Resources for understanding, overcoming, and preventing pornography addiction
A widespread and highly destructive though often overlooked evil affecting modern life is pornography. It is a grave offense against God and His gifts to men and women. God created men and women "in His image" to share in His divine life. The Marriage and Family Ministry offers these suggested resources* to begin the journey toward regaining the mental, emotional, spiritual, and relationship healing and wholeness that God wants for you and your loved ones.
Web-based Catholic Resources
Integrity Restored was founded by Catholic therapist Peter Kleponis, PhD and is designed to help men, their wives and their families break free from the bonds of porn. You will find clear information on pornography use and addiction, pornography’s effects on people’s lives, and how to get help.
The My House Initiative from the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas is devoted to fostering the virtue of chastity by building awareness of the effects of pornography in society, offering support and healing for those harmed by it, and educating Catholics on what they can do to protect their families from its influence.
The Porn Effect was founded by Catholic speaker and apologist Matt Fradd to expose the reality behind the fantasy of pornography and to equip individuals to find freedom from it. There is a collection of articles, videos, podcasts by Catholic experts, and online forum dedicated to helping men and women break free from the vice of pornography.
RECLAIM Sexual Health is a professional and science-based Catholic online program designed to help individuals addicted to pornography and other unhealthy sexual behaviors, and the parents and spouses who have been impacted by their loved ones' unhealthy sexual behaviors. It was launched by Elizabeth Ministry International at the request of Bishop David Ricken from the Diocese of Green Bay.
Institute for Marital Healing web site is dedicated to strengthening Catholic marriages and families through online resources. There is a section specifically for internet pornography and other addictions as they present a major threat to marriage, youth and family life.
Chastity Project is an online ministry founded by national chastity speakers Jason and Crystalina Evert. The site offers a variety of resources to promote purity and to help young people launch chastity projects in their schools and churches to promote the good news of purity to their peers.
Filter Protection for You and Your Family
One of the most efficient steps you can take to prevent pornographic material in your home is to install a filter on all computers and devices.
Many filter systems are available which block offensive and pornographic content. These password protected filters can also send accountability reports, restrict search terms and put time limits on internet usage. There is no reason to allow objectionable content into your home.
The following are suggested filter resources for computers and electronic media:
Covenant Eyes is committed to helping individuals and families to protect themselves and loved ones from internet dangers and temptations by offering a variety of internet accountability and filter resources.
Net Nanny is a highly rated internet filtering technology that protects families and helps them manage their experiences with digital content against unwanted Internet content and inappropriate use. Parents, spouses, guardians, and educators are given visibility and control in managing a child’s online experience.
K9 Web Protection is a free Internet filter and parental control software for your home Windows or Mac computer. K9 puts YOU in control of the Internet so you can protect your kids. We provide tools for parents to control unwanted content and provide a safe Internet for your family.
Safe Eyes is Mac and PC compatible software that protects your family from harmful content and keeps you informed of all web activities through internet accountability and filter resources.
Internet Filter Review is a website that reports on the effectiveness, ease of use, and features of various software programs blocking objectionable material on the Internet. Such software is necessary for blocking Internet pornography from home and office.
Other Helpful Websites
- Fight the New Drug is an excellent web site offering multi-media educational resources of the destructiveness that pornography has on individuals and relationships using scientifically based facts and personal testimonials.
- Journey to Healing and Joy is a ministry developed to help wives of sex addicts, as well as their marriages. It offers online resources, support groups, and coaching for women whose husbands are addicted to pornography.
Self Help Groups
- Sexaholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover. It is a recovery program based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous and use of its Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions.
- S-Anon International is a program of recovery for those who have been affected by someone else's sexual behavior. S-Anon is based on the Twelve Steps and the Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. The primary purpose of S-Anon is to recover from the effects upon us of another person’s sexaholism, and to help families and friends of sexaholics.
- Catholic Support Group for Sexual Addictions Recovery – CSGSAR is a safe place where people with the common bonds of being Catholic followers of Christ and being fellow sufferers of sexual addictions may share and seek support for struggles with this addiction. CSGSAR offers resources for "Tips on How to Avoid Sin", advice and remedies given by the Church and the saints, and the fellowship of fellow sufferers. You are not alone.
- Out of the Shadows: Understanding Sexual Addiction by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
Patrick J. Carnes is a nationally-known speaker on addiction and recovery issues. In this landmark book, Dr. Carnes discusses three levels of sexual addiction, describes the addiction cycle and its progression, and presents the faulty core beliefs of the addict and the coaddict and their healthy counterparts. This is the book to start with if you are first seeking to understand sexual addiction and recovery.
- In the Shadows of the Net: Breaking Free of Compulsive Online Sexual Behavior by Patrick Carnes, David Delmonico, and Elizabeth Griffin.
The authors explain how the anonymity of online access, the ability of people to use their computers in private, and the powerful rationalization that virtual interactions are not “real” can combine to entice people to spend hours online, sacrificing real relationships and increasing their sense of loneliness. They give many case histories of people who have engaged in compulsive online sexual behavior, the damage they have caused in their lives, and the process that they have used to break free of their compulsive behavior.
- Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction by Mark R. Laaser
This book offers a path that leads beyond compulsive thoughts and behaviors to healing and transformation. Sensitive to the shame of sexual addiction without minimizing its sinfulness, Dr. Mark Laaser traces the roots of the problem, discusses its patterns and impact, and maps out a biblical approach to self-control and sexual integrity.
- The Pornography Epidemic: A Catholic Approach by Peter C. Kleponis, PhD
Dr. Peter Kleponis, a Catholic licensed clinical therapist, offers this small book as an overview of the issue. In clear, straightforward language he defines pornography, identifies the root causes of pornography use, and explains its effects on marriage and family life. He offers specific recommendations, most of which emphasize the need to monitor the use of technology. The book can be especially helpful for parents who wish to protect their children from pornography.
- Shattered Vows by Debra Laaser
Infidelity doesn’t have to ruin your life—or your marriage. If you have been devastated by your husband’s sexual betrayal—whether an isolated incident or a long-term pattern of addiction—you need to know you don’t have to live as a victim. This sensitive guide provides practical tools to help you make wise and empowering decisions, emotional tools to develop greater intimacy in your life, and spiritual tools to transform your suffering.
- Mending a Shattered Heart: A Guide for Partners of Sex Addicts by Stefanie Carnes
Anyone who has discovered their loved one, the one person that they are supposed to trust completely, has been cheating on them will want to read this book. Readers have an opportunity to explore whether the person they are in a relationship with is simply behaving badly or truly suffers from a disease called sex addiction. It shows the seriousness of sex addiction and offers hope by showing that treatment can be successful, but hard work needs to be done—by both the partner and the addict.
- Contrary to Love: Helping the Sexual Addict by Patrick Carnes, Ph.D.
Dr. Carnes explains in a detailed and thorough fashion that the behaviors of sexual addicts are not actions of love, but of abnormal, compulsive rituals performed in a desperate attempt to self-treat the feelings of despair and anger that has become the fabric of the addict's life. The stages and progression of sex addiction, including assessment, intervention, and treatment methods and discussed. It also covers family structure, bonding, boundaries, and recovery topics.
- Every Man’s Battle, Every Young Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker
Every Young Man’s Battle shows young men how to rise above today's debased, self-seeking culture by examining God's standard, training your eyes and mind, cleaning up your thought life, and developing a plan using strategies are biblical to stay sexually pure.
- Preparing your Son for Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker
It is vital that fathers and mothers prepare their sons to withstand the sexual onslaught of their culture through movies, television, music, and the Internet. But what should you say? And how should you say it? The authors behind the best-selling Every Man series have put together all the resources and guidance you need to experience frank, thorough, and natural conversations with your son about sexual integrity.
- Breaking Free: 12 Steps to Sexual Purity by Stephen Wood
Breaking Free is a must read for all men who desire sexual purity, need help getting rid of porn, or want to prevent a porn addiction. Breaking Free will teach you how to give up porn, find accountability, look for accountability software, protect yourself against sexual addictions and sins, and how to prevent future problems that could destroy your marriage and family life.
- Delivered: True Stories of Men and Women who Turned from Porn to Purity by Matt Fradd
Deliverance from pornography is possible. Through a collection of powerful testimonies, this book not only reveals why pornography is so damaging, but shows how the vice can be overcome and the damage undone.
- Be A Man! by Fr. Larry Richards
Fr. Larry Richards draws on his many years of ministry and his own experience as a man as he tells men how to focus on the right goal, how to live as a beloved son of God, and of the need to acknowledge one's faults and to live according to the Holy Spirit. He calls men to admit their weaknesses and limitations, while urging them to find strength in faith and genuine love to overcome their sins and faults.
- Boys to Men by Tim Gray and Curtis Martin
A Bible study designed specifically for men who want to build their spiritual strength. Each challenging lesson combines rich Scriptural teaching with centuries of Christian wisdom to train today’s men for the virtuous life. With thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter, this book is ideal for individual or group study.
- Pornography’s Effects on Marriage and the Hope of Recovery and Healing United States Conference of Catholic Bishops article on the impact of pornography on marriage, personal freedom, and the road map to healing and recovery.
- Pornography and Our Call to Love U.S. Bishop’s insert article on the neurological, emotional, relational, and youth impact of pornography.
- Pornography Article on the impact and recovery from pornography on marriage from the U.S. Bishop’s marriage web site foryourmarriage.org.
- Bought With a Price: Pornography and the Attack on the Living Temple of God A Pastoral Letter by Bishop Paul S. Loverde on the nature, lies, and threat that pornography presents to the human soul, to the family, and to society.
- Internet Pornography: An Occasion of Sin for Our Time Sister Marysia Weber, R.S.M., D.O. presents the facts and the statistics about Internet pornography.
- Internet Pornography: Practical Means of Avoiding the Near Occasion of this SinSister Marysia Weber, R.S.M., D.O. presents what are means of purifying the mind of pornographic images.
Three part article series on the U.S. Church’s efforts to combat the pornography epidemic:
- Part I: Taking on the Pornography Scourge With leadership and support from the U.S. bishops, the Catholic Church is recognizing and responding to the alarming prevalence of smut usage in America.
- Part II: Catholic Ministries Combat Pornography From support groups to software, Church-backed ministries confront the rampant smut addiction.
- Part III: Future Priests Battle Pornography Epidemic Seminaries and therapists recognize pornography’s devastating impact on vocations and the possibility for freedom and celibacy.
* The resources presented are not specifically endorsed by the Archdiocese of Detroit.
- USCCB Pornography United States Conference of Catholic Bishops web site on pornography that has three sets of audio talks by experts to better understand the destructiveness of pornography and how to combat it.
- Patrick Trueman, President and CEO of Morality in the Media
"The Pornography Pandemic: A Message to Catholics"
Part One | Part Two
- Bruce and Jeanne Hanneman, Founders of Elizabeth Ministry International
"Reclaim Sexual Health - Combining Science and Spirituality to Overcome Pornography"
Part One | Part Two
- Peter C. Kleponis, Ph.D., LPC, NCC
"Fighting Porn in Our Culture...and Winning!"
Part One | Part Two
- Crossing the Goal Ministries Crossing the Goal Ministries (CTG) was created as an outreach ministry to men concerning their spiritual well-being, by providing resources, adapted solely for men that would challenge them to become spiritually fit as husbands, fathers, and disciples of Jesus Christ. They have created Crossing the Goal, a television show on EWTN Global Catholic Network that uses a sports show format to encourage men to get into spiritual shape.
- The Porn Trap and Road Back From Porn are back to back Crossing the Goal televisionepisodes featuring special guest Peter C. Kleponis, Ph.D., Catholic therapist who specializes in pornography addiction. In a straight forward fashion Dr. Kleponis and the panel of hosts discusses the epidemic problem of pornography, particularly with men, the devastation that it brings to marriages and families, and how to begin the road back to sexual purity with others and God’s help. An excellent, hold nothing back, talk by men for men.
- The Women of Grace The Women of Grace television program discusses contemporary issues from a Catholic perspective and affirms women in their dignity as daughters of God and their gift of authentic femininity.
- Porn and Its Addictive Reality Peter C. Kleponis, Ph.D., LPC, NCC discusses from a Catholic understanding: What makes porn so highly addictive? What are its devastating effects on the user? On the user’s view of the human person? On his marriage? His job? His soul?
- The Addiction of Our Time Peter C. Kleponis, Ph.D., LPC, NCC discusses how the insidious effect of pornographic use ruins careers, marriages, self-worth, and lives, and why there is hope for the addict and his family.