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NCJ Number: NCJ 226474     Find in a Library
Title: Therapists' Approaches in Working with Heterosexual Couples Struggling With Male Partners' Online Sexual Behavior
Author(s): Michelle M. Ayres ; Shelley A. Haddock
  Journal: Sexual Addiction & Compulsivity  Volume:16  Issue:1  Dated:January-March 2009  Pages:55 to 78
Date Published: 03/2009
Page Count: 24
  Annotation: This study examined the clinical approaches therapists use in working with couples whose presenting problems include the husband’s addiction to Internet pornography.
Abstract: Based on research findings, some therapists are unprepared to treat problems related to habitual online pornography use. Approximately 30 percent of the 99 responding therapists, all of whom were members of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT), reported that approximately 10 percent of both their individual and couple caseload consisted of clients who disclosed pornography use; however, 78 percent of the respondents reported feeling unprepared to conduct effective treatment with these clients. The literature on treatment protocols for addictive pornography use recommends an assessment of the behavior; however, just over half of the therapists in this study indicated no need for an assessment of clients having this behavior. The literature also advocates making sexual addiction a central focus in the treatment rather than targeting improvement in couple dynamics; however, only 30 percent of the responding therapists favored treatment intervention for the husband alone or on his problem in the context of the couple’s relationship. The literature recommends addressing the seriousness of habitual pornography use and attempting to terminate its use as a major treatment component prior to working on underlying couple problems; however, approximately one in five respondents either normalized the pornography use or did not address it at all. The literature also recommends validating the non-using partners’ feelings; however, only 12 percent of respondents reported they would validate the wife’s concerns. The therapists completed a self-administered questionnaire that contained questions about demographics, professional training and experience, and attitudes about pornography and feminism. They were also provided with a clinical vignette and asked to describe how they would approach the clients’ problems in actual clinical practice. 4 tables, 44 references, and appended vignette
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Pornography ; Marital problems ; Psychotherapy ; Counseling techniques ; Sexual addiction
Publisher URL: 
Type: Survey
Country: United States of America
Language: English
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