Do you have a problem with using “too much porn”?

Have you ever asked yourself “Am I addicted to porn?” or “Do I have a porn addiction?

Most importantly, is your porn habit interfering with other areas of your life?

I can help.

What is porn addiction or problematic porn use?

The general rule of thumb when considering if a habit is problematic is when it impairs your life and causes you distress. For those struggling with excessive pornography use, impairment could be a reduction in productivity at work, sleep deprivation due to porn binges at night, negative impacts on relationships and altered sexual desire.

There are several self-help questionnaires that are freely available for those who wish to self-assess their pornography use (for e.g. CITA). Alternatively you can be formally assessed by a mental health professional such as a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or counsellor. Currently formal diagnosis is still being scientifically debated.

Personally I tend ask 5 questions to those concerned about their pornography use:

  1. Have you spent a lot of time thinking about your pornography use?
  2. Have you tried to stop, cut down or manage your pornography use?
  3. Has pornography caused serious problems in your relationships?
  4. Has pornography caused serious problems in your employment?
  5. Have you experienced physiological problems that you think is caused by your use of pornography (e.g. erectile dysfunction, chronic sleep deprivation and etc.)?

If I hear “Yes” to one or more items, I’d likely conduct a thorough assessment to see if your pornography use is problematic.

When should I seek help for my pornography addiction?

In my opinion, if your pornography has caused significant distress, impairment in life, physiological symptoms or you’ve been unsuccessful in cutting back or stopping. You could benefit from focused psychotherapy or counselling for “porn addiction” or excessive pornography use.

What causes a problematic pornography use?

Using pornography temporarily satisfies a basic human drive which makes it so rewarding to consume. Like anything that is immensely rewarding, it is easy to move from unproblematic to problematic when our use patterns start to get engrained and is used to manage other issues (such as stress,  negative moods and etc.) For some, excessive pornography use alone is the cause of their problems and for others, excessive pornography is another symptom of a deeper issue.

Will you judge me for using pornography?

Provided that your consumption of  pornography is legal in Australia, we’ll have an open, non-judgmental and honest dialog about your use. My therapeutic stance is focused on how can we work towards getting you back in control of your use and reconnecting with your envisioned life before it became a problem . I do, however, have strict and mandatory reporting requirements if the pornography consumed is illegal (for e.g. involves minors). I’m a psychologist who understands the high-speed, high novelty and endless supply of today’s porn and the new struggle it represents for those starting recovery. For an interesting opinion piece on finding a therapist who treats excessive porn use, read NoFap’s article “How to find a porn-literate therapist”.

Treatment of pornography addiction or problematic pornography use

The treatment of problematic pornography use is an emerging area and the only treatments that have evidence (at the time of writing)  is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy -Internet Addiction (CBT-IA) and Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT), both of which I practise. Pornography addiction or problematic pornography use that has been acquired and not part of a lifelong pattern is likely to benefit from short-term focused recovery. Whereas, pornography addiction that related to deeper or trauma issues typically requires longer-term therapy.

Ready for therapy?

Let's work towards overcoming your struggles with pornography

Not quite ready? Check out my blog or my youtube channel for free recovery tips

Online appointments only
(02) 9030-0301
Fax: (02) 8367-5120

If you’re not quite ready, visit my blog and you’ll get some helpful tips for managing your addictive habits, maintaining abstinence or controlled use.

Luke Vu is a registered psychologist practising in Maroubra Junction, supporting those who struggle with substance and online addictions. Call me or send me a message today.