Does Attachment Theory Apply to Working With Pornographic Addiction in Men

Harris, Jane
Duncan, Andrew
Packard, Helen
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Master of Health Science
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Auckland University of Technology

This research was conducted in order to explore the topic of pornographic addiction in men, and to discover whether attachment theory was applicable when working with this client group. A systematic literature review was undertaken to ensure an in-depth study of the material available. Definitions of pornography, pornographic addiction and shame are included. Topical data is used to indicate the increasing degree of public awareness occurring at present, and clinical vignettes are used as illustrative examples of points raised in this study. Due to the lack of literature found on pornography as an addiction, I predominantly use literature on sexual addiction that discusses pornography. This is justified on the basis of understanding that pornographic addiction is a form of sexual addiction. Through literature reviewed and my clinical experience, avoidant attachment style problems are found to be a factor in men with pornographic addiction. The predominant theme of “shame” is noted as the primary connecting issue between these. Shame and attachment theory’s significance for clinical application is then explored and elaborated on. Pertinent treatment factors are highlighted and a specific treatment plan is suggested. The lack of empirical research in many areas is noted, as well as the possible challenges to the psychotherapy culture, due to the technological era of the 21st Century.

Attachment theory , Pornographic addiction
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