Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Problematic Internet Pornography Use: A Randomized Trial (2016)

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Behav Ther. 2016 May;47(3):355-66. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2016.02.001.

Crosby JM1, Twohig MP2.


Problematic Internet pornography use is the inability to control the use of pornography, the experience of negative cognitions or emotions regarding pornography use, and the resulting negative effects on quality of life or general functioning. This study compared a 12-session individual protocol of acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) for problematic Internet pornography use to a waitlist control condition with 28 adult males, all but 1 of whom were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Measures of self-reported pornography viewing, standardized measures of compulsive sexual behavior and related cognitions, and quality of life occurred at pretreatment, posttreatment, and 3-month follow-up. Results demonstrate significant between-condition reductions in pornography viewing compared to the waitlist condition (93% reduction ACT vs. 21% waitlist). When combining all participants (N=26), a 92% reduction was seen at posttreatment and an 86% reduction at 3-month follow-up. Complete cessation was seen in 54% of participants at posttreatment and at least a 70% reduction was seen in 93% of participants. At the 3-month follow-up assessment, 35% of participants showed complete cessation, with 74% of participants showing at least 70% reduction in viewing. Treatment suggestions and future directions are discussed.


acceptance and commitment therapy; pornography use; treatment