggression and Sexual Satisfaction
  19. 19. Can pornography use become compulsive (addictive)?
  20. 20. Skinner’s Seven Levels of Pornography Addiction Level 1 • Just recently been exposed • Look at once or twice a year • Can count times have been seen nudity on one hand • Thoughts and everyday actions not focused on porn Level 2 • Some porn magazines or Internet porn sites • Episodes of involvement no more than six • Time spent thinking about is still limited • Not compulsive
  21. 21. Level 3 • Episodes about once a month • Try to restrain and often followed 1 or 2 day binge • Borderline growing problem/compulsion • Fantasizing becomes part of the struggle • Spend extra time/energy fighting off thoughts Level 4 • Begin to wonder why it occupies thoughts so much • May be impacting focus in other areas of life • Viewing a few time a month/more hard-core porn • Fantasizing most likely increased • Getting high off thinking about • Don’t feel as bad because not looking at porn • Tried to cut back/experience withdrawal symptoms
  22. 22. Level 5 • Impacting day-to-day living/thoughts of significant • Not a day goes by when think or give in • Viewing 3 to 5 times a week & “higher octane” porn • Porn/sexual behavior in top seven thoughts • Often individuals are dealing with some type of loss • May be limiting personal growth/development • Fantasies and viewing begin to feel overwhelmed • More intense withdrawal symptoms the longer • Borderline compulsive
  23. 23. Level 6 • Begins to dominate life – has become compulsive • Compulsive behaviors and actions common • Many viewing porn daily • Often lie about what and how doing things • Common to be caught • Strong desire to stop or have given up • Likely to have lost job, wife, etc • Other lose spirituality and sexuality
  24. 24. Level 7 • Viewing porn and sexually acting out almost daily • Deep seeded compulsive feeling to act out • Feeling of powerlessness and hopelessness • Images hardcore and may be filled with violence, rape, incest, bestiality, etc • Spend hours each day looking for and finding porn or sex or engaging in fantasies • Lying is frequent each and every day • Inpatient treatment is indicated
  25. 25. More than 4,000 people who had sought help because pornography had a negative impact on their personal lives or relationships have completed an online survey. What are these people telling us? First, individuals who want to stop viewing pornography are having a difficult time doing so. Their frequency of viewing pornography (3-5 times a week or more) is related to elevated depression, anxiety, and loneliness. Those who view it frequently also experience less overall happiness and life satisfaction. These are the results of research on more than 3,000 married and single men and women.
  26. 26. Science of Pornography “Addiction” The Impact on the Brain
  27. 27. The body’s natural reward chemical for life sustaining activities
  28. 28. Neurons, Synapses, and Receptors
  29. 29. Amygdala and Hypothalamus • Plays a key role in the processing of emotions and memory • Sets a “pleasure thermostat”
  30. 30. Frontal Lobe “Break pads worn out”
  31. 31. Pathway to Authorization Option to Exit Option to Exit Option to Exit Option to Exit HALT/BLAST
  32. 32. How the Brain is Designed to Work in a Healthy Sexual Relationship
  33. 33. Comparison and Effect of Drugs Released During Normal Healthy Sex and Viewing of Pornography Normal Healthy Sex (Normal sexual desire + Selflessness = Intimacy Engaging in Pornography (Normal sexual desire + Selfishness = Lust) Dopamine: Elevated levels of dopamine in the brain produce extremely focused attention on each other. Dopamine: Elevated levels of dopamine in the brain produce extremely focused attention on the pornographic images. Norepinephrine: This chemical generates exhilaration and increased energy by giving the body a shot of natural adrenaline. Norepinephrine has also been linked to raising memory capacity. Whatever stimulus is being experienced in the presence of this chemical is “seared” in the brain…..couple in love can remember the smallest details of their beloved’s features. Norepinephrine: This chemical induces feelings of exhilaration and increased energy by giving the body a shot of natural adrenaline. Norepinephrine also increases memory capacity. This explains why porn addicts can recall viewed images with vivid clarity years later.
  34. 34. Testosterone: Testosterone is known as the hormone of sexual desire in both men and women. For men, however, it is the key hormone of desire, triggering feelings of positive energy and well-being(and desire for) toward the other. Testosterone: Pornography triggers the release of testosterone which in turn increases the desire for more pornography. Oxytocin: The flood of oxytocin at climax acts as a natural tranquilizer, lowering blood pressure, blunting sensitivity to pain and stress, and inducing sleep. Bonding takes place between each other. Oxytocin: Oxytocin acts as a natural tranquilizer. The individual seeks an Oxytocin rush to cope with the stress and pressure of life. Bonding takes place with the images on the screen. Serotonin: This natural chemical decreases during sex is released right after climax bringing on a deep feeling of calmness, satisfaction and release from stress and vulnerability. Sometimes people get hooked on using sex to self medicate. Serotonin: The quick release of this natural chemical intensifies the orgasm and then evokes a deep feeling of calmness. Individuals turn to porn to self-medicate and escape vulnerability.
  35. 35. The Experience is More Than Just Physical: As lovers move down the funnel together, there is more to the experience than just chemicals released in the physical body… the mind, heart and spirit are all joined together… The Experience is More Than Just Sexual: There is a lot more going on in the Pornography Funnel than sexual arousal. In fact, if you remove sexual arousal from the process, any similarities to sexual intimacy in a healthy marriage would cease. A tidal wave of conflicting and confusing images and messages wash over the viewer. This is why many neuropsychologists refer to pornography as “visual crack cocaine”.
  36. 36. A Climax of Many Things: The final crescendo is a culmination of all the things the lovers have shared – doing the dishes, paying the bills, raising the children, all that make up a marriage. An Explosive Climax (zone or bubble): The brain desensitizes to the images, habituates to them, and eventually becomes bored. An increase in the variety of images and/or time spent on the Internet is required to maintain stimulation levels… (more octane is needed) In a healthy marriage relationship, sexual intimacy is only a part of everything else going on in the couple’s life. So when the couple “brings all of that into the bedroom,” it is highly unlikely that the brain will habituate to the sexual process
  37. 37. When Reality Returns – the Hopeless Dialogue: When the porn viewer emerges from the narrowest part of the funnel back to a wide perspective, the heartless “zone/bubble” of pornography and climax quickly dissipate….elevated level of dopamine continues for extended period. Rational thinking returns and the hopeless dialogue begins: “What have I done? What was I thinking?” He wasn’t thinking; that was the problem!
  38. 38. Assessments Used Assessing Pornography Addiction Test www.growthclimate.com Sexual Addiction Screening Test www.recoveryzone.com/tests/sex- addiction/SAST/index.php Youth Pornography Screening Test PDF Download www.ypacenter.com/youth-ages-12-18/
  39. 39. • Assess Current Internet Use • Practices Make Measurable Changes in Internet Behavior • Computer Restructuring • Set Clear Limits/Accountability • Practice the Opposite • Abstinence from Internet Porn and Sex • Identify Triggers for Abuse • Address Emotional States, Maladaptive Cognitions, Life Events • Address How to Deal With Abstinence Treating/Recovery Pornography Addiction
  40. 40. Treating/Recovery Pornography Addiction • Cognitive Restructuring • Electronic Restructuring • Covenant Eyes/Accountability Partner • Attend Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) • Individual Sessions/Couples Sessions • 90 days of no porn, masturbating, fantasizing or sexually acting out. 30 Tasks (Facing the Shadow, Internal, External, and Creating Family Recovery)
  41. 41. THREE-SECOND RULE First skill in recovery involves three steps done within three seconds: 1. Alert: Realize that something seen is inappropriate or thought of porn becomes a primary focus. 2. Avert: Close eyes or look away/Change primary focus. Step 1 and 2 should be instantaneous. 3. Affirm: Give self a mental high-five! Say to self, “I saw that by mistake, and I quickly looked away. I’ve been clean for ____ days and I am going to stay that way.” Bouncing Eyes
  42. 42. Internet Sex Addiction Treated With Naltrexone VIVITROL®
  43. 43. FAPSTRONAUTS A fast-growing online community of people who call themselves “Fapstronauts” complain that porn is the root of their problems with ED and premature ejaculation. “Fapping,” slang for masturbating to Internet porn, is causing these people so many troubles they banded together for support. One online community claims 50,000 members, and their goal is to encourage each other to avoid pornography and masturbation for 90 days in the hope of never going back.
  44. 44. Is Porn Bad for Relationships? • Patrick Carnes’s research shows that sexual addiction affects three to five percent of adults, suggesting that porn use isn’t about to turn us into a country of addicts glued to their computer screens. • To be sure, porn use is permeated with a sense of the forbidden that triggers intense emotion, but as therapists, we need to understand it on a case-by-case basis and be careful to separate our own biases from our clients’ needs. • To begin to see porn in a more normalizing light, it can be helpful to understand the ways in which porn can be incorporated into a relationship without secretiveness or shame • Many couples have described the shame and secretiveness of one partner’s involvement with porn. Time and again, I have worked with people for whom viewing porn has become a compulsion and who’ve come to prefer it to being with a partner (about 30% of my case load).
  45. 45. Gottman Says….research has shown when one person (in a relationship) frequently watches porn it can hurt the relationship. Other factors: • Supernormal Stimuli (Nikko Tinbergen) • Turning away from intimate interaction • User in total control of the sexual experience • Expect partner will always be immediately ready (typical foreplay 10%/59%) • Some argue it is ok if it does not involve partnered sexual acts ……relationship goal of intimate connection lost Source Gottman’s blog An Open Letter on Porn, April 6, 2016
  46. 46. We are led to unconditionally conclude that for many reasons, porn poses a serious threat to couple intimacy and relationship harmony. This moment calls for public discussion, and we want our readers around the world to understand what is at stake. Source Gottman’s blog An Open Letter on Porn, April 6, 2016
  47. 47. Reference: 1. Manning J., Senate Testimony 2004, referencing: Dedmon, J., "Is the Internet bad for your marriage? Online affairs, pornographic sites playing greater role in divorces," 2002, press release from The Dilenschneider Group, Inc. In a 2004 testimony before the United States Senate, Dr. Jill Manning shared some interesting data regarding pornography and relationships. In her research she found that 56 percent of divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites.1 Another source, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, polled 350 divorce attorneys in 2003 where two thirds of them reported that the Internet played a significant role in the divorces, with excessive interest in online porn contributing to more than half such cases.
  48. 48. Trauma of Discovery: Impact on the Relationship Traumatic events such as natural disasters and criminal attacks shatter our assumptions about our sense of safety in the world. In a similar way, the discovery of infidelity is devastating because it shatters every basic assumptions about the security we expect in committed relationships and destroys the very fiber of trust. Everyday I see individuals so badly traumatized by the discovery of a spouse engaged in pornography (and affairs) that they are barely able to get through a day. Most helpful thing I can initially do is validate their pain and suffering resulting from betrayal and insure them their reaction to a betrayal of this magnitude is not at all unusual and, many ways, to be expected.
  49. 49. Second, women who discover their partner's involvement in pornography report experiencing tremendous amounts of fear and anxiety. Here are four specific statements to which this group responded: 1. I experience intense feelings of indescribable fear since discovering my partner's sexual behaviors. 75 percent of women (791 of 1,062 respondents) answer that at least half of the time they experience intense feelings of fear. 2. Since discovering my partner's behavior, when I see sexually suggestive images I feel anxious. 80 percent of the women (833 of 1,062 respondents) answer that at least half of the time or more they are anxious when they see sexually suggestive images. 3. When I am in social settings I don't feel like I belong anymore. 62 percent of the women (607 of 1,062 respondents) answer that at least half of the time they don't feel like they belong in social settings. 4. I feel like I am emotionally on edge more now than I used to be before all this happened. 84 percent of the women (889 of 1,062 respondents) report that at least half of the time they are emotionally on edge in contrast to what they felt before they discovered their partner's behaviors. Psychology Today Online Survey posted 08/05/2014
  50. 50. In a survey of 63 wives of self-identified sex addicts:15 70% met most criteria for a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder. 71% demonstrated a severe level of functional impairment in major areas of their lives. Cybersex and Relationships In a survey of women (and some men) who experienced serious adverse consequences from their partner’s cybersex involvement In 68% of the couples, one or both lost interest in relational sex. Partners commonly reported feeling hurt, betrayed, rejected, abandoned, lonely, isolated, humiliated, jealous, and angry. Partners often compared themselves unfavorably to online images. Partners overwhelmingly felt that cyber affairs were as emotionally painful as offline affairs. Porn and Marriage Those who are happily married are 61% less likely to look at porn. A growing percentage of people attending “sex addiction” programs seek help with pornography rather than a problem with real partners. (my observation)
  51. 51. Trauma of Discovery: Impact on the Relationship  Severity of the traumatic reaction is determined by (1) how the discovery was made, (2) extent of shattered assumptions, (3) individual and situation vulnerabilities, (4) the nature of the betrayal, and (5) whether the betrayal continues.  Traumatized spouses questions everything they trusted and depended on.  Shock  Grief  Emotional Chaos  Stay or Go  They no longer know who they are married to or what their marriage stands for.  The most severely traumatized are generally the ones who had the greatest trust and were the most unsuspecting.  Someone who is suspicious and is initially relieved to learn that they weren't paranoid, has difficulty accepting the reality of a partner's deception and generally suffer significant trauma.
  52. 52. Trauma of Discovery Betrayed Partners Unfaithful Partner  24% were severely anxious  18% were extremely anxious  30% were clinically depressed  Every potential irritation is magnified  Throwing objects/pounding fists  Numbness  Obsessing  Interrogating (ambushing)  Grief  32% of unfaithful wives severely/extremely anxious  10% of unfaithful husbands severely/extremely anxious  27% of unfaithful wives were clinically depressed  14% of unfaithful husbands were clinically depressed  Resentment  Impatience  Grief Source; Not “Just Friends” Shirley Glass, PhD
  53. 53. Trauma of Discovery Disclosure process goes through stages: the first stage of truth-seeking often feels like the inquisition of a detective and a criminal. Betrayed Spouse want to know Why? Questions can come at any time (Ambushing) Second stage of information-seeking is a neutral process like a reporter and an interviewee. Betrayed spouse wants to know that it is over and will never happen again.
  54. 54. Trauma of Discovery Final stage of mutual understanding is an empathic search for the meaning of the affair. Betrayed spouse wants know that there is an understanding and appreciation of their pain (personal apologies)
  55. 55. Trauma of Discovery Three questions being asked by the unfaithful spouse. • How can I ever be trusted again? • How can you still say that you love me? • Feels like *%#@* for what they have done? Does not believe they are not authorized to have feelings!
  56. 56. Spouse Recovery Pornography (affair recovery) therapy followed by couples/marriage counseling/therapy can help couples create a healing process of disclosure.  Honesty (Transparency)  Knowing what is going on (Being in the know  Honesty + Knowing = Safety  Only when there is safety can true healing start  Spouse is a Rebuilder  Support Groups
  57. 57. Groups SA – Sexaholics Anonymous has four meetings each week on Sunday (Titusville), Monday, Wednesday and Thursday (Melbourne)– google SA meetings in Brevard County SAA – Sex Addicts Anonymous has one meeting each week Local Contact - e-mail: SAASPACECOAST@GMAIL.COM Peter L - phone: 321-242-2950 SANON – One meeting each week (melbourneSANON@gmail.com) RCA – Recovering Couples Anonymous – One meeting each week at Church on the Rock on Tuesday at 7:00 PM. Foundations for Recovery – Tiffanie Trudeau (321-323-7900)
  58. 58. Therapist Impact Online study 57% of betrayed spouses felt discounted and frustrated because therapist focused on ______? General Marital Issues
  59. 59. Teen Pornography Addiction ABC News Nightline on Teen Pornography Addiction
  60. 60. Eight Motives of Cybersex 1. Disease free 2. Intensifies self-stimulation and masturbation 3. Provides instant gratification 4. Provides an escape from mental stress and tension 5. Normalizes sexual fantasies 6. Provides approval and affirmation 7. Alleviates performance anxiety 8. Helps cope with the pain of childhood sexual abuse
  61. 61. Treatment Having a specific, goal-orientated plan that modifies computer behavior for healthy computer use is necessary in the early stage of recovery. • Must address client’s behavior related to the computer • Must address the underlying reasons driving the behavior • Must Address Spousal Issues, Addiction/Co- Addiction, Affair
  62. 62. -Not interested in people or activities you used to enjoy because you fear others will discover the “secret.” -Do not want to discuss the problem with your spouse because you fear the outcome. -Suddenly become angry or irritable. -Have a hard time sleeping. -Have trouble concentrating. -Irregular eating patterns. -Fearful and always feel on guard. -Anxiety attacks, physical symptoms for no reason. -Feelings of shame, despair, or hopelessness. -Difficulty controlling your emotions. -Impulsive or self-destructive behavior. -Changed beliefs or faith is challenged.

Editor's Notes

  • Pornography – Anything that has the purpose to sexually arouse.
  • Pornography is often the driving force behind new technology, and the Internet is fertile soil where much pornography and pornography-related compulsion have their roots.
    Internet is not a static, passive medium for the viewer.
  • French study – 20% of young men not interested.
  • If can admit problem at Level 4 can often head off more deeply seeded compulsive behaviors
  • Mood Modification – feeling a buzz or high, feeling numb or tranquil
    Withdrawal Symptoms – unpleasant feelings states that happen when the activity is stopped or removed


  • The instant a man sees something erotic, his pleasure center is stimulated by a shot of dopamine, which makes him feel good. At the same time his hypothalamus is activated, resulting in "physiological arousal". This is because too much stimulation of the pleasure center leads to the two consequences;
    • Increasing neurotransmitter insensitivity, creating tolerance.
    • Chronic dopamine depletion, creating psychological distress along with the generalized feeling that "something is missing".
    Dopamine depletion also impairs the quality of emotion-based decision making. When dopamine is low, people find it difficult to resist short-term rewards, even when such behavior can lead to serious long-term consequences.

  • Male arousal itself relies on two structures located in the subcortex: the amygdala and the hypothalamus. By the time a male has grown to adulthood, the area in his brain devoted to sex is two and half times as large as the same area in the female brain without our conscious awareness. The amygdala is responsible for emotional responses. The hypothalamus is the engine of sexual arousal.
    The instant a man sees something erotic, his pleasure center is stimulated by a shot of dopamine, which makes him feel good. At the same time his hypothalamus is activated, resulting in "physiological arousal".
  • Atrophy and shrinkage noted with compulsive pornography use results in increased impulsivity, reduced willpower and diminished judgment.
  • Visual images are stored as emotional memories in the brain before the logic center realizes what has happened.

    When the logic brain catches up, it brings on a “fight or flight” type response. The adrenaline gland sends out cortisol, the “stress hormone,” which in turn activates myriad body-system processes to counteract stress. In essence, the entire pornography process is intensified and supercharged, far beyond what sexual arousal alone would accomplish. The human system is not designed to deal with this overwhelming level of conflicting stimulations.
  • Use machete to hack out path in the jungle………..
  • Rolodex review – Earthquake (9.5) then aftershock after aftershock after aftershock
  • ×