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The Long Journey Back: The Bumpy Road to Recovery from Cybersex Addiction

  • Debra Jackson (a1)


Notwithstanding the current debate over the use of the term “addiction” to describe certain types of problematic internet use, it is clear that a significant number of people engage in excessive internet use despite its interference with their everyday life. There is also growing evidence to suggest that increasing numbers of regular internet users are using the net for the purposes of accessing pornographic material and adult chat. In a qualitative descriptive framework, this study examines evidence from recovering cybersex addicts to illuminate aspects of the recovery trajectory for persons negatively affected by excessive use of the internet for the purposes of sexual gratification. Significant disruption to functional daily activities was variously reported and included occupational and social impairment, depression, impotence, and relationship breakdown. The paper further examines the therapeutic recovery issues with this addiction and comments on the role of rehabilitation counsellors in this process.


Corresponding author

Debra Jackson Ph.D, Faculty of Health, University of Western Sydney (Macarthur), PO Box 555, Campbelltown NSW 2560, Australia. Email:


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