Therapy Blog for Orem, Spanish Fork & South Jordan

Pornography Counseling – Common Issues

pornography counseling, couples therapyAfter offering pornography counseling in Utah for years, I have learned many things about this huge relationship problem. Clients are all different, but they have some common things among them. Let’s talk about what most people who use pornography have in common. You can also check out groups like Fight The New Drug who have great content and teaching material about pornography use. 


Is Pornography Use A Problem?


On the one hand, some clients entering counseling mention pornography on the side as if it isn’t as big of an issue. It’s almost as if they know pornography is an issue, but they don’t see it or don’t want to recognize it as such. When asked about it they say, “It’s not as bad as it used to be”, or “I use once in a while”. They seem to minimize it as an issue. They keep it a secret (Related Article: Pornography Counseling: How Secrecy Fuels Addiction). 


On the other hand, some clients come in seeking pornography counseling specifically. They know that it is an issue and want help with it. They are ready to change and want to work hard. Even though they still might not fully see the severity of it, they do recognize that it’s a problem. 


So, what is the difference between these two types of individuals struggling with pornography? One person recognizes it as a problem and is ready to work and the other doesn’t really see it as an issue – or at least not a big one. Both of these mindsets can be helped in therapy with a counselor who knows what they are doing (Related Article: Pornography Counseling: Find Recovery And Healing). It’s important, however, to know which mindset you fall into so you can address your issues fully. 


Is Pornography The Real Issue?


Pornography is growing into a dangerous behavior for individuals and couples. Even though we see it often when clients come to therapy, it isn’t always the presenting problem. Clients consistently present with depression, anxiety, or relationship problems, for example when using pornography. The answer to the question of whether or not pornography is the real issue is ‘Yes’. And, there are likely other issues accompanying it. 


When you use pornography you adopt an avoidance approach to life (Related Article: Coping or Avoiding? Why Knowing The Difference Matters). You learn to avoid your emotions and other discomfort. Pornography acts as a numbing agent in this manner. It helps you avoid what you are feeling making it difficult to pick it up and let it go (Related Article: Emotions 101: How To Be Healthy). This pattern is solidified the more you use pornography. 


When you don’t pick up your emotions, they start to burden you and eventually might blow out sideways. You might become depressed or anxious as a result. Or, your relationships might suffer as well. Your mental health ultimately suffers and other conditions arise from your pornography use. Or. you have other mental health issues that you are struggling with and then you use pornography to cope with those issues. It could go either way – but, there is usually a comorbidity of mental health problems and pornography use. 


Pornography Problems = Relationship Problems


If you use pornography, you most likely have problems in your relationships as well. As least your intimate, romantic ones (Related Article: My Spouse Is Using Pornography, What Do I Do?). You start to build an attachment with pornography and stop using your natural, healthy attachments. This can cause problems in your relationship that get worse over time. This is one of the most common problems we see in couples therapy. There is hope and help, however. 


Start pornography counseling in Utah today. Appointments in South Jordan, American Fork, Orem and Spanish Fork. We also do telehealth therapy for clients in Utah. 


Written by Triston Morgan, PhD, Utah Marriage and Family Therapist


Utah Therapy


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