Saturday, July 27, 2013

Solutions to Teen Cybersex Addiction


Solutions to Teen Cybersex Addiction

The combination of a teen’s emerging curiosity about sex, their increasing sex drive, together with the accessibility and aggressive marketing of sex on the internet, has resulted in online sex or “cybersex” becoming a regular part of adolescent sexuality.  Unfortunately, there are teens -- as many at 15 percent -- that cannot manage moderate behavior when they engage in sexual activity online and quickly develop compulsive behaviors that can result in addiction.

The term cybersex is a catchall phrase used to describe a wide variety of computer and cell phone based sex-related behaviors. These behaviors include accessing online pornography (audio, video, text), engaging in sexual chats, creating an avatar to engage in sexual acts or chats, using WebCams to engage in “live” interactive sexual behavior, using social media sites or email to arrange offline sexual encounters, using sex toys designed for the online world, or a combination of all of the above.

Research shows that the preferred form of cybersex for teens is “sexting.” The term “sexting” refers to sexual communication with content that includes sexually explicit pictures and/or text messages, sent using cell phones or other electronic devices.

Although sexting is the preferred form of cybersex, increasing numbers of teens are engaging in sexual interaction in chat rooms (with friends, acquaintances, and strangers), using WebCams to engage in interactive sexual behavior with a “live” partner (friends, acquaintances, and strangers), and using the Internet to locate and “hook up” with anonymous sexual partners .

Teens are also growing increasingly focused on online pornography and are developing significant problems controlling their behavior. Material with explicit sexual content abounds in cyberspace at a grand total of 400 million pages and counting! Some pornography is found on professional sites, but much of it is found on amateur sites. Parents are generally unaware chat rooms and popular websites that allow instant messaging can easily lead to images from WebCams that are sexual in nature.

Research has shown that when excitement occurs after viewing a sexual image, the neurotransmitter epinephrine is released. Epinephrine makes its way to the brain which serves to “lock” the image in to the brain’s capacity for recall. The teen can then recall the image at any time, triggering the same feelings of excitement and arousal. Other neurotransmitters are also released such as dopamine, serotonin, endorphins, and adrenaline which create euphoric states, causing the teen to search for images that will create the same experience.  For many teens, the accessibility and anonymity of cyberspace make it very difficult to resist pornographic sites, which can lead to addiction.

Getting Help

If you believe your teen has developed a compulsive or addictive relationship to cyber pornography or cybersex, it is crucial to confront this problem directly and provide appropriate intervention.  

The focus of our treatment program is to assist the sexually compulsive teen in decreasing destructive online sexual behaviors while simultaneously increasing healthy offline sexual behaviors.

As would follow, our treatment program has two primary goals:

1)   Reduce the teen's immediate short-term unhealthy behaviors. Achieving this goal begins with helping the teen understand his/her acting out cycle by identifying primary high risk situations, emotional triggers, and thinking errors. Through this process, the teen can reduce the total number of sexually compulsive behaviors they are engaging in on a daily basis.
2)   Develop healthy sexual behaviors. Eliminating unhealthy behaviors creates a void. In order to maintain a long-term sexual health, the teen needs to fill this void by practicing healthy sexual behaviors. Our program helps teens understand the function of their sexually compulsive behavior while simultaneously providing extensive information that encourages healthy sexual choices. Additionally, our program helps the teen become familiar with barriers that get in the way of achieving long-term sexual health.

Our treatment program progresses through three stages:

1)   Stage I: Problem identification (defining problematic sexual behavior, creating an immediate short-term harm reduction plan, taking an off-line and online sexual history, defining different types of online sexual behavior, tracking behavior through an Internet activity log, identifying emotional triggers, identifying high-risk situations, understanding how compulsive sexual behavior is maintained despite negative consequences, and defining the process of change).
2)   Stage II: Primary treatment (defining sexual identity and sexual orientation, defining sexual functioning, defining health sexuality,  defining barriers to sexual health, discussing the role of body image in sexual health, discussing the role of fantasy in healthy sexuality, defining intimacy in the context of sexual relationships, defining spirituality/values in the context of healthy sexuality).
3)   Stage III: Continuing care plan (creating a sexual health plan, reviewing the role of healthy sexuality in psychosocial well-being, reviewing triggers, understanding the role of relapse, learning to ask for help, and creating an ongoing support system).

Our treatment program is tailored to the unique strengths and challenges of each teen and his/her family.

Warning Signs of Teen Cybersex Addiction

Bookmarks sexual sites online.

Spends more than 5 hours per week using the computer or cell phone for sexual purposes.

Searches for sexual material through an Internet search tool.

Internet sex has interfered with important parts of life (peer relationships, homework, etc).

Participates in sexually related chats.

Has a sexualized username or screen name.

Masturbates while on the Internet.

Accesses sexual sites from computers at school or friend’s house.

Conceals the sexual use of the computer from others.

Lies about the use of technology for cybersex when confronted by a parent or other adult.

Intentionally seeks out and views pornography on the Internet.

Stays up after midnight to access sexual material online.

Uses the Internet to experiment with different aspects of sexuality (e.g., bondage, fetishes, anal sex, etc.).

Promises to stop using the Internet for sexual purposes.

Uses cybersex as a reward for accomplishing a task (e.g., finishing a project, homework, stressful day, etc.).

Feels anxious, angry, or disappointed when unable to access sexual
content online.

Engages in increasingly risky behaviors when online (given out name and phone number, met people offline, views child pornography, etc.).

Meets face to face with strangers met online for romantic/sexual purposes.

Uses sexual humor and innuendo with others while online.

Has seen sexual pictures of other teens online.

Posts and views sexual photos or information on Facebook or other social media sites.

Stores sexualized photos online.

Posts and views sexualized videos online (YouTube, Google Video, etc.).

Treatment for cybersex addiction includes a combination of:

 Individual therapy
 Family therapy
 Group therapy
Recreational/Outdoor Therapy

For more information contact Christopher Mulligan: 310-287-1640 or email
Office Address:11140 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The First Teen Cyber Pornography Workbook

Christopher Mulligan LCSW, founder and clinical director of The Cyber Addiction Recovery Center in Los Angeles, is very pleased to announce the first treatment program in Los Angeles specifically designed to address adolescent addiction to online pornography.

This treatment program uses the first clinical workbook created that addresses the unique psychological, social, and sexual characteristics of teens that are addicted to online pornography.

The workbook combines group, individual, and family therapy in a 16 week treatment format. The workbook was written for a teen audience and is based on empirically validated psychological techniques, leading-edge research on the treatment of pornography addiction, and a decade of effective work with teens with sexual disorders, including pornography addiction.

How to Recover from Cyber Pornography Addiction: The Teen Cyber Pornography Workbook was developed by Christopher Mulligan, a professor and therapist, who specializes in treating adults and teens addicted to online pornography.

How to Recover from Cyber Pornography Addiction: The Teen Cyber Pornography Workbook is the first workbook written for a teen audience. This book provides the teen cyber pornography addict with the information and the tools needed to achieve lasting sobriety.

Until now, virtually all books written on the subject of online pornography addiction have been written for adults facing addiction and mental health professionals treating adults. Recognizing that teens needed their own treatment manual, Christopher developed an interactive and engaging treatment process that allows teens to fully participate in their own recovery from online pornography addiction.

This workbook speaks the language of teens and uses state-of-the-art research and clinical techniques to address online pornography addiction and the underlying psychological problems that fuel online pornography addiction. This workbook covers how to define addiction, how the pornography industry creates products that stimulate addiction and, most importantly, how teens can take control of their lives and overcome pornography addiction and build a meaningful and healthy off-line life

The story of why this workbook was created

Every week Christopher receives email from parents and teens desperate to find help for online pornography addiction. The messages come from all over the world – showing this is not an isolated problem. Parents write that they have tried to set limits on access to online pornography, but for one reason or another nothing they have tried resulted in positive change. They are often frustrated, stressed, scared, angry, and depressed. They have little energy left and often want to give up. They feel like they have completely lost control of their teen and that their situation is hopeless.

The messages received from teens ask for help because they have come to realize that cyber pornography has taken over all parts of their life. They can see that their family relationships, social relationships, academic achievement, and physical health have been negatively affected by their relationship to cyber pornography.

Teens say that they want to stop their compulsive behavior, but don't know where to turn or know what type of help is available. Many of these teens began viewing pornography on a purely recreational basis and then quickly escalated in to spending 30 to 40 hours a week searching for images and videos, resulting in pornography taking over virtually all of their off-line responsibilities and priorities.

In an effort to help parents and teens, Christopher read just about every book written on pornography addiction. Through his research he found that there wasn’t a resource that offered clear, comprehensive, and practical suggestions for helping teens overcome pornography addiction – much less a workbook that was written specifically for a teen audience! Christopher’s workbook was written to fill this void. 

Who can use Christopher Mulligan’s workbooks?

How to Recover from Cyber Pornography Addiction: The Teen Cyber Pornography Workbook is written for teens, ages 13 to 18, who are showing symptoms consistent with addiction to pornography. This workbook is intended to be used under the supervision of a mental health professional, trained in adolescent sexual behavior and technology addiction.

Christopher Mulligan and the staff at the Cyber Addiction Recovery Center recognize there is an urgent need to offer clinical programs created specifically to meet the ever-increasing numbers of teens struggling with cyber pornography addiction.

Cyber pornography facts
92% of male teens and 62% of female teens have been exposed to online pornography before the age of 18.

The average age of first exposure is 11 years old.

78% of teens described their first exposure to pornography as negative.

10% to 15% of teens report symptoms identical to adults who self-report as cyber pornography addicts.

20% of teens have seen pornography that combines violence and sex.

15% of teens report that they have viewed child pornography.

70% of teens say they watch porn for the purpose of achieving sexual excitement/stimulation.

Available at

Monday, July 8, 2013



This report draws on two main research project methodologies – a telephone survey of teens and parents, and a series of focus group discussions with teens. The Parents & Teens 2006 Survey sponsored by the Pew Internet and American Life Project obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative call-back sample of 935 teens age 12 to 17 years-old and their parents living in continental United States telephone households. The telephone sample was pulled from previous Pew Internet Project surveys fielded in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Households with a child age 18 or younger were called back and screened to find 12- to 17-year-olds.
A total of 7 focus groups were conducted with youth in June 2006. Three of the groups were conducted in an East Coast city and three were conducted in a Midwestern city. One focus group was conducted online, with high school students (and a mix of boys and girls). The other six groups were single gender, and interviewed 7th and 8th graders, 9th and 10th graders and 11th and 12th graders, one each of boys and girls for each grade group.

1/3 of teens who use the internet say they have received threatening messages, have had private emails or text messages forwarded without their consent, have had embarrassing pictures forwarded without their permission, and have been the subject of false rumors.
Of all online forms of bullying or harassment, the most common is having private messages forwarded without consent.

Girls are more likely to experience online bullying than boys (38% to 26%).
Older girls (41%) between 15 and 17 say they have been harassed and bullied online.

Older girls are more likely to receive online threats (13%).

Teens that use social networking sites are more likely to have experienced someone forwarding embarrassing pictures (9%) than teens that do not use social networking sites (2%).

Teens who are regular users of social networking sites are more likely to have experienced some form of cyber bullying than teens who do not engage in social networking (39% to 23%).

Teens who have created content for the internet (blogs, uploading photos, sharing artwork, etc.) are more likely to report cyber bullying and aggressive forms of harassment.

2/3 of teens (67%) reported that bullying and harassment happens more offline than online.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The good, the bad, and the ugly of cyber pornography”

The Cyber Addiction Recovery Center

 A seminar for mental health professionals

“The good, the bad, and the ugly of cyber pornography”

The combination of a teen’s emerging curiosity about sex, their increasing sex drive, together with the accessibility and aggressive marketing of pornography on the internet, has allowed pornography to become a regular part of adolescent life.  Unfortunately, there are teens  -- with and without developmental challenges -- that cannot manage moderate use when exposed to sexual content on the internet and quickly develop compulsive behavior that can result in addiction.

Material with explicit sexual content abounds in cyberspace at a grand total of 400 million pages! Some pornography is found on professional sites, but much of it is found through file sharing sites and amateur sites. Parents are generally unaware chat rooms and popular websites that allow instant messaging can easily lead to images from WebCams (video cameras attached to home computers) that are sexual in content.

Research has shown that powerful neurotransmitters in the brain are released when cyber porn images are viewed by teens and serve to “lock” these images in to the brain’s capacity for recall. Neurotransmitters also create euphoric states, which motivates the teen to search for images that will create more intense and sustained sexual stimulation. For many teens, the accessibility and anonymity of cyberspace make it very difficult to resist pornographic sites, which can lead to compulsive and destructive behavior.

If you believe your teen may be developing a problematic relationship with cyber pornography or you want to learn how to prevent a problem from developing, this seminar will provide you with the most current research and on prevention and treatment.

This seminar will cover the following:

The Hidden Power of Cyber Porn

First Encounters with Cyber Porn

Why Teens Use Cyber Porn

The “Porn Relationship”

The Physical and Psychological Consequences of Cyber Porn

Signs of Compulsive Cyber Porn Use

Getting Help: overcoming the physical and psychological consequences of cyber porn

When: This parent seminar is 3.0 hours and can be scheduled evenings and weekends

Where: Cyber Addiction Recovery Center
11140 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232

Fee: $45.00

Contact: Christopher Mulligan
Office: 310-2871640

About Christopher Mulligan

Christopher Mulligan LCSW is currently an adjunct lecturer at the University of Southern California in the Graduate School of Social Work. Christopher Mulligan is founder and clinical director of the Cyber Addiction Recovery Center in Los Angeles, California. Mr. Mulligan provides parent education, school consultation, and a full range of clinical services to address internet, videogame, and cyber pornography addiction. Mr. Mulligan is also the founder and clinical director of GroupWorks West, which serves the social and mental health needs of teens and young adults on the autism spectrum.