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How to Stop Pornography Addiction

by edinburghtherapyservice
7 minutes read

Navigating the complexities of pornography addiction requires a compassionate and informed approach. In a world where digital content is easily accessible, many individuals find themselves struggling with the challenges of overcoming this behaviour. In this post, we delve into strategies and insights aimed at helping individuals break free from pornography addiction. From self-reflection to evidence-based therapies, we’ll explore a comprehensive guide on how to stop pornography addiction.

Clarify your values

When pornography use evolves into an addiction, it can divert you from the fulfilling and meaningful life you aspire to lead. At times, we navigate on autopilot, uncertain about the kind of life we desire or the person we aim to become. To reclaim direction and purpose, clarifying your values becomes paramount. Take a moment to reflect:

➤   Who do I aspire to be?

➤   What principles do I want to uphold?

➤   What contributions do I envision in my life?

➤   What significance and purpose do I wish my life to embody?

➤   What holds precedence in my life?

➤   What are my values?

➤   What are my priorities in life?

As you confront the inclination to engage in pornography, pause and ask yourself whether such behaviour aligns with the life and character you envision. By consciously considering these questions, you empower yourself to make choices that resonate with your values, bringing you closer to the life and person you genuinely strive to be.

Analyse the costs of your addiction

Consider the motivations behind watching porn—what are you seeking to avoid? Is this behaviour aligning with the life you aspire to construct? Take a moment to reflect on the associated costs. If you find yourself attempting to escape certain thoughts or emotions, question its effectiveness. Do these thoughts and emotions dissipate permanently, or are there lingering consequences? Evaluate the toll on your energy, finances, relationships, work, and more. Is this behaviour steering you towards your desired destination, or is it veering you off course?

Reflect on the extent to which you’re willing to sacrifice aspects of your life to the influence of pornography. The objective is to discern whether this behaviour contributes positively to your life and to fully comprehend the costs associated with its persistence. You can write this down, and use it as a reminder anytime in the future.

Focus on what matters

Having recognized that pornography isn’t contributing positively to your life and carries significant costs, you’ve taken the crucial step of acknowledging the issue. Now, as you navigate daily decisions, pause and ask yourself whether a particular behaviour aligns with the life you aspire to lead and the person you aim to become. If it doesn’t, allow the urge to watch porn to pass without acting on it. Instead, redirect your focus to alternative activities that bring you closer to your desired life.

Compile a list of meaningful things or projects that resonate with you—activities like playing music, painting, or spending time with friends. When the temptation to watch porn arises, consciously choose to invest your time and energy in pursuits that contribute positively to your life. By making this shift, you actively participate in creating a richer and more fulfilling life aligned with your values.

Create meaningful relationships

As social beings, our well-being is intricately tied to the connections we forge with others. Thriving in the company of like-minded individuals and nurturing meaningful relationships is not just a facet of our existence; it is an essential component of our mental and emotional flourishing. This symbiotic relationship between social interaction and our overall well-being becomes particularly evident during challenging times. In moments of struggle, the presence of a supportive social network can function as a formidable source of strength and a vital coping mechanism. The shared experiences, empathetic understanding, and companionship that stem from meaningful relationships can significantly enhance our resilience, providing a comforting foundation upon which we can weather life’s storms. In recognizing and valuing our interconnectedness, we unlock a powerful resource that contributes not only to our individual growth but also to the collective strength of our communities.

Eliminating access to pornography

Eliminating access to pornography is a practical step in fostering a healthier relationship with sexuality and curbing the impact of addiction. By implementing content filters, modifying browser settings, and utilising accountability tools, people gain tangible means to disrupt the consumption cycle. Other proactive measures include deleting electronic porn and bookmarks across all devices and discarding any hard-copy material or entrusting a friend or ally to install anti-porn software, and withholding the password. These measures serve as proactive barriers, reducing the ease of access to explicit material and interrupting impulsive behaviours. Creating physical and digital boundaries in the living environment reinforces the commitment to change, transforming spaces traditionally associated with pornography consumption into areas that promote personal growth. 

Developing self-compassion

Pornography addiction often coexists with profound feelings of shame and guilt. While you may recognize that this behaviour isn’t conducive to your well-being, breaking free from its grip might feel elusive. Experiencing emotions of hopelessness and shame is a common aspect of this struggle. However, the self-criticism that often accompanies these feelings only compounds the pain, acting as an additional barrier to overcoming the problem. Introducing self-compassion into this internal dialogue becomes a pivotal tool in navigating the depths of shame and guilt. Extend the warmth, care, and understanding you would readily offer to a close friend in a similar situation. Practising self-compassion is a multifaceted approach, and exploring resources like Kristin Neff’s website, where her expertise in the field is shared, can offer valuable insights and practical guidance on cultivating this essential skill.


Seeking therapy

At times, overcoming challenges can prove to be an uphill battle, and the solo journey may feel insurmountable. It’s during these moments that seeking professional support becomes a crucial option. At Edinburgh Therapy Service, we provide evidence-based therapies designed to address a range of issues. From cognitive-behavioural therapy and acceptance and commitment therapy to compassion-focused therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, our approach is grounded in proven methods. With the guidance of a skilled therapist, you can delve deeper into understanding the underlying behaviours and urges, working collaboratively to reshape your actions towards more constructive and meaningful outcomes. In the supportive, non-judgemental and confidential space of therapy, you gain valuable insights and tools to navigate challenges, fostering a path towards positive change.

Your pornography addiction counsellor in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Therapy Service is a counseling and psychotherapy practice based in Edinburgh. We work with a range of therapeutic approaches, including therapy for pornography addiction. Our services extend beyond the borders of Edinburgh, as we offer online therapy to clients worldwide. Whether you’re seeking therapy in person here in Edinburgh or prefer online sessions, we are here to support you. Contact us today!

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The Edinburgh Therapy Service is a psychotherapy and counseling practice based in Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom). We offer therapy both in-person in Edinburgh and online, available in English and Spanish.

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Contact us for more information or to book your first appointment: [email protected]