Pornography addiction recovery

The availability of porn on the internet has resulted in many ordinary kiwis struggling with porn addiction recovery. Almost everyone is curious about sex - young and old, men and women, single and married. Unfortunately what starts out as simply curiosity can easily become habitual. As a result, we are seeing an increasing number of people seeking help.

If you feel awkward about the idea of talking about sex, you are not alone. Yet it can be hugely liberating to face up to these difficult feelings and sort out whatever needs sorting.

Problems with porn

porn addiction @ auckland therapy: counselling and psychotherapyThe internet has created wide availability of sexual opportunities and most people have viewed some internet pornography. However, habitual use happens for many reasons such as entertainment, information, distraction, excitement, sexual arousal or to enhance sexual fantasies.

Research indicates habitual pornography watching may result in three main problems:

  • confusion
  • relationship issues
  • addiction


If watching pornography is resulting in confusion, guilt, shame or other emotional distress a few counselling sessions with a therapist may be useful to sort through your thoughts and feeling and decide what is, and, what isn't for you. For instance, a period of sexual experimentation, exploring sexual identity or preferences. Or perhaps you want to find a partner but are struggling to form a relationship.

There is also some evidence that heavy use of internet pornography worsens existing anxiety, depression or social problems, and for some interferes with offline sexual functioning. So if you are struggling emotionally, socially or sexually then porn watching is probably not the best way of keeping it together.

For teens, as they are still developing their moral compass and social skills, pornography's often unrealistic portrayals of sex and sexuality can cause particular confusion and problems,

We offer an safe and supportive place to talk through whatever is going on and help find a way through. All of our team have experience with such confusions and difficulties.

General counselling

If you would like to sort out confusions or emotional distress, see any of our general therapy team. See a map of Therapist Locations or find Auckland Therapist by suburb or learn more about the Counselling Services we offer.

We also have an excellent specialist team of Child, adolescent and family therapists experienced in working with children and teenagers.

Relationship issues

Each relationship has a unique set of agreements, both spoken and silently understood. Breaking a relationship agreement is damaging and unless the damage is repaired this weakens or even endangers the relationship. This potential damage is the reason that secretly watching porn is potentially devastating to relationships.

Relationships work best where the couple share understandings and expectations. However, there is no set recipe; each relationship has it own agreements made to meet the needs of both parties. If porn watching, together or separately, is part of the deal then all well and good, but doing things behind your partner's back that would hurt them is not cool.

Thus, discovering a partner has been secretly watching porn can be as shocking as discovering a partner has been unfaithful. The sexual aspect of watching porn can leave partners feeling variously furious, devastated, confused, revolted, insulted, rejected and unloved - an attack on the foundations of the relationship. It is a sign that the relationship needs some work. Left addressed there will be an errosion of trust and put the relationship at risk.

Such a relationship crisis can be painful and overwhelming for both parties, yet with patience and hard work couples can come through stronger and closer. While some couples can work through this on their own, others will need some help. Most of our team work with couples and are familiar with such difficulties.

Read the NZ Herald article (8 Jul 2016) about porn and relationships

Relationship counselling

If you would like to sort out relationship issues see any of our couples therapists. See a map of Therapist Locations or find Auckland Therapist by suburb or learn more about the Counselling Services we offer.

Pornography addiction

For a range of complex reasons, some people will develop an unhealthy relationship with porn - essentially they become addicted to porn. Rather than something that can take or leave they may become fixated, craving for more and more. They may struggle to manage this despite that fact that it is causing problems such as:

  • preoccupation, compulsion or dependency
  • endangering relationships, employment or legality
  • consuming considerable time or money
  • increasingly extreme, violent, hardcore or risky
  • affecting mental health and wellbeing
  • inability to stop or control the behaviors

Concerned about sex addiction?
Do our sex addiction test.

Anyone who feels their porn use is out of control is best to seek help from specialist counsellor. They will listen without judgment, but with appreciation of the courage to face up to such difficulties. They have a deep understanding of sex and sexuality in the addiction process, and their specific training helps with the complexities of recovery. The following therapists have particular experience in working with pornography and other sexual addictions:

Read the NZ Herald article (6 Mar 2016) for Nick Willis's first-hand account of porn addiction and recovery.
Another NZ Herald article (2nd May 2016) about increase porn addiction

Specialist therapists

If you would like to sort out a sex or porn addiction issues, see one of our specialist Addiction Therapists or our Child, adolescent team for teenagers and young adults.