Sex Addiction Counselling - A Christian Approach

How might Jesus approach pornography and sex addiction, especially when it leads to illegal sexual behaviours?


Peter Watts

3/20/20242 min read

In March 2024 I attended a Members Forum of the Association of Christians in Counselling (ACC). This looked at some of the potential problems people can face due to using pornography, including escalating to viewing illegal (extreme, prohibited or indecent) images. Towards the end of the session I stated the following, which I feel sums up some of my approach to working with people in general, and with sex addiction clients in particular.

"This client in front of you is someone who's made in the image and nature of God, and that's how God sees them. 'They're made in my image; my likeness and I think they're amazing! I called them very good in the beginning.' I think this is something to remember: that this is a client that Jesus died for, just like he died for any of us, and whatever their sin, whether the sin of murder like Paul, or the sin of adultery like for David, they are a client who Jesus died for, and Jesus really, really wants to see restored.

And Jesus is about restoring these clients and the Holy Spirit is there on their side as their advocate not as their adversary. So, are we to be workers in the spirit, advocates for our clients, believing in the change that Jesus wants to bring? If that is the case, perhaps their recovery from this, and in anything else in life, is the process of discipleship. So, we buy into the whole process of God being about transformation and change, to see people restored to the image that they've lost, and to regain everything about themselves that is very very good.

I think that feeds into being able to hold out hope for the client, potential for the client, and enable them to hold onto something that is beyond themselves, that they may well have lost on the way through. I think seeing addiction recovery is a process of discipleship and framing it in that light with the client, can actually be quite releasing.

There is a tendency in society to treat this client group; sex addiction, the use of pornography, and especially the viewing of images of sexual abuse of children as the lepers of today. We want to throw them out of society, chuck away the key and leave them in the wilderness. Yet we know how Jesus handled lepers. So, what would help us treat them in the same as Jesus treated the lepers of his day?"

If you feel that you are using sex or pornography in a way which is worrying you, taking you in a direction you do not want to go, or are struggling to change then please do get in touch.

If you are from an organisation or church that would like some training in this area and how to support those struggling, then please see the workshops that are on offer.