Although I try to give as much advice and wisdom as I can here on Building The New, it is only a supplementary support. If you are having serious difficulties in life due to addictive behaviours you need to seek out a licensed Sex Therapist, Support Group, or consult a Doctor.
Should I seek out therapy?
I’m not a doctor but generally speaking if you’re addictive behaviours have caused you significant distress in your life, for any amount of time, I would advise you seek out professional help.
Here is a great short quiz you can take to self-asses your situation, no sign-up required.
What kind of therapist?
A Sex Therapist is what you need. Don’t let the title mislead you, they deal with all sexual dysfunctions, including porn and masturbation abuse. Online Sex Therapy is also an option.
Picking a therapist is no east ask, I would advice doing a bit of research about any therapist you are interested in seeing to make sure you are a good match. The Secular Therapists Project (currently USA only) is a great resource to connect with a secular (non-religious) therapist in your local area.
Fear of Therapy
I’ll be the first to admit, therapists scare me a lot. I have a long history of distrusting them and the reasons are too many to list here. Whether it be pride or social stigma or just resentment, it feels like it was all just my own addiction keeping me from becoming healthy.
There is no shame in seeing a therapist, we all need help from other people sometimes, that’s what being human is about. Sex and porn addiction still have a lot of stigma in our culture, and therapists understand this and are willing to help keep things discreet.
Religious Porn Addiction Therapy
In the face of our growing porn addiction epidemic, many religious groups, websites, and therapists have offered their support. This is great if it matches your own religious views, but if not then I would advise caution. Most western religious groups use shame and guilt as a means to control behaviours, which do not help in the long run and usually cause more relapses. Be aware and do your research before picking a therapist or support group that is right for you.
I like that you suggested seeking the help of a professional sex therapist if you’re having an addictive behavior and experiencing a significative distress in your life because of it. My husband and I keep on having arguments because he always insists for us to have sex every day. This never happened before, so I’m certain that he needs help. I will make sure to share your blog with him.
Thanks for sharing Ellen. I wish you and your husband the best of luck in therapy.