The Counselling Shed

PhD in Pornography

March 7th, 2023

“Ok, so my PhD isn’t actually in pornography but it might as well be” so said a client of mine recently, “because I spend more time looking at porn that I do actually studying.”

(Please note that this client has given me permission to anonymously share these words). 

The truth is, that when times get tough, a lot of people resort to distractions. Distractions allow you to turn away from, and to avoid the discomfort of what you are actually feeling. Distractions might help you in the following ways: 

Pornography to relieve Overwhelm, Stress and Pressure

With the increased pressure that many of us feel these days to perform – to be superstars, super successful, high achievers etc. – there is also more potential for us to feel, stressed, out of depth, scared, afraid, exhausted and/or like imposters.  

Some people are able to reach out for help when they feel out of depth: they are able to say, “I don’t know what I am doing here, can you please help me”. You can read more about this on my blog: help will be given. 

But many people do not feel that they are able to ask for help: they have the expectation that they should be able to do it all on their own. When they struggle they feel that it must be because they are not good enough or not capable enough or not clever enough enough.  

Ritualised compulsion towards comfort-seeking

In an attempt to self sooth, to comfort and/or to avoid such uncomfortable and distressing feelings, such people are more susceptible to reaching out for some kind of distraction – and nowadays access to pornography is so easy that it seems like the perfect tool.

The problem is however, that after watching porn people often feel annoyed, disgusted, or distressed and these feelings, over time, can turn into shame cycles that transform the relatively harmless act of watching porn, into an addictive behaviour.

Indeed it has recently been argued that at the heart of any addiction is a ritualised compulsion towards comfort-seeking.

The way out of addictive and/or compulsive porn use? 

If the use of pornography has become problematic for you – if you think it has become a compulsion and/or an addiction then what is the way out? Twelve step programmes do exist but in my book there is only one first step that you need to take.

  1. To share with another human being, in a non-shaming, non-threatening space, what has been going on for you. 

That is it really – that is the first step to finding your way out of the problem. Easy peasy – just one step! And yet, so difficult at the same time! 

Once you have owned up to yourself and shared with another human being what is going on, then you can start to explore alternative steps forwards: steps that are more conducive to your ultimate goals and values. 

Faversham Counselling and Online Counselling for Porn Addiction

If you are finding yourself in a similar situation to my client, then there really is no need to struggle on alone.

It is possible to change your behaviour.

It is possible to be the version of you that you would like to be. 

If you need help in overcoming your reliance on porn, then I can help. Contact me now for a no-obligation chat:

M: 07757 859650



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