Practical steps for overcoming porn addiction

Readers Question Readers Question: (Name changed for privacy)
Stanton Peele Response by: Dr. Stanton Peele
Posted on March 29th, 2023 - Last updated: September 28th, 2023
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Dear Stanton,

I feel like with the videos I’ve watched you guys put out there isn’t nearly enough practical steps for overcoming addiction.  As much as it’s great to debunk addiction, helping people change their preference for their strongly invested habit is still needed.

I could really do with specific advice for more ambiguous addictions like porn (didn’t see anything on your YouTube channel for it specifically- it seems a very prevelent issue).

Pretty much all the advice only just highlights how it supposedly hijacks your libido and other biological mechanism.


Hi Mike,

First, thank you for anchoring us to earth.

The Life Process Program is first and foremost a hands-on, helping program!

However, there are a great many (as you noticed) mistaken assumptions about addiction. Zach and I often address these to lay a foundation for people to see where we and The Life Process Program are coming from — and where we’re headed.

One example of the merging of the theoretical and the practical is in non-drug addictions.

Aren’t drugs the cause of addiction? No! People pursue all sorts of powerful involvements in search of reassurance, relief and self affirmation.

Pornography and sex are good examples of how addictions are formed without substances and we have very active programs in all of these areas.

The most practical and fundamental steps that I can offer are these:

  • Explore set, setting, and values – By understanding the situations, emotions or people that trigger your desire to watch pornography, this can help you develop strategies to cope with these situations in ways that are more in line with your true values.
  • Explore Attractive alternatives – When people are fully engaged in life, chasing after a BHAG (Big Hairy Audacious Goal) or connecting deeply with people that really matter to them, they are less likely to become distracted by activities that they might later regret.  This means seeking meaning and purpose which aligns with values and usurps addiction.
  • Explore resources and support – there are lots of support options available, whether that be a trusted friend or therapist, an online support group or a discussion forum. And off course, our Life Process Pornography Program is specifically designed to help people deal who find that they are engaging in activities that they would like to steer away from, so you may want to explore that as well.
  • Practice self-care – Taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally is an important building block in dealing with an addiction. Are you eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise and sleep? If you don’t have these pieces of the jigsaw in good shape then overcoming an addiction can be more challenging.

Some of these sound too obvious; the trick is finding time and space to organize your thoughts and goals so that you can act on them. That’s our focus at the Life Process Program.

Just remember: addiction— whether to drugs, porn, or something else— plays by all of the same rules as any other human developmental process.

You might take a look at LPP’s general guide on how to beat an addiction. The principles that we discuss in this guide are applicable to any addiction including non-drug addictions such as pornography or gambling.

I hope you find this guide useful. If any of our readers have any specific tips or recommendations on what has helped in overcoming a pornography addiction please feel free to share them in the comments below – we would love to hear from you.

Stanton Peele

Dr. Stanton Peele, recognized as one of the world's leading addiction experts, developed the Life Process Program after decades of research, writing, and treatment about and for people with addictions. Dr. Peele is the author of 14 books. His work has been published in leading professional journals and popular publications around the globe.

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