Michael Shaffran, LCSW

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Quick Facts

  • CARING, COMPASSIONATE AND CONCERNED COUNSELOR
  • 35 YEARS IN THE MENTAL HEALTH AND PSYCHIATRY PROFESSION
  • TRAINED IN MULTIPLE THERAPIES: GESTALT, EMDR, HYPNOSIS, SOLUTION FOCUSED,
    PSYCHODYNAMIC AND FAMILY THERAPY
  • PROVIDES THERAPY IN SPANISH AND UNDERSTANDS LATINO AND HISPANIC CULTURES
  • MULTICULTURAL BACKGROUND: TAUGHT ENGLISH IN KOREA; TRAVELLED THROUGH ASIA, RUSSIA, EUROPE AND THE CARIBBEAN

Men and Pornography Addiction
Written by Mike Shaffran   
There's an epidemic going on in men's lives and sadly, adolescent boys lives too. It's an addiction like no other. Patrick Carnes, Ph.D, a world expert on sex addiction, refers to pornography addiction as the “crack cocaine” of sex addiction. This is unfortunately a billion dollar industry and more than the Pentagon budget by all estimates. What can be done about it? Well , the good news is many things. Among these are the following: 1. 12 step groups like Sexaholics Anonymous (SA); Sex Addicts Anonymous (SAA) and Sexual Compulsives Anonymous (SCA) and even Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA); 2. One can find a Sponsor in any of these groups; 3. There are certified psychotherapists who specialize in helping sex addicts; 4. Inpatient treatment programs like The Meadows in Arizona might be necessary to break a serious pornography addiction; 5. Meditation groups and 6. Religious institutions with pastoral counselors to help men in their struggles with their addiction from a theological perspective. Any one of these approaches would be a very good start to help men break this growing world wide disease. The cure is never punishment and a moral approach is often not the most successful; can even backfire. Treating this addiction as one would treat alcoholism or gambling addiction or drug addiction is a better approach. Neuroscience tells us that the brain gets hijacked and neural pathways develop that cause the pornography user to keep upping his game, so to speak, in search of more graphic material which leads to greater use of the internet and feeling of “I can't stop myself.” He is hooked and this becomes like a dog chasing its tale. Of course, this is true of drug addicts and alcoholics as well. Really, all addictions have the same circuitry of the brain hijacked and need to break the cycle, or trance, to change thoughts, feelings and behavior. A rigorous adherence to a 12 step program or psychotherapy program or inpatient program can do the initial trick to break the cycle but the heavy lifting involves continuous commitment to sobriety and changing one's life style. Many men are “loners” and this sets them up for “free time” to cruise the net and find themselves on internet sites that only “fuel the fire.” So, groups and community and “wholesome” activities, ie, exercise, service organizations, religious or spiritual groups and work: paid or volunteer are essential to change thoughts and behavior and lead a man (or boy) back to a healthy sense of self and a life free of addictions.
 
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