UNDERSTANDING ADDICTION

KEY THINGS TO REMEMBER

Behavioral and brain studies are now showing that porn use has the same effect on the brain as hard core drugs, so counselling cannot be as simple as saying ‘just stop watching porn’.

It has been found that pornography addicts fit the accepted addiction model of wanting ‘it’ more, but not liking ‘it’ more. Researchers reported that 60% of male subjects (average age 25) had difficulty achieving erections / arousal with real partners, yet they could achieve erections with porn.

Even though porn use rewires brain and create new neural pathways, this can be reversed in time after a period of abstinence and it is possible for someone to no longer be addicted to porn.

Some people are freed from their addiction to porn and never desire to watch porn again but others continue in a daily struggle. It’s important to recognise that recovery looks different for each person.

TOP 3 RESOURCES

UNDERSTANDING AND TREATING SEX ADDICTION, PAULA HALL

This book contains support and advice for those who suffer from sex addiction and for those who want to support them by exploring why porn, cyber sex, visiting sex workers, fetishes and multiple affairs can end up controlling some people’s lives. Paula offers practical advice on how this can be treated.

WIRED FOR INTIMACY, WILLIAM STRUTHERS

Written by a Christian neuroscientist and researcher, this book explores porn scientifically, practically and theologically, and shows how sexual longings can actually propel single and married men towards holiness.

WWW.YOURBRAINONPORN.COM

This incredibly informative site focuses on the effects of internet porn on the brain and has grown out of 15 years of research analysis and 9 years of listening to recovering porn addicts. It includes strategies and tools for recovery as well as articles, videos and research around the issue. There is so much on the site that it’s hard to know where to start, but we suggest watching the TED talk and moving on from there.

ONLINE RESOURCES

WWW.XXXCHURCH.COM

XXXchurch is an organisation with the largest website dealing with porn and sex addiction. They provides accountability software, accountability groups and a recovery program as well as engaging thousands of people on social media. They write resources, both online and offline, specifically for couples and partners.

WWW.PAULAHALL.CO.UK

Paula is a UKCP Accredited Sexual and Relationship Psychotherapist who specialises in helping people affected by sex addiction and porn addiction. Her site provides information and video resources explaining sex and porn addiction alongside information on individual, partner and couple services that can be provided via video conferencing. You’ll find free advice message boards which are run by people in recovery as well as therapists who can work with individuals.

WWW.FIGHTTHENEWDRUG.ORG

Fight the New Drug is a large US non-profit organisation dedicated to combating pornography by offering a wide range of educational materials about porn’s societal impacts and on recovering from porn use.

WWW.RECOVERYNATION.COM

Recovery Nation is a non-profit organisation that offers health-based tools and comprehensive online workshops to assist anyone seeking to recover from sexual addiction and / or heal from the impact of somebody else’s addiction.

BOOKS

CONFRONTING PORN, PAULA HALL

Confronting porn offers a biblical and practical approach to the use of porn, offering hope and support for individuals struggling with porn and for those who want to help them. The book can serve as a workbook for those on a journey to freedom, and provides various practical exercises.

YOUR BRAIN ON PORN, GARY WILSON

Through a mixture of first-person accounts and the research of cognitive neuroscience, this book offers practical advice to those who want to stop using internet porn.

OUT OF THE SHADOWS: UNDERSTANDING SEXUAL ADDICTION, DR PATRICK J. CARNES

By identifying the danger signs, explaining the dynamics and describing the consequences of sexual addiction and dependency, this book points the way out of the shadows of sexual compulsion and into the fullness of life.

DON’T CALL IT LOVE, DR PATRICK J. CARNES

Based on the testimonies of more than one thousand recovering sexual addicts, this book reveals the findings of Dr Carnes’s research and offers advice from addicts themselves.

Ian Henderson