Sexual Health Q&A

What can be done to help someone who has a problem with pornography?

Depending on the situation, there are a number of strategies to help individuals who want to change their pornography habits.

Restricting access to pornography is one way to start. This may involve blocking computers from certain websites or encouraging the person to spend more time with other people so that the draw of pornography is not as strong.

Couples can have open, frank discussions about what level of pornography use is acceptable in their relationship. For some, this may mean no pornography. For others, the amount may be negotiable.

Seeing a therapist – either alone or with a partner – is another option. There are also support groups and treatment centers that can help people limit their pornography use, work through the withdrawal symptoms, and repair relationships. These programs can range from private practices to community 12-step programs to inpatient treatment clinics. There are also resources available for partners. A physician can usually direct patients to an appropriate therapist, support group or facility.