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Pornography Addiction: 4 Step Quick Assessment

What happens when a person has an ongoing relationship with pornography addiction? They continue to go down a road with a blindfold on. The true problem is pornography can lead to overwhelming feelings of desperation. Specifically, what the ritual of long-term pornography use can psychologically, emotionally, spiritually and potentially worst of all physically do to them.

A client recently was in my office and they shared a story about an experience they recently had. They shared with me the simple fact they had no clue how the pornography got so bad? They stated, “It’s always after the fact that I can see and of course feel how bad this is, but before hand, I really black out.” Many people have shared similar stories of how blinding a pornography addiction can be.

The following is a 4 step “Quick Evaluation” process to bring a deeper sense of understanding around a pornography addiction. By practicing these steps you can build a new ritual and better control the initial urge to use pornography.

Step One: Appreciate the Intensity of the Urge of Pornography.

You must first appreciate the ritual that has been a part of your life. By mindfully honoring the intensity and ritual that has over consumed your life. This is step one. One of the largest issues is not appreciating what you are trying to change.

Step Two: Awareness in Your Patterns.

A vital step in evaluating your pornography habit is to deconstruct your ritual, habit and purposely build a new awareness around all of it. At the early stage of evaluating your pornography habit it is great to look at towards your behavior and day-to-day habits. Many times it is great to break it down simply in the form of time spent on the ritual, at this point, how much time is spent on this habit gives you a general sense of awareness. The more awareness you gain, the more strength you earn.

Step Three: Action.

It’s one of the toughest battles there is…. Pornography is an epidemic. One of the first things I share with clients is that: “This takes a lot of work, it takes constant action.” After you start to incorporate awareness, your next step is to fight against the urge and build an action plan. An action plan consists of a combination of changing physical behaviors, emotional responses and learning to guard against reactions to triggers.

Step Four: Revisit Appreciation.

By reevaluating your appreciation for the new life you are asking for the more strength you will gain. Humbly accepting the position you are in will create appreciation for the battle you are up against.

By using these 4 “Quick Evaluation” steps it will start you on the road to recovery. At this point it is also very important to use a professional as guide and support system.

Dr. Ryan Westrum is a sex therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he specializes in pornography addiction. You can contact him by calling him at 952-261.5269 or email him at

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