Treating Pornography Addiction Book Summary - Treating Pornography Addiction Book explained in key points
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Treating Pornography Addiction summary

Kevin B. Skinner

The Essential Tools for Recovery

3.9 (116 ratings)
15 mins

Brief summary

Treating Pornography Addiction by Kevin B. Skinner is a guide that helps individuals understand and overcome pornography addiction, providing practical tools and techniques for recovery and a healthy, more fulfilling life.

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    Treating Pornography Addiction
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    The chemistry behind pornography addiction

    When it comes to breaking pornography addiction, understanding your biochemistry is crucial. While this knowledge may initially make you feel overwhelmed – and possibly even more hopeless – it holds the key to regaining control. So, let’s take a quick look at what’s happening to your brain when you feel the urge to view pornography.

    Brains are designed to associate a stimulus with a response. For instance, if you were bitten by a dog as a child, your body might automatically tense up or your heart rate increase when you hear barking.

    The same thing happens with pornography. The first time you encountered explicit material, your body likely released an intoxicating cocktail of chemicals, including endorphins, epinephrine, oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin. In fact, the blend of chemicals that brains release when viewing pornography has a similar structure to amphetamines, creating a state of high arousal. Every time you view pornography, your body releases that same blend of chemicals. But this blissful state is short-lived, and withdrawal symptoms from it are harsh. That’s what drives you to view pornography once more, so your body can enjoy chemical bliss again. 

    What makes pornography addiction even more complex is that – unlike drug or alcohol addiction – your brain can self-supply its trigger. To set off the chemical reaction you’re craving, all you need to do is anticipate viewing pornography or remember explicit images you’ve already seen. But a helpful quirk of our bodies is that they’re predictable. Once you know that your brain is automatically going to respond to specific stimuli, you can learn to arrest and deactivate its reaction.

    When you view pornography, the chain of responses you go through – known as the reaction sequence – always follows the same pattern. First, you encounter the stimulus – perhaps a provocative advertisement on TV. Then you have an emotional response, followed by a thought. So you might feel excited and then think, “I could jump online and look at porn.” 

    At this point, your body starts releasing its chemical cocktail. You have a physical response to this; your heart rate increases and you might sweat. Then your rational mind steps in, offering an important moment of reflection. This is your back-up system asking you to properly assess if you really should give in to your urges. 

    In this millisecond, your mind juggles arguments for and against. And most of the time, the body triumphs over the mind. Often, this is reinforced by a belief, like “I can’t stop myself anyway, so why try?” Or, “This will definitely be the last time I do this.” Then, the response to that initial stimulus happens – either you view pornography or you don’t.

    Developing a deep awareness of your own individual reaction sequence is the first major step to breaking your addiction. Start by reflecting on when you’re triggered. Is it when you see a particular type of image, or when you’re experiencing a specific emotion, like boredom or loneliness? Think about the thoughts and sensations that arise when you encounter your stimulus. Once you’ve uncovered every possible option and feeling, map out your personal reaction sequence on paper, step-by-step. This’ll help you identify when you’ve been triggered, and when there’s scope in your reaction sequence to change your behavior. 

    In the next sections, we’ll explore ways you can support yourself in achieving that change. 

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    What is Treating Pornography Addiction about?

    Treating Pornography Addiction (2005) explores why pornography is so addictive and what individuals can do to break the cycle. Its practical tools offer addicts a roadmap to recovery and systems to safeguard against relapse. 

    Treating Pornography Addiction Review

    Treating Pornography Addiction (2013) by Kevin B. Skinner is a valuable resource for anyone looking to overcome pornography addiction. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • With a practical approach and evidence-based strategies, it provides readers with the tools they need to overcome addiction and regain control of their lives.
    • Skinner's insightful analysis of the psychological and emotional aspects of pornography addiction offers a deeper understanding of the issue and helps readers address its root causes.
    • The book's relatable stories and relatable examples make it engaging, relatable, and ensure it resonates with readers who may be struggling with addiction.

    Who should read Treating Pornography Addiction?

    • People struggling to resist the urge to access explicit material
    • Individuals wondering if pornography is negatively impacting their life
    • Those concerned about a loved one’s use of pornography

    About the Author

    Dr. Kevin B. Skinner is a licensed marriage and family therapist with over 20 years of experience. The cofounder and clinical director of Addo Recovery in Utah, he specializes in relationship intimacy, pornography addiction, and betrayal trauma. 

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    Treating Pornography Addiction FAQs 

    What is the main message of Treating Pornography Addiction?

    The main message of Treating Pornography Addiction is to provide effective strategies for overcoming and treating pornography addiction.

    How long does it take to read Treating Pornography Addiction?

    The reading time for Treating Pornography Addiction varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Treating Pornography Addiction a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Treating Pornography Addiction is a valuable read for individuals struggling with pornography addiction. It offers practical insights and guidance to overcome this issue effectively.

    Who is the author of Treating Pornography Addiction?

    The author of Treating Pornography Addiction is Kevin B. Skinner.

    What to read after Treating Pornography Addiction?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Treating Pornography Addiction, here are some recommendations we suggest:
    • Sexual Detox by Tim Challies
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    • The Distraction Addiction by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
    • Breaking the Cycle by George N. Collins with Andrew Adleman
    • Every Man's Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey
    • VISA by Paul Chutkow
    • Wired for Intimacy by William M. Struthers
    • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
    • 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness by Jim Rohn
    • Dopamine Nation by Anna Lembke